It’s now approaching the 3rd event of the Loch Ness Film Festival and it seems roughly around 20 lifetimes ago since the first one kicked off back in 2010. Hopefully all involved in running the festival have learned a bit and every year it’s back to the firing line. Running an independent festival is a bit like being on the apprentice, new developments turn out of the blue and plans change from week to week and new ideas and people seem to pop up from nowhere.

After last year we enjoyed the comedy block of short films mostly by talented Scottish filmmakers and are going for a theme of comedy at this years festival. There isn’t a better feeling watching a film by hearing people laughing and seeing them smiling before, during and after the screenings. Comedy in all forms either being played dumb or intelligently cheers up the soul so we looked for feature films in Scotland that played to those strengths and we always go out to put on a bit of Highland hospitality and get the banter going before and after the screenings to make everyone feel more comfortable.

We were lucky in that we came across 2 Scottish independent features with one from Graham Hughes from central Scotland called the Big Slick and another belter from David Ryan Keith from Aberdeen called Attack of the Herbals. We are screening both of those films back to back at a new venue we will be using called the Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge, and we hope most of the foreign souls residing over the weekend at the lodge who will attend will be able to understand the Scottish accents and slang on offer on the Friday night of the festival and hopefully they don’t look confused and ask for subtitles!

After picking our Friday night double bill we then looked for a feature film to screen on the Saturday Night that would appeal to everyone from locals to tourists and went for one of the very first Scottish comedy films that still stands up as a classic today in Whisky Galore. So overall we have a feature set in the highlands, a feature set in the central belt and one in the north east.

To round off our Scottish feature list we found an action revenge thriller set in the North East entitled the Suppressor by Ara Paiaya to be screened on the Sunday afternoon. When we first watched the film we were surprised how good the action scenes were executed and have never seen anyone submit an action film to the festival, which we like features to be entertaining, funny or dramatic and a bit different to what you would usually get on your normal Cinema listings.

And now with the short films being decided at the end of April all that’s left is to get the show on the road again and deal with the usual questions about the monster? And yes I have seen it and she enjoys a wee dram at the Drumnadrochit Hotel on a Sunday afternoon, and if you have been or fancy coming to Loch Ness you’ll agree you won’t get a film festival with better scenery, just don’t blame the weather on us.

So the final line up at the festival being a Scottish comedy double bill starting May 25th at the Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge in Lewiston kicking off at 7pm with the Big Slick and followed at 9pm by the Attack of the Herbals.

Saturday is our full day of jam packedness (not even a word) and everything is screened at the Craigmonie Centre in Drumnadrochit with the short film blocks from 12-2pm and 3-5pm and then grab some fish and chips and rest before Whisky Galore at 8pm.

Our Sunday starts off at the Craigmonie Centre in Drumnadrochit from 12-2pm with a short film block and then we head off the real countryside about as rural as you can get for a film festival with the venue being the Abriachan Hall with a barbeque from 3-4pm (sunshine please mr weatherman) and then the last film the Suppressor from 4-5.30pm and then it’s the festival over for another year until 2013 before I get asked the usual question and yes I have seen Nessie, she frequents in the Clansman Hotel for Sunday breakfast.

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