Screenplay Film Festival 2019 programme launch

The programme for Screenplay, Shetland Arts’ annual film festival, has been launched! The festival, now in its 13th edition, will run from Friday 30 August - Sunday 8 September and promises 10 days of exciting, poignant, funny, action packed cinema experiences to be shared.

With former director, Kathy Hubbard stepping down after last year’s festival, there’s a new co-curator working alongside Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams. Shetland Arts’ Film Programme Manager, Jenny Leask already programmes the cinemas at Mareel year-round, and, as always, her mission is to include something for everyone.

“Taking on Screenplay has been a challenge but also very exciting and an absolute privilege. I’m thrilled to be involved in such a vibrant and successful festival, and look forward to sharing outstanding films from all over the world with our wonderful audiences.”

This year, as well as family films for all ages and the popular Look North strand, which showcases films from Nordic countries and the North in general, a Look South strand has been added, featuring four films from Australia and New Zealand. Also new to the festival is Women’s Work, a strand of films directed by women.

Jenny says: “We are proud that more than 50% of the feature films in this year’s programme are fully or co-directed by women.”

Two extremely talented female filmmakers will be attending the festival. Jeanie Finlay, who has been directing thoughtful and intimate documentaries since 2007, will attend with not one but two brand new films, Seahorse and Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, as well as one from earlier in her career, Sound It Out, which will be screened at The Bop Shop on Harbour Street. And Harry Wootliff will be here on the festival’s closing night with her nuanced and moving debut feature Only You, a romantic drama set in Glasgow.

Laia Costa looks out of a window

Actor and writer, Sanjeev Bhaskar, best known for hit BBC series, Goodness Gracious Me, is also making the trip north, to talk about his scene-stealing turn in the opening film Yesterday as well as his long career in television, film and theatre. And composer and multi-instrumentalist, David Allison will be providing live musical accompaniment to 1922 silent historical drama Rob Roy, a touring production from the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival in Bo’ness.

Home Made is, of course, back – a gloriously eclectic programme of sub-4-minute films made by local filmmakers, plus a bonus screening of Shetland actor, Marnie Baxter’s directorial debut, Bad Mother. There’ll be a look back at earlier filmmaking times with Made At Home, a selection of work from the Shetland Film Archive, programmed by Maya Darrell Hewins and screening for free in the auditorium at Mareel. And, to get audiences started on making their own contribution to next year’s festival, there will be two filmmaking workshops, one on documentary and the other on stop-motion animation.

This year also sees a new Screenplay Audience Award, with audiences being asked to rate the films they’re seeing, so look out for voting forms at screenings and a daily leader board in the foyer and on the Screenplay Facebook page!

Programmes are available at Mareel and in various outlets around Shetland, as well as accessed online at

Tickets are available at, over the phone on 01595 745500 or in person at Mareel. Tickets are available for individual screenings, or for £110, a Screencard gets you access to all the films you can handle! Screencard holders will get priority booking for all films until 10am on Friday 9 August when tickets will go on sale to the general public.

Notes to Editors

Shetland Arts is the leading arts agency in Shetland, delivering a year round programme of festivals, film, music, theatre, literature, craft, visual arts, dance, and comedy events to Shetland’s diverse population. Shetland Arts is supported by Creative Scotland and core funded by the Shetland Charitable Trust. Shetland Arts is a registered charity (SCO37082). Find out more at


For more information, please contact:

Jenny Leask, Film Programme Manager
Shetland Arts Development Agency
T: 01595 743843