THE first movie shot entirely in Caithness in more than 70 years is to make its premiere at one of the world’s top horror film festivals.

Two brothers have finally put the Far North county on the movie map and produced, written and directed the horror feature set in Freswick Castle near Wick – which they grew up in.

The last time there were any big screen shots of Caithness was in 1947 when the harbour scenes of Latheronwheel featured in Neil Gunn’s The Silver Darlings.

But now brothers Fionn and Toby Watts have made Playhouse – the first film to be filmed entirely on location in the area.

They sought £8,900 to finish it and launched a crowdfunder last year that passed £9,400 from more than 110 backers when it ended. The extra cash went on more special effects.

Playhouse has now been selected for Frightfest on August 29.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have made the official selection for this most prestigious festival and can’t wait for fans to experience our debut feature film,” said the brothers.

The movie was filmed at Freswick Castle, which is the home of their writer father Murray Watts, whose own work in TV, radio, film and theatre has won awards and received critical acclaim – including The Dream, starring Jeremy Irons and the feature film The Miracle Maker.

Playhouse is a supernatural thriller about an irreverent writer caught between his ambition to create a scary new play and the damaging effect his work is having on his relationship with his only daughter.

It stars Thurso-born Helen Mackay, who played the role of Jenny. Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama and Music she has starred in numerous high profile theatre and television productions, including Rab C Nesbitt and DCI Banks.

The male lead is taken by William J Holstead. Nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award in 2017, he has received critical acclaim for his roles in recent theatre production The Trial.

Toby Watts said: “Making a feature film in Caithness means so much to us. It’s not just about us and our careers, we want Caithness people to be proud of this film, proud of their county, their locations and their history that are all such rich territory for stories and art. We hope this film will inspire others, and all going well, we’d love to come back and make another film soon too.”

The team have been in discussion with a big UK cinema chain about a potential release.