Jonathan Melville: Let’s dive into Brave new dawn

ONE down, two to go. That’s my current score when it comes to predicting films for this year’s Edinburgh

International Film Festival, following the announcement that Disney-Pixar’s Brave will close the event on June 30.

Last month I suggested that in order to generate a buzz around the revamped EIFF we might see some big movies rolled out alongside a new red carpet, one of which was the Scottish-set animation featuring Kelly Macdonald and Billy Connolly.

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Various clips have appeared online over the last few months, my favourite being the Japanese trailer that reveals more about the magic and mysticism behind young Merida’s (Macdonald) attempts to change her fate.

The film is big news for Scotland, with VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government keen to have a stake in its success, the hope being that we see a repeat of the Braveheart phenomenon of the mid-1990s.

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Try as we might to ignore the tartan and shortbread image of Scotland, the rest of the world can’t get enough of it. While we churn out dozens of gritty and realistic films depicting Scotland today, all Hollywood has to do is stick brave somewhere in the title, chuck in a kilt and audiences love it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that our filmmakers need to swap the needles in their films with broadswords once in a while. We have a rich heritage that is crying out for the big-screen treatment, so why not hire a few hundred kilts from a shop on the High Street and get out into the vast countryside for our very own Bravesomethingorother?

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Let’s start selling our country to the world rather than have them sell it back to us. At least then we won’t be able to complain that the accents aren’t quite right.

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