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Dunoon to host international film festival

THE glamour of the red carpet will be arriving in the Argyll town of Dunoon this summer.

The first international film festival to be based in the town on the Cowal peninsula will be staged in June. Its will focus on Scottish film-making past and present, neglected Scottish movie classics and "major Scottish film personalities".

This summer's event will be the newest film festival in Scotland, based in Dunoon's Burgh Hall from June 14 to 16.

Describing itself as a "three day kino-ceildh", the festival is being curated by Allan Hunter, a co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, and co-curated and produced by Matt Lloyd, director of Glasgow Short Film Festival and former producer of The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams for Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton.

Mr Hunter said: "It is a wonderful opportunity to create something completely fresh that can make its own distinctive contribution to Scotland's love affair with the movies."

This year's event will be preceded by a three-day summer school for emerging film-makers in association with Glasgow Short Film Festival. It will also feature a programme of activities for local schools and families.

The revival of Burgh Hall was inspired by leading Scottish architect John McAslan, who purchased the building for £1 in 2008.

Previous events at the building have included the National Galleries of Scotland's Artist Rooms show of works by Robert Mapplethorpe last spring.

Dunoon has some Hollywood connections of its own. Harvey Keitel's 1988 film, Down Where the Buffalo Go, was filmed in Dunoon and Greenock, while Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has a house near the town.

The Burgh Hall, built in the 1870s, was the centre of Dunoon's cultural life until it closed in the 1970s. It became derelict but the Friends of the Burgh Hall was formed in 2005 to save it.

The last US submarine to be based in Dunoon left Holy Loch in June 1992.

Full programme details are expected to be announced in mid-May.

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