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29/03/2004

25th Celtic Film Festival opens this week

Actors, film and programme makers, producers and animators from around the Celtic nations and regions are gathering in Dundee this week for the 25th Celtic Film and Television Festival.
The prestigious event celebrates the best in broadcasting from Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and Scotland and will open on Wednesday March 31 with a Scottish premiere of John Furse’s film ‘Blind Flight’, which depicts the relationship formed between hostages Brian Keenan and John McCarthy during their time in captivity in Lebanon. Keenan and Ian Hart, who plays him in the film, are expected to attend.
The rest of the week will feature a wide range of film screenings, seminars and award ceremonies including a gala screening of ‘Blinded’, starring Peter Mullan and the first public screening of ‘Children of the Rubble’, which is produced by actor David Hayman and retells his experiences of distributing £10,000 of aid money in war-torn Afghanistan.
The four-day festival will open with a civic reception hosted by Lord Provost John Letford at the City Chambers and the premiere of Blind Flight at Dundee Contemporary Arts in the evening. It will close with a gala ceilidh at the Apex Hotel on Saturday evening to celebrate the festival’s 25th birthday.
Around 500 delegates are expected to attend the festival, which is being held on the east coast of Scotland for the first time. Festival chief executive Frances Hendron said it promised to be an occasion to remember: “After all the months of hard work which go into staging the festival we are all very excited to see it coming to fruition. We are delighted to be here in the City of Discovery and we have been made to feel very welcome here which has been great.
“The festival has grown hugely in stature over the years and is now a fixture on the calendar for the movers and shakers of the broadcasting industry in the Celtic regions. There are all sorts of big names appearing and it looks like being one of our best festivals yet.”
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Rep and the Bonar Hall will be the venues for the festival. It is being chaired by broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and the judging panel will be chaired by fellow broadcaster Sheena McDonald.
The festival was secured for the city through a joint bid from the City of Discovery Campaign, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise Tayside and has received support from a range of local organisations including Tayscreen and Dundee & Tayside Chamber of Commerce and a number of private companies. It receives backing from the BBC, Scottish Screen and the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee.
For more information about the programme visit www.celticfilm.co.uk.
(GB)
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