Highlands & Islands

Scriptwriter's mum too scared to watch Antarctic horror

Dr Matt Edwards
Image caption Dr Matt Edwards works as an emergency physician in London

A physician who wrote the script for the first fictional film to be shot entirely in Antarctica said his make-up artist mother refuses to watch it.

Dr Matt Edwards' screenplay for horror South of Sanity was inspired by stories of night watches Antarctic staff carry out alone during the long winters.

The Londoner also created the make-up for the feature.

Shot by Aviemore-based Kirk Watson, the film's cast and crew were all British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff.

A premiere for South of Sanity is being held at the Spey Valley Cinema in Aviemore later.

Dr Edwards, who was brought up in New Malden and is a paediatric emergency physician at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, has flown north for the screening.

Rated 18 by the British Board of Film Classification, the movie follows 14 staff at an Antarctic station as they are stalked by a killer.

Image caption British Antarctic Survey staff took up the roles as crew and actors in the film

The film started out as a project for 21 BAS personnel and contractors to help occupy their free time during the winter when the continent is locked in darkness and freezing conditions.

It was shot by Mr Watson, a climber and documentary film-maker originally from Torphins in Aberdeenshire.

Dr Edwards, who was medical officer for BAS at the time it was shot two years ago, had planned to spend his time writing scientific research papers for medical journals.

He said: "Instead I wrote the script for the film. I love horror films, but other ideas came from discussions about the night watches staff have to do when everyone else at a base is asleep.

"Some of the buildings that are checked are pretty old and creaky and there is usually the wind howling outside."

Dr Edwards' mother, freelance make-up artist Anne Edwards, supplied him with recipes for making fake blood and gore.

He said: "Back in the day she worked for the BBC on Doctor Who. But she refuses to watch South of Sanity, I don't think she likes the idea that her son has written a horror film.

"I also did some paintings of penguins while I was out there. She likes those."

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