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Hebrides International Film Festival returns to celebrate global cinema

Hebrides International Film Festival will return later this month.

Now in its seventh year, Hebrides International Film Festival (HIFF) is set to bring a celebration of independent global cinema to venues across the Outer Hebrides.

From July 19 to 24, 43 films from 16 countries will be shown in 10 venues along the chain of islands from the Port of Ness on the Isle of Lewis to Castlebay on the Isle of Barra.

The festival will screen UK premieres of the multi-award-winning Haida Modern (Canada) and Manry at Sea (USA), and screenings of Iorram (Scotland) – the first feature-length documentary for cinema presented entirely in Scottish Gaelic.

The programme also brings climate change film Ice on Fire – produced and directed by Leonardo DiCaprio – to Hebridean audiences.

Hebrides International Film Festival focuses on environmental issues

In this iteration, HIFF continues its central themes of environmentalism and the fight for survival of island communities and cultures around the world.

This year’s film programme has four strands – feature documentaries, drama features, children’s features and a strand for new short films. All films have been produced within the last three years, highlighting contemporary struggles with the impact of climate change and how island communities, in particular, are fighting back.

With last year’s event cancelled due to Covid-19, this year’s festival will go ahead in a “sense of a celebration of the resilience of island communities in the face of adversity” and for the first time, HIFF will have an outdoor screening programme.

HIFF highlights positive solutions

Festival producer Muriel Ann Macleod said: “HIFF’s programme this year highlights how many communities are adapting and making change to try to reduce their carbon footprint and to preserve the planet. Many contemporary filmmakers are focusing on positive solutions and on the practical changes we can make rather than just telling us about the problems.

Hebrides International Film Festival
Still from In Times of Rain to be screened at Hebrides International Film Festival.

“The amazing dramas featured in the programme connect us with communities across the globe. The human issues in Fire Will Come or Losing Alaska are not so different from Island life where many communities and local people are living in areas where the global climate crisis is making a much greater impact.”

This year’s programme also features online film masterclasses from Kenneth Sorrento, The Fight for Greenland’s director, and Rick Rosenthal, director of Whale Wisdom.

Check out the festival’s full programme here.

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