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Denis Lawson backs new online Strathearn arts festival as Crieff cinema funding announced

Crieff actor Denis Lawson has thrown his support behind the SOFA project to be run by Strathearn Artspace.
Crieff actor Denis Lawson has thrown his support behind the SOFA project to be run by Strathearn Artspace.

Star Wars hero Denis Lawson has thrown his support behind a new virtual arts festival in Crieff aimed at supporting local talent and aspiring performers.

The actor announced in an online video that he would be supporting the Strathearn Online Festival of the Arts (SOFA), which will be held from July 17 to 19.

Hosted by Strathearn Artspace, it will bring together local arts groups to stage a weekend of donation-funded digitally-streamed performances, workshops and talks.

Organisers will share the proceeds with the LOGOS Youth Project, which provides opportunities for young people in and around Crieff who are interested in developing their artistic and musical talents.

Crieff-born actor Mr Lawson, who also starred in Local Hero and TV drama New Tricks, said: “I want to throw my support behind this terrific initiative.

“We all know how difficult things are at the moment in many walks of life, none more so than in the arts themselves – for musicians, actors, performers backstage staff, stage crew and front of house.

“Any donations you can make, however modest, will be gratefully received to help support local performers in the Strathearn area.”

Strathearn Artspace received another boost to the spirits this week with the announcement of a sizeable grant towards the cost of expanding its cinema.

The £24,500 will help pay for new equipment so it can put on a broader programme of screenings to reach a wider, more diverse audience.

Forgandenny Village Hall also received £925 to help it purchase new equipment to host accessible community cinemas. The New Picture House in St Andrews has been awarded £25,000 and the DCA in Dundee £21,000.

The groups are among 24 Scottish projects to have received support from the National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Cinema Equipment Fund.

Trustee Ray McMaster said: “Not only will our existing audiences benefit from better image quality when they enjoy films at Strathearn Arts, we will now be able to offer additional, live-screening events from all over the world which will allow us to appeal to wider and more diverse audiences.

“This equipment gives a host of options for us to significantly expand our cinema offerings and we will look forward to hearing suggestions and ideas from our audiences and other local groups as to how best we can use this for the enjoyment of everyone within our community.”

Forgandenny Village Hall already ran monthly community cinema screenings and intends to install an audio induction loop for people with hearing impairments.

 

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