Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews line-up revealed | Entertainment

Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews line-up revealed | Entertainment
Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews line-up revealed 

The Sands: The International Film Festival of St Andrews has revealed the films that will take center stage from 25-27 March 2022

With a focus on new filmmakers and highlighting undiscovered talent, the new International Film Festival based in St Andrews has unveiled its first line-up.

Highlights include a documentary by the Leith-based duo about comic books, and Alan Cumming’s surprising retelling of an infamous Scottish true crime story.

Filmmakers from around the world will gather in Fife Town for a number of events held at the festival hub, the Byre Theatre.

The opening line-up consists of nine fiction and non-fiction feature films – including a special mystery film that has yet to be announced.

Organizers say Sands is dedicated to championing filmmakers early in their careers, showing several films as feature debuts for their respective directors.

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Leith-based filmmaking duo, Will Hewitt and Austen McCowan, who have received Scottish BAFTAs for their short films, present Long Live My Happy Head, a documentary love story about comic books and cancer that takes place over long distances.  Follows the couple as they navigate one of the toughest challenges of their lives during a COVID lockdown.

Jono McLeod’s documentary, My Old School, starring national treasure Alan Cumming, follows the jaw-dropping true story of Scotland’s most notorious fraudster and McLeod’s former classmate.

Blarta Basholi’s feature debut and breakout hit at Sundance, Hive, is inspired by the true story of a Kosovan woman’s determination in the face of patriarchal oppression and family tragedy.

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Alongside the film program will be a talk session with filmmaker Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame, The Gray Man), who will talk about his career, his love of St Andrews and how to encourage the next generation of filmmakers.

Festival director Ania Trzebietoska said: “I am absolutely delighted to finally reveal the schedule of Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews for the first time.

“Over the past two years, we have been reminded what a privilege it is to experience mass cinema, and it can often be taken lightly, so I am extremely excited that we will be able to share these 9 great films with the audience.

“The process was not without its challenges, but we are proud to have a program that not only reflects the diversity of films out there, but showcases the quality of work that results from the inclusion of new voices.

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“If audiences enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoy making it, I’m sure we’ll be in for a great celebration.”

Also in the line-up is Amalia Ullman’s El Planeta, which centers on a mother and daughter making their way to luxury in post-crisis Spain.

Nana Mensa writes, directs, and stars in the dark comedy Queen of Glory, a love letter to the Ghanian-American community of the Bronx that won her the Best New Narrative Director award at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Jessica Kingdon’s now Oscar-nominated documentary Ascension, a dissection of the “Sugar Dream”, also won “Best”.

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“Documentary and Jessica was named “Best New Documentary Filmmaker” in Tribeca.

The program also includes works established by filmmakers in their careers;  Christopher Makoto Yogi’s I Was A Simple Man, and Diego Ongaro’s Down with the King.

Further details of screenings and programs will be released in the coming weeks.

Source: Scott McCartney, The Scotsman, Direct News 99

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