A BASQUE film is to open the 5th Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival.

The festival runs from October 4 to 20 and opens with Giant, directed by directed by Jon Garano and Aitor Arregi.

A period drama, based on a true story, it has been awarded 10 Goya Awards, Spain's national film awards.

Jon Garano will present his film on the first night.

The festival also includes the Scottish premiere of Hopelessly Devout, directed by Marta Díaz de López, and Verónica, directed by Paco Plaza.

The festival is to present a total of 15 feature films and 7 short films in Spanish.

As well as Basque cinema, there will be screenings of The Bastards Fig Tree, Black is Beltza, and Militiawomen, all movies from Catalonia.

The festival also features Latin American films with screenings in Scotland including Help Me To Make It Through The Night and A Fantastic Woman.

Marian A. Aréchaga, curator and director of the festival, said: "The main objective of the festival is to support Spanish cinema, and to use film as a vehicle to promote the Spanish language and culture to a wider audience."

October 5 will be a day dedicated to Spanish food and coooking.

This year it features Andalusian cuisine, and a show, 'The Art of Believing' performed by the Daniel Martinez Flamenco company at Potterrow, Bristo Square.


THE NAIRN book and arts festival begins today.

The festival, which lasts until 16 September, features TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, the National Theatre of Scotland, Canadian country singer Tia McGraff, The Blueswater, poet, author and founder of Dogstar Theatre, Hamish MacDonald, award-winning poet Em Strang, and authors Andrew Greig, Mick Herron and Gavin Francis.

The historian, broadcaster and poet Dr Richard Barnett will explore the illustration of disease, and there is an exploration of Eight Centuries of Healthcare in the Highlands.

This year’s Nairn Open Exhibition theme, Darkness and Light, was inspired by David Thomson’s autobiographical tale, in which the author spends time recuperating in Nairn.

The National Theatre of Scotland returns to the festival, with the play Eve.

The poetry line-up will see Em Strang reading from Bird Woman, shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prize.

She will be joined by Highland poet Hamish MacDonald, who was the first Scots Scriever, Whitbread Award-winning poet Diana Hendry.

Hamish MacDonald will be the Festival's roving poet,

Nairn Museum will show work by local artists.

There will be a Festival Club with live music at the Bandstand Bar.


ANTHONY Bowers, the Lanarkshire-based actor and singer, launches a new series of jazz and blues concerts in Biggar when he appears with award-winning pianist Euan Stevenson’s trio at the South Lanarkshire town’s Corn Exchange on September 28.

Bowers, who trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has played three different characters in Coronation Street, has worked in theatre, television and radio since graduating in 2003 and has also appeared in the BBC legal drama Garrow’s Law and the Scottish sit-com Happy Holidays.

As a singer, he has worked with musicians including leading London-based pianist David Newton and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski.

Bowers will be singing selections from the Great American Songbook in the first of the Corn Exchange concerts which also feature the award-winning young Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio on Saturday, November 10.

Further concerts in the series are expected to be announced soon.