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The Legend of Barney Thomson

Robert Carlyle’s feature directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson, will receive its world premiere on Wednesday 17 June 2015, as the opening night film of the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Based on the book by Douglas Lindsay, The Legend of Barney Thomson is a darkly-humourous, Glasgow-set thriller that tells the story of awkward barber Barney, who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder. Complicating matters, Barney’s mother has a secret of her own, setting off a bloody chain of events. While Barney tries to cover their tracks, local police inspector Holdall fights his own battles within his inept homicide department as he tries to solve the crime of the century. A black comedy of errors unfolds as the police try to capture the murderer at large.

The film stars director Carlyle as Barney Thomson, alongside Emma Thompson as his mother, Cemolina, and Ray Winstone as Inspector Holdall. The film’s cast also includes Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen, Martin Compston, Brian Pettifer, Kevin Guthrie, James Cosmo, Stephen McCole and Samuel Robertson. The film’s screenplay is by Colin McLaren and Richard Cowan.

An Honorary Patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Carlyle’s cinematic acting debut came in David Hayman’s Silent Scream, which won EIFF’s first Michael Powell Award in 1990. His first starring performance came the following year in Ken Loach’s Riff-Raff, shown at EIFF 1991. Carlyle has since remained a firm favorite with EIFF audiences, thanks to such films as Antonia Bird’s Priest (Michael Powell Award-winner at EIFF 1994) and Face (EIFF 1997), Peter Cattaneo’s The Full Monty (EIFF 1997), Shane Meadows’ Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (EIFF 2002), Randall Miller’s Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (EIFF 2005), Kenny Glenaan’s Summer (EIFF 2008) and, most recently, Marshall Lewy’s California Solo (EIFF 2012).

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