Following its UK premiere at Glasgow Film Festival 2019, Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier Scotland-shot feature documentary, Of Fish and Foe will screen at cinemas across the UK.
The film - which strives to present a neutral picture of an incredibly controversial and divisive topic - follows the tense, real life skirmishes when a family of Scottish fishermen find themselves a target for activists, conservationists, anglers and river owners.
The Pullar family from Angus have been fishing for salmon along the North and East coasts of Scotland for generations. However, animal and conservation activists have declared war on the fishermen because they shoot seals if they steal salmon from their nets.
The river owners and the anglers have also joined the fracas because they want the net fisherman out of the way, so that more valuable salmon will come up their rivers, offering a prize haul to those wealthy sportsmen able to pay thousands for the privilege.
“We are one of the most hated families in Scotland”, says John Pullar.
“How would you like to be constantly followed by masked activists, filming your every move although you're doing nothing wrong?” adds his brother, Kevin.
The film is told over a single summer in a tense ninety minutes of confrontation as the family tries to hold out against impossible odds.
“We had always found the traditional way of net fishing for salmon very beautiful, but we also knew it was very controversial”, say Fife-based co-directors, Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier, whose previous feature documentary, The Moo Man followed a maverick organic dairy farmer.
“In 2015, the last of Scotland's remaining salmon fishermen were coming under attack from all sides, including from direct action environmental groups. We questioned how much longer this way of life could survive. But we also wondered if the fishermen were really were as bad as their enemies made out. Things didn't make sense and so we decided to find out more.
"What happened next came as a total surprise, and little did we realise it would be the final season for a tradition going back to the Vikings.
"We want audiences to approach the film with an open mind. We hope the film shows how things are often not that black and white. Environment, conservation, traditions and cultures are all intertwined but when they collide it can and did get messy. And did the right one win? That's for the audience to decide.”
Of Fish and Foe’s cinema tour is supported by Screen Scotland’s Distribution and Exhibition Fund.
- Glasgow Film Theatre | Preview with director Q&A | 10 July, then screening from 26 July
- Doc House London | Preview with director Q&A | 18 July
- ICA London | Preview with director Q&A | 20 July, then screening from 26 July
- Belmont Aberdeen | Screening | 26 July, then with director Q&A on 27 July
- Curzon Soho | Screening with director Q&A | 31 July
- Curzon Oxford | Screening with director Q&A | 1 August
- SEALL Festival Skye | Screening with director Q&A | 10 August
- The Hebrides International Film Festival | Screenings 12-14 August
- HOME Manchester | Screening | 16 August
- The Dukes Lancaster | Screening with director Q&A | 19 August
More screenings to follow.
For interviews, screeners, and images, please contact:
Ruth Marsh | 07824468396 | firstname.lastname@example.org