Forget Trainspotting, welcome to the city of love

IT'S being billed as a "21st-century Edinburgh love story" and its use of breathtaking views of the Old Town, Cramond Island and Blackford Hill could not be in greater contrast to the city's early 1990s gritty heroin sub-culture portrayed in Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting.

But the Scottish independent film director of low-budget movie The Space Between, says it is time to counteract the capital's one-sidedly harsh reputation acquired through films such as Trainspotting and Hallam Foe and highlight the many contrasting sides of the city.

Tim Barrow's film tells the story of the relationship between Lisa, played by Vivien Reid, who works at the city's Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill and Steven (played by Barrow) who worked in the financial sector in London but returns to his home town. Both have recently lost a child.

The film written and directed by Barrow for only 15,000 over 17 days receives its world premiere at the Edinburgh Filmhouse next week. It also includes a specially-commissioned sound track to represent the city's contrasting moods.

Barrow, 32, who grew up in Edinburgh, said: "I've made this film for everyone but especially my generation. Trainspotting was part of the world I recognised but it was not the whole picture.

"It showed the grim, harsh reality of some people's lives at that time but it didn't capture the whole city, how among the horribleness there is also light, humour, strength and elegance. It was titanic to see Trainspotting on the screen, a massive cultural thing - extreme and shocking. But it was of its time and didn't capture the whole city."

After its premiere the film will be shown in venues around the city, including Avalanche Records in the Grassmarket and North Edinburgh Arts, Muirhouse with the aim of attracting a new generation of filmakers who might feel excluded from the film industry.

Barrow, a member of Lyre Productions, a group of independent Scottish film makers, added: "Everyone has opportunities whether they realise it or not. They might have family or friends living or working in interesting locations they could use.

"Some people just need to get their hands on a video camera and get out there and learn about it by doing it."

Ron Inglis, director of Regional Screen Scotland, said: "Barrow is spot on. Audiences aren't going to respond to just one strand of film-making all the time.

"Trainspotting had some extraordinary things in it and was also entertaining.

"But there have been quite a lot of similar films in Scotland and the UK and it would be great to see a very, very low budget film come in and change perceptions again."

Barrow's first independent film, The Inheritance, a Scottish road movie made for 5,000, became a cult movie, beating off competition from 3,000 films to win the 2007 Raindance Award at the British Independent Film Awards.

Low-budget hits

• A number of independent film makers have got their big break though writing and directing low-budget movies.

• Bill Forsyth made That Sinking Feeling (1979) for a few thousand pounds and used youth theatre actors. Forsyth went on to write and direct Local Hero and Gregory's Girl.

• Paranormal Activity (2007), an American horror film was made for 15,000 and went on to gross 60,500,000 in the US alone after representatives of Paramount Pictures attended a screening.

• The Blair Witch Project (1999) cost 12,000 and raked in 154 million in the United States alone.