A MAN who has been living in solitude in the Scottish Highlands returned to Glasgow for the first time in over 30 years to attend a premiere of a film about his life.

Ken Smith has spent the past four decades living in a log cabin nestled near Loch Treig in Lochaber. He lives off the land with no electricity or running water, and fishes for his supper, chops wood and even brews his own drink.

The choice of lifestyle has been the subject of documentary by director Lizzie MacKenzie who met Ken in 2012, and made its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival on Saturday evening. Ms MacKenzie met Ken in 2012, and formed a freindship with him and eventually convinced him to be the star of what would turn out to be called ‘The Hermit of Treig’.

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In a surprising turn of events, Ken ventured down from the highlands to attend the premiere in Glasgow in his first outing in the city for what he thinks is anywhere between 30-40 years.

In movie star fashion he posed on the red carpet with the director ahead of the film’s first outing.

When asked about the process of being filmed after living by himself for so long he said: “I had no problem at all with it.


“It was quite good really because we ended up doing some unusual things like hill climbing in the snow.”

"She [Lizzie] was filming on and off for about 2-3 years, so I can’t remember much really.

“The filming went on and on turned out better and better.

“I did feel a bit nervous, the last time I was in Glasgow was about 30 or 40 years ago and it has changed so much to what it used to be, and I don’t know any of the places but in the past I did.

“I’ve never seen so many people.”


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The documentary shows in depth, Ken’s way of life in the wild and how he copes with the solitude at an older age. It shows him through changing seasons and challenging health issues and showcases the strong friendship both Ken and Lizzie have formed in the process.

Lizzie was working in a café restaurant in the highlands when she first heard of Ken. She said the regular customers would tell stories about him, but then she got curious and went to meet him and ended up exchanging letters with the man for years before she pitched the idea of making a film to tell his story.

The Hermit of Trieg had its world premier at Glasgow Film Festival on Saturday evening, before it is released in cinemas across the UK on March 25.