FOR its 11th year, Inverness Film Festival might just have its best line up yet.
The five day Inverness Courier sponsored festival returns to Eden Court theatre on Wednesday 6th November with a line up which ranges from Hollywood big names like George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Robert Redford to up and coming talent from Scotland and beyond and world cinema from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
It includes almost 20 Scottish film premieres and four films never previously screened to the UK public.
Eden Court film programmer Paul Taylor thinks Highland film fans have a very special festival to look forward to in the coming weeks.
"I really do believe it’s the best line-up yet, even better than 2007, my previous favourite," he stated.
The festival opens with gala night screening of science-fiction hit Gravity starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as a pair of astronauts marooned in orbit after an accident.
The film, which will also receive what is a relatively rare 3D screening at Eden Court, has already taken over $200 million around the globe even before its UK release and Inverness cinema goers will be the first in Scotland to see it on the big screen.
The closing night film on Sunday 10th November, Don Jon, also features Hollywood big names in Scarlett Johansson, Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who wrote, directed and stars in this drama about a womanising bartender with an addiction to pornography.
Veteran Robert Redford is tipped as a possible Oscar winner for his near silent role as a yachtsman adrift on the Indian Ocean in All Is Lost (Friday 8th November), while the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is marked by the drama Parkland (Thursday 7th November) with Zac Efron and Billy
Bob Thornton among those caught up in the events of that day in Dallas.
Beat writer Jack Kerouac features in two films, Kill You Darlings (Wednesday 6th November) with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe back behind glasses as poet Allen Ginsberg, and Big Sur (Friday 8th November), while Jude Law has piled on the pounds to play a newly released safe-cracker in London set Dom Hemingway (Wednesday 6th November).
Scottish films include the drama Blackbird (Saturday 9th November) with Gaelic comedian, actor and poet Norman MacLean as a tradition-bearer in a changing Scottish town, and Inverness-born Mark Bremner’s feature length tribute to Aberdeen in Beyond The Haar (Thursday 7th November) and the true story of a deaf factory worker’s cycle journey to the Arctic in Dummy Jim (Sunday 10th November).
In contrast to last year’s festival, which looked back at 100 years of cinema, the emphasis this year is on the present — although two documentaries pay tribute to veteran horror stars Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff.
"IFF 2013 is all about great new films and I’m delighted to have premieres from all around the world," Taylor said.
This includes a special focus on the Middle East with films from Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and even a modern day Western from Iraq.
"For me, this region has been consistently producing the best in new cinema over the festival’s lifetime," Taylor said.
Eden Court audiences will again have the opportunity to have their say on the best film of the festival with the IFF Audience Award.
Tickets go on sale today. For more details see www.invernessfilmfestival.com