Scottish Hollywood star Karen Gillan is set to appear at the third instalment of the Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews this month.

The actress and filmmaker, who hails from Inverness, is to take part in a talk that takes a deep dive into her career in front of and behind the camera.

Gillan first shot to international fame after playing the role of Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and went on to became a major character in the Russo Brothers 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Avengers: Endgame'. She has also starred in the blockbuster Jumanji reboots with Dwayne Johnson.

Sands will also screen two of Gillan’s short films: Conventional, her writing and directorial debut, and her 2020 short horror film ‘The Hoarding’.

Gillan’s Q&A will be moderated by actor, playwright and director Adura Onashile.

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The festival was originally spearheaded by the Russo brother’s independent studio AGBO when it launched in 2022. The studio boasts a wealth of productions including the Academy Award-Winning Best Picture film 'Everything Everywhere All At Once', Netflix’s 'Extraction 2', 'The Gray Man' and Amazon thriller series 'Citadel'.

Now as Sands enters a third year on the Scottish coast another jam-packed line-up has been announced.

Festival Director Ania Trzebiatowska said: “I’m excited to share the line-up of the 3rd edition of Sands. The curatorial process is unique, involving university students with a keen interest in film and, together, we select films we are passionate about sharing with our communities.

“This year, we will showcase some extraordinary films and talent from around the world, and I cannot wait for our audiences to have the opportunity to discover those, as well as take part in some very special panel and Q&A opportunities with some of the world's greatest auteurs and filmmakers.”

Running from 19-21 April, Sands will open with a double bill on the Friday with British writer and director Naqqash Kahlid’s debut feature ‘In Camera’, and a short film by Harry Holland; brother of Spider-Man actor Tom Holland who also stars in the film titled ‘Last Call’.

‘In Camera' tells the story of a modern youth in a state of perpetual transformation while battling anxiety. The Holland brothers ‘Last Call’ will show the "heartbreaking" tale of Kate, a desperate mother who is trying to reconnect with her estranged son.

Both filmmakers will be in attendance to introduce the screenings for the crowd.

This year’s family film will be a screening of Oscar nominated animation 'Wolfwalkers', the third and final instalment of Tomm Moore’s Irish Folklore trilogy.

The new additions to the 2024 programme join the headline event of Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh's special conversation with the Russo brothers hosted by Deadline's co-editor in chief, Mike Fleming Jr.

However the three-day film festival isn’t just for those who enjoy witnessing magic unfold on the big screen. The programme also gives enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers the chance to take a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes of a film festival and how to develop the necessary skills to get involved in the industry.

'The Art of Curation' will show the work of a film curator and ask pertinent questions for the modern-day curator including the role of human taste in the digital age. The talk will include Dublin Film Festival’s Grainne Humphreys and Curator in Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film, Josh Seigel.

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Also included on the line-up is ‘On Documentary’ a discussion between some of the industry’s top producers interrogating the idea that we are witnessing a golden age for documentaries.

Other films screening at this year’s festival include ‘Sometimes I think about Dying’ starring Daisy Ridley, showing on Saturday 20 April, and ‘Mami Wata’ from award-winning director C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi. The full festival programme can be viewed on the Sands website.

The festival will close with Maggie Contreras’ debut feature documentary ‘Maestra’ in which five remarkable female conductors from across the globe prepare for and compete in La Maestra – the world's only competition for female conductors. Organisers say ‘Maestra’ is a celebration of talent, artistic passion and resilience. 

Bosses say they are wanting to make the festival as accessible as possible on a physical, social and financial level.  They’re including live captioning of all speaker events, and on-screen subtitles and audio description of films where available.

A large print version of the programme is available and the organisers are creating a quieter space for people who experience overwhelming. In addition, the Pay What You Can pricing model and a selection of free, ticketed events will be available.

You can purchase tickets HERE.