THE new movie about Mary, Queen of Scots, is to have its Scottish premiere in Edinburgh tonight.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will hold a reception for the film makers and its stars at Edinburgh Castle, before the film is screened.

The movie, shot on a series of locations across Scotland, stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary, and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth in what the director of Screen Scotland said is an "illuminating portrait" of the famous Scottish queen.

Directed by Josie Rourke, the film also stars Jack Lowden, David Tennant, Martin Compston and James McArdle.

Locations used for the film include Strathdon, Glencoe, Glen Feshie, Blackness Castle and Seacliff, East Lothian.

Fiona Hyslop, the culture secretary, has already said she hopes the film will boost tourism to Scotland.

The film’s Scottish premiere follows Margot Robbie’s BAFTA nomination for the Best Supporting Actress in her role as Elizabeth I alongside Alexandra Byrne for Best Costume Design and Jenny Shircore for Best Make Up/Hair.


Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland said: "The Scottish premiere of Mary Queen of Scots provides another opportunity to showcase Scotland as a world-class location for productions.

"Securing film and TV productions offers significant benefits to the Scottish economy and job opportunities for our skilled crew.

"It’s good for tourism too as our stunning scenery features on screen.

"Through Screen Scotland, we are increasing support for the sector and seizing emerging opportunities to ensure the industry in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength."

There have been some significant moves in the Scottish movie world in recent months.

Screen Scotland, the new movie body, has backed a Leith warehouse as the location for a potential international film studio complex, a business proposition which is now open to tender.

This week, PSL Land Ltd unveiled a new location for its own, privately funded, film studio proposition, and lodged planning permission with Midlothian Council.

The Mary Queen of Scots film follows another major Scottish historical epic, Outlaw King, about Robert the Bruce, which was filmed in Scotland.

Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland said: “We warmly anticipate the premiere and release of Mary, Queen of Scots in its historic home territory.

"Josie Rourke’s illuminating portrait of Mary and the swirl of political forces that determined her fate is dramatically set off by Scotland’s spectacular locations, providing UK audiences with a richly rendered account of our shared history.”

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s history and culture is a huge driver for visitors from across the globe, with the life of Mary Queen of Scots a fascinating part of that.

“We’re excited to see Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie take on the iconic roles of Mary and Elizabeth in this latest big-screen interpretation of Mary Stuart’s life, especially as Scotland’s landscapes and built heritage appear on screen.

“With its mix of political intrigue and stunning imagery of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots could offer further inspiration for visitors to explore the country and the many real historical locations linked to the 16th century monarch.”