Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Robert Carlyle's directorial film to open film festival

The Legend of Barney Thomson Image copyright EIFF
Image caption The film stars Carlyle along with Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone

Movie star Robert Carlyle's directorial debut film is to open the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it has been announced.

The Legend of Barney Thomson will open the 69th year of the festival on Wednesday 17 June.

The film, which stars Carlyle alongside Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone, will receive its world premiere at the start of the 12-day festival.

Mark Adams, the new artistic director of EIFF, said he was "thrilled".

Tickets for the film's public screening at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre go on sale on Wednesday.

Black comedy

Starring alongside Carlyle, Thompson and Winstone are Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen, Martin Compston, Brian Pettifer, Kevin Guthrie, James Cosmo, Stephen McCole and Samuel Robertson, with a screenplay by Colin McLaren and Richard Cowan.

Mr Carlyle said: "After a career-long association with EIFF it gives me enormous pleasure to have The Legend of Barney Thomson chosen as opening night film.

"It really is such an honour for me to have my first feature as director premiered here in Edinburgh at the festival that has played such a huge part in my life."

Mr Adams said: "We are thrilled to be opening this year's festival with Robert Carlyle's wonderful black comedy.

"It is a marvellously macabre and playful film, impressively directed and with a terrific cast.

"It is the perfect film to kick off what promises to be an exciting festival."

Based on the book "The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson" by Douglas Lindsay, the film is a dark comedy that tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder.

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