The Courier

Reel rolls on first-ever Mearns Film Festival

The team behind Mearns Community Cinema.

The first Mearns Film Festival started last night with a special screening of Greyfriars Bobby.

A Scottish theme has been chosen for the festival, organised by the Mearns Community Cinema group which is run by volunteers from Laurencekirk and the surrounding areas.

The festival will also include screenings of Sunshine On Leith, Brave and Filth and chairman Jamie Leigh said they hope it will become an annual event.

He said: “We wanted to do a relatively small festival to begin with, just so we could fathom the level of interest.

“Even though the excitement within the group for a film festival was abundant, we weren’t completely sure of how the local community would respond to the idea.

“If it is something that we find the community enjoy and want more of we would certainly plan to make it a regular occurrence and look to increase the scale in future.

“We would also love to welcome those from further afield this year or in the future to take part in the Mearns Community Cinema experience.

“One thing we have found challenging, as I’m sure many new community groups or local businesses also have, is reaching more and more people in the local community.

“We work tirelessly to distribute posters and flyers, promote events online and tell anyone who will listen about our showings.

“But sometimes we get feedback from people that they have only recently discovered us.

“Obviously it does feel like word about the group is gradually spreading but hopefully something like a film festival will help to accelerate that.”

Mr Leigh said they will be making plans after the festival for the showings for the remainder of 2018 – including Halloween and Christmas events.

“For next year and beyond though, we would aim to continue our monthly showings, and perhaps increase the frequency of these, whilst still striving to ensure that people enjoy a friendly and high quality experience whenever they come along to a Mearns Community Cinema event,” he said.

“We would also want to further encourage feedback from our audience to make sure that we are meeting their cinematic needs.

“We also of course want to further develop the group and what we can offer to the local and wider communities – more diverse styles of film, new elements to showings by way of, for example, partnerships with local businesses.”