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Zombies, immortals and Bond in the spotlight for new Aberdeen film festival

Film festival Aberdeen
Dark Nights will light up winter evenings next month, say Dr Callum Waddell and Professor Pete Edwards of the University Of Aberdeen.

From zombie attacks to sword-fighting immortals – with a bit of Bond thrown in the mix – a new film festival is set to thrill Aberdeen audiences next month.

Dark Nights will see film industry experts share their insights and experience in a unique celebration of Scots and their stories on the silver screen, looking at films ranging from Zombie Flesh Eaters to Highlander as well as exploring Sean Connery’s 007 legacy.

Organised by Aberdeen University, it will be the first in a series of new festivals from the uni for 2022. The “UNI-versal” programme will see a raft of events focused on new ideas, Scottish heritage, culture and music throughout the year.

Sean Connery was for many the definitive James Bond.

Dark Nights, designed to showcase some of Scotland’s stories and links to film with a curious slant, will run on March 4 and 5, with a varied programme supported by writers, directors, editors and actors.

Connery’s ongoing legacy and lineage as 007 will be addressed by a panel of Bond franchise alumni including British film and television editor John Grover (Octopussy, The Living Daylights) and cinematographer Phil Méheux (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) in the panel Shaken Not Stirred – Bond: Past, Present and Future on March 4.

Focus on Sean Connery in Highlander

And Connery’s outing in the cult classic Highlander will also be discussed by author Jonathan Melville after a screening of the film on March 5. Jonathan penned a book covering the entire production history of the hit film.

Scottish actor Ian McCulloch will share his thoughts in a talk at King’s College on March 5 after a special screening of the seminal 1979 shocker ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’, in which he starred and which garnered controversy during the 1980s for its gory subject matter.

Sean Connery also starred in cult classic Highlander.

Dark Knights will also have a rich strand of discussions, screenings and panels highlighting diversity in the arts.

Dr Calum Waddell, lecturer at the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, said: “We have a stellar line up of guests attending with some big film industry names, especially those connected with the Bond event, sure to appeal to a wide audience of film fans.”

UNI-versal events will help north-east’s Covid recovery

The UNI-versal events are part of the university’s commitment to supporting the north-east’s recovery from the Covid pandemic, said Professor Peter Edwards, vice principal of regional engagement and regional recovery.

Film festival Aberdeen
Cinematographer Phil Méheux, who worked on Casino Royale, will take part in the Dark Nights festival.

He said: “UNI-Versal will provide a raft of exciting opportunities for audiences to explore a wide range of cultural topics throughout the year and the Dark Nights film festival is the perfect antidote to the long, dark evenings.

“We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to our campus or other city centre venues to enjoy the experience.”

Further events will be announced shortly. Details of the UNI-Versal series and the Dark Nights film festival programme can be found at the university website.

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