Welcome to the first festival blog post! I'm Rachel Caplan, part of the volunteer-driven organising committee for the festival, and I'm delighted to introduce the Montrose LandxSea Film Fest. This event, borne out of passion, friendship, and a shared love of film and environment, has been a fantastic journey and I can’t wait to share our story with you.
The first seeds for this festival were sown back in 2012, when I had the pleasure of meeting Montrose-based filmmaker, Anthony Baxter. His compelling film You've Been Trumped premiered at the San Francisco Green Film Festival, which I was running, and also won the jury’s top award there that year. As a Scot, it was personally meaningful to bring the film to US audiences and host a discussion about this aggressive American business magnate's devastating impact on my beautiful homeland. Anthony's commitment to environmentally storytelling shone through in his successive works shown at the SF Festival — A Dangerous Game, You've Been Trumped Too, and an early cut of Flint. Each film became an anticipated part of our programme line-up, with American audiences eager for Anthony to return and inspire the conversations.
With filmmaker Anthony Baxter outside San Francisco's Roxie Theatre in 2019.
Our shared passion for the power of film as a catalyst for change led us to hatch a plan when I returned to Scotland in 2020. We dreamt of creating a space here for films and dialogues that would inform, inspire, and ignite positive change. When The Montrose Playhouse swung open its doors in 2021, propelled by the vision of its brilliant founder David Paton, we knew we’d found the perfect home for the festival. Montrose itself seemed to echo our festival's ethos - a culturally vibrant coastal town surrounded by stunning landscapes and a strong creative pulse.
As we chart the course of the Montrose LandxSea Film Fest, we aim to present the intertwined narratives of land and sea, showcasing a diverse tapestry of coastal cultures, not just from Scotland but from around the world.
Embarking on this journey with us, you'll encounter a treasure trove of films, each one reflecting the beauty, resilience, and challenges of our coastal environments. Stirring dialogues with filmmakers and changemakers will offer fresh perspectives and insights, and our line-up of social events and family-friendly activities promises to make this a fun weekend for everyone.
Enjoying a hardhat tour of The Montrose Playhouse during construction in summer 2021.
What thrills me most about this festival are the endless possibilities for you to get involved. As attendees, volunteers, or sponsors, your enthusiasm and dedication are the vital currents that will carry this festival forward. Let's come together to spotlight environmental cinema, celebrate our stunning coastal culture, and create ripples of impact that will spread far beyond our festival dates.
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Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey. We're counting down the days until we can welcome you to the inaugural Montrose LandxSea Film Fest.
Until our next update, remember - every wave starts with a single ripple.
I'm proud to support the excellent Montrose Playhouse!
Photo at top of St. Cyrus beach courtesy of Visit Scotland / Paul Tomkins.