Sam Heughan, Peter Capaldi and Dougray Scott join campaign to save Edinburgh Filmhouse and film festival

Leading Scottish film and TV stars, including Sam Heughan and Peter Capaldi, have thrown their weight behind a campaign to save the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and the Filmhouse cinema in the capital.

Heughan, Capaldi, Dougray Scott and Jack Docherty have all offered their backing. The arts institutions closed suddenly last month with the loss of more than 100 jobs after their operator went into administration, citing a “perfect storm” of factors.

Efforts to secure the future of the Filmhouse and the EIFF were bolstered at the Bafta Scotland Awards in Glasgow on Sunday, where actor Jack Lowden led calls to support a crowdfunding campaign to secure their long-time home, which is up for sale.

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Heughan revealed he was interested in getting involved in a buy-out of the former church building. He said: “I was brought up in Edinburgh. As a teenager, I used to go to the Filmhouse a lot. I have a very personal relationship to the place.

Outlander star Sam Heughan is toasting more success after his hugely-popular whisky won another award.
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“I actually enquired about it myself after it went into administration. I thought it would be a good business prospect. It’s tough, it needs a whole group of people. It needs everyone in Scotland to get behind it, but I think they will. There is a great passion and a great love for it.

“Edinburgh is the capital city. It does need a strong independent cinema. I’m certainly willing to help in any way I can. It will probably take help from the government and a concerted effort from everyone.”

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Scot Squad star Docherty said: “I hope the Filmhouse can be saved and that someone can come in and turn it around. I grew up in Edinburgh and that is where I went every week. It would be a real shame if it was lost.”

Scott, named best TV actor for his role in the series Crime, said: “I was speaking to Screen Scotland the other day about the plans to rescue the festival and get it back up and running. It’s really important for Scotland because it is the oldest consecutive-running film festival in the world. I just hope and pray that it survives.”

42-year-old Outlander star Sam Heughan would be seen as a big name for the Rebus role. Born in Balmaclellan in Dumfries & Galloway, Heughan is a star of the stage, TV and movies, as well as a successful published author.

Capaldi said: “There’s a significant problem across the board. I think people have changed their habits. It’s a tragedy, really, because that experience of seeing films [in cinemas], particularly in an intimate and individual space, is very exciting and very attractive.

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“It’s so easy to access so much material at home now. But there are certain things that just don’t work as well as they do in a cinema, like horror movies and film noir. I went to see Moonage Daydream the other day and thought ‘I’ve got to see it in the cinema because I want the big full sound system and to be in front of a big screen’.”

Lowden said: “The Filmhouse needs saved, but it doesn’t have long. It’s been part of my life since I was a kid and I was living in Edinburgh until a couple of years ago.

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“It is the independent cinema in our capital city, which we profess to be this wonderful capital of the arts. It has a real pedigree as a place not just for people to go and enjoy film, but as a place for people to learn their craft.”

Peter Capaldi arrives at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Sam Heughan arrives at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Dougray Scott arrives at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Jack Docherty arrives at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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