Screen Machine’s 15th anniversary programme launched

A series of one-day film festivals, visits to new locations and an education pilot for rural schools are among the special events announced today to mark the 15th anniversary of Scotland’s only mobile cinema, Screen Machine.

Making a rare visit to Edinburgh, the 35 tonnes articulated lorry which houses a state-of-the-art cinema parked for one day only outside the Scottish Parliament. Children from the city’s Bruntsfield Primary School were welcomed aboard to enjoy a selection of specially curated short films.

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, joined them to celebrate the arrival of the 80-seat cinema, which tours remote and rural areas of Scotland, before helping to launch an extensive programme of events. These include:

  • Using Screen Machine as a venue, a pilot programme of Moving Image Education activity will be delivered to teachers and young people attending primary and secondary schools in communities around the Highlands and Islands.


  • A number of new venues will be visited, ensuring the tour visits 19 Scottish islands, including the Orkney isles of Sanday, Stronsay, Westray and Hoy, plus the isles of Eigg, Rum, Coll and Tiree.


  • Scottish crowdsourced documentary, We Are Northern Lights, will kick-off a season of specially-curated titles for 2013. At each of the five screenings, a Flip Video Camera will be distributed to members of the public to encourage a further round of video entries for those who have something to say about Scotland. July films will include upcoming documentary, Village at the End of the World and Irish drama, Good Vibrations.


  • This year will also see a number of Scottish shorts preceding feature films in many locations, including the Scottish Documentary Institute’s In Search of the Wallaby and Iain Gardner’s animated short, The Tannery.


  • A strand of archive film screenings will be introduced for 2013, including a chance for residents on the island of Sanday to watch a rare film shot by local school pupils in 1977.


  • Three one-day film festivals will take place during Summer 2013 in Fort William and on the islands of Mull and Arran. Each day will be devoted to special screenings and unique events events. A programme of events will be announced for the Western Isles in July.


  • Research will be carried out in association with University College London to aid their studies into filmgoing in the 1960s. Dr Matthew Jones will be travelling with Screen Machine later in year to meet with Highland audiences and add to their research.


Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “As a resident of Argyll and Bute, where communities are regularly visited by the Screen Machine, I am aware of the contribution that this service has made over the past 15 years in bringing people together to share in the enjoyment of watching a film and as a former projectionist in a mobile cinema I know how important film is.


“I’d like to congratulate Regional Screen Scotland on the outstanding success of the Screen Machine, this project makes a real difference to people in remote communities. The education pilot is a welcome addition to the cinema’s work and is a great resource for schools and teachers.”


David Hutchison, Chairman of Regional Screen Scotland, the development agency for cinema in Scotland which manages and runs Screen Machine, said: “For 15 years Screen Machine has been helping to ensure that the real cinema experience is available to everyone in Scotland, not only those living in the larger towns and cities. We are delighted to be able to bring the Screen Machine to new communities, to introduce new educational opportunities and to be able to show documentaries and independent films.”


Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, said: “Fifteen years after it first brought films on the big screen to rural communities across Scotland, Screen Machine remains an exciting initiative, and it is great to see this ambitious anniversary programme packed with fresh ideas.”


More information on the Screen Machine 15 programme can be found at



Notes to Editors:


  • Films screened for pupils were from Discovery Film Festival, Scotland’s International Film Festival for Young Audiences. Discovery is held every autumn at Dundee Contemporary Arts and at participating venues throughout Scotland.


  • Screen Machine is an 80-seat, air conditioned modern mobile cinema. It is equipped with state-of-the-art 3D digital projection and Dolby Digital surround sound.


  • Screen Machine visited 34 different communities in 2012/13, in Argyll and Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire, Moray and the Western Isles. It visits each community on average four times per year, stays for between one and four days, and screens at least two different films per visit.  Screen Machine also appears at selected film festivals.


  • Screen Machine is financially supported by Creative Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Screen Machine is sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland.


  • Screen Machine 15 has been made possible due to £41,625 of funding from Creative Scotland’s Public Engagement programme.


  • Screen Machine’s 15th anniversary activities are sponsored by Highland Fuels.





Jonathan Melville, Project Co-ordinator, Screen Machine 15

0771 258 2434

Fiona Fowler, Marketing Officer, Regional Screen Scotland

0773 003 4278

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