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Cinematic snapshot of real life Scots to premiere

IT could be the most extensive documentary yet made about modern Scotland.

cutting EDGE: We are Northern Lights footage.
cutting EDGE: We are Northern Lights footage.

With its one-and-a-half hour running time chosen from 300 hours of footage supplied by the public, We Are Northern Lights is to be premiered this Saturday at the Glasgow Film Festival.

The first "crowd sourced" documentary film in Scotland, its director Nick Higgins and editor Colin Monie have pieced the picture of contemporary Scotland together from 14,000 clips, from more than 1500 contributors.

The film, which features footage from more than 100 contributors, is a kaleidoscopic depiction of lives and views of Scotland, ranging from T in the Park footage to the testimony of recovering alcoholics, the life of drug addicts, real life love stories, campaigners and travellers, from dogs swimming in the sea to dramatic aerial photography.

Mr Higgins said the film, the result of a six-month edit, is a complex answer to the question of "what is modern Scotland?" and added: "I think it shows there is not one easy answer to that question, and here we have 121 different answers. It also says there is no stereotype of what modern Scotland is. I think watching the film, and it is a film not a YouTube mash-up, is an emotional experience but not a jingoisitc or nationalistic one."

After this weekend's premiere it will tour Scotland. Creative Scotland gave it a £250,000 grant.

One of the film's contributors, Mike Donald, shows him weaving Tweed in Harris. He said: "The batteries kept running out so I probably only sent them five minutes of material but was very happy to hear their editing team managed to salvage something and it would be included in the final film."

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