For the 13th year of our festival I decided we would take a look at people who are brave enough to move away from their comfort zones and embark on an adventure, whether that be by choice or circumstance.

We open the festival with the Scottish premiere of Brooklyn which sees Saoirse Ronan leaving her home in rural Ireland in the 1950s to begin a new life in America. Malala Yousafzai was forced to leave Pakistan after being the focus of a Taliban attack after speaking out about the right for young girls to be educated, her journey to Nobel laureate is told in He Named Me Malala. Viggo Mortensen plays a French teacher in Algeria during the revolution with France who is made to transport a Muslim prisoner across impossible terrain in the powerful Far From Men. In Pawn Sacrifice a troubled Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) takes on the might of both Cold War superpowers in order to challenge the best the Soviet Empire has to offer at chess, a wonderful analogy of the Cold War itself. There are many other human journeys in the festival too, I hope that you enjoy travelling with them.

Something a little different and a first for us is a screening that requires blindfolds and headphones. Carnival of Souls is an experimental horror 3D binaural audio experience which creates a sense of intimate proximity that immerses you in the drama. It was inspired by the experiences of blind cinemagoers and promises to be really interesting.

As always please remember to vote for our Audience Award. We don’t have juries or committees for our Award, the winner is completely up to you. Designed by Hebrides based artist Steve Dilworth, we take great pride in knowing that a little piece of our festival has taken up residence in all corners of the globe.

I hope that you enjoy the festival, and please do let me know what you think.

Paul MacDonald-Taylor, Festival Director