Edinburgh, 18 June 2015 – EIFF Honorary Patron Robert Carlyle took to the red carpet at Festival Theatre Edinburgh last night as THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, Carlyle’s feature film directorial debut, opened this year’s 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).  Joining him on the red carpet from the film (in which he also stars) were fellow cast members Ashley Jensen, Kevin Guthrie, Brian Pettifer, Samuel Robertson, Tom Courtenay, James Cosmo, Martin Compston and Stephen McCole. Joining EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams at the World Premiere were Festival jurors Amy Berg (Director; International Juror), Archie Panjabi (Actor; International Juror), Kenneth Turan (Critic; Michael Powell Juror), Karen Gillan (Actor, Director; Michael Powell Juror), Ian Hart (Actor; Michael Powell Juror), Denis Lawson (Actor; Documentary Juror), Jo Hartley (Actor; Documentary Juror), Jacqueline Lyanga (AFI Festival Director; Documentary Juror), Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Director; Shorts Juror), Dolly Wells (Actor; Shorts Juror) and Jaime Winstone (Actor; Shorts Juror). Other guests in attendance were Sophie Kennedy Clark (The Marriage of Reason & Squalor) Shauna McDonald (Filth), Cal Macaninch (Banished), Ewen Bremner (Banished), Iain De Caestecker (Outlander; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander) and Sam Heughan (Outlander).

 Following the screening of Carlyle’s darkly humorous Glasgow-set thriller, during which the audience enjoyed ice cream provided by Graham’s The Family Dairy, guests partied the night away at The National Museum of Scotland, nibbling on ‘Party Time Must Have’ - irresistible Scottish sausage rolls & favourite brown sauce; ‘Glasgow Spice’ - vegetable pakora & blood red spicy onions and ‘Sticky Bun Night’ - Jimmy's Favourite’s boxed up sweets. Canapés were washed down with Coors Light (EIFF’s Official Beer Partner), from a special Coors Light bar, plus Grolsch, Blue Moon, Inverarity Morton speciality wines and award-winning Gordon Castle Gin.  A pop-up barber’s bar offering “Cut Throat Shaves” and “Wee Tidy Ups” provided by Ruffians ensured all gents were freshly groomed for the party and a photobooth, provided by EIFF Official Airline Partner American Airlines, enabled guests to capture their special night on film. As the party came to a close, guests were transported by EIFF’s Official Vehicle Partner, Peter Vardy.  Guest beauty and grooming was provided by Charlie Miller Hairdressing and the Lauren Gollan Academy of Make-Up Artistry.

 The evening marks the start of the 12 day Festival which will host 24 World Premieres in the Capital, as well as special events, screenings, live performances and much more. Highlights include EIFF Honorary Patron Seamus McGarvey who returns with his cinematography ‘In Conversation’ series with two-time Academy Award® winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler; LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT which will be introduced by Ewan McGregor and Director Rodrigo Garcia at Festival Theatre on Sunday; the European Premiere of BEREAVE starring Malcolm McDowell and Jane Seymour; the English-language version of UNDER MILK WOOD, a beautiful film adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ iconic classic starring Rhys Ifans and Charlotte Church; for families, the UK Premiere of Disney Pixar’s latest animation INSIDE OUT; the World Premiere of LEN AND COMPANY from Tim Godsall;  THE MARRIAGE OF REASON & SQUALOR starring Rhys Ifans and Sophie Kennedy Clark; powerful and moving romance SAND DOLLARS; MANSON FAMILY VACATION from director J. Davis; THE CIRCLE which screens as part of The Young and The Wild strand; POLSKA, music documentary following legendary musician Fish; family drama BLOOD CELLS; Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer’s real-life comedy DOLL & EM; brothers Paul and Ludwig Shammasian’s THE PYRAMID TEXTS starring James Cosmo;  actress Talulah Riley’s debut as writer/director, SCOTTISH MUSSEL, and Empire magazine’s world famous Podcast returns to the Festival with special guests.

 Based on the book “The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson” by Douglas Lindsay, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON is a dark comedy that tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences. Complicating matters further, Barney’s mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own, causing a bloody and comedic chain of events. While Barney clumsily tries to cover his and his mother’s tracks, the local police inspector Holdall (Winstone) fights his own battles within his inept homicide department as he tries to solve the crime of the century. A black comedy of errors unfolds as the police try to capture the murderer at large. The film will be released nationwide on 24 July 2015 through Icon Film Distribution.

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