Eddie Izzard comedy-horror set in Highlands to open Edinburgh International Film Festival

Boyz in the Wood is the debut feature film from Edinburgh-born director Ninian Doff.
Boyz in the Wood is the debut feature film from Edinburgh-born director Ninian Doff.
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A new Scottish comedy-horror movie starring Eddie Izzard as a deranged Highlands huntsman is to open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Boyz in the Wood follows the events which unfold when four teenager trouble-makers find themselves on the run from Izzard's bloodthirsty character while they are on a Duke of Edinburgh Award course in the wilderness.

Newcomers Rian Gordon, Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja and Lewis Gribben play the four city-based boys being hunted down in the film, which its Edinburgh-born director Ninian Doff says was aimed at capturing "a very particular Scottish joy, madness and humour."

Leading Scottish actors Kate Dickie, James Cosmo and Kevin Guthrie are also in the film, which is billed as an "anarchic cocktail of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers, and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings."

Boyz in the Wood, which is set to a hip hop soundtrack, is the debut feature from Doff, who is best known previously for his music videos.

He first developed an interest in filmmaking when he was just 12 years old when he joined a group based at the Filmhouse cinema called Scottish Kids Are Making Movies, and was given a camera and a pass for the film festival.

First seen at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March, Boyz in the Wood will gets its European premiere when it opens the festival on 19 June.

Doff said: "It's hard to put into words what a huge honour it is for me to have Boyz in the Wood open the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

"It’s been an incredible journey for me and real tribute to the amazing start I got all those years ago at this very festival.

"I’m from Edinburgh and for my debut film I really wanted to make a film that captured a very particular Scottish joy, madness and humour; and that was also modern, political and forward looking. Everybody, both cast and crew, brought so much passion and energy to make this film and it’s going to be very special for it to have its European Premiere, not only in my hometown, but also at such an important festival."

Mark Adams, artistic director of the festival, said: "We are thrilled to be opening this year’s festival with this vibrant, energetic and wonderfully raucous new film that showcases a wide range of Scottish talent, from rising stars to established performers.

"Boyz in the Wood is a blast from start to finish and will start the festival perfectly."

The full line-up for this year's festival will be revealed on 29 May.