Film based on novel by John MacKay to debut at festival

The Road Dance, based on the novel by the STV presenter, will premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

A film based on a novel written by STV News presenter John MacKay is set to premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Road Dance follows a tragedy which befalls a woman and her newborn baby, set amid the outbreak of WWI in the Western Isles.

Based on a true story, John says he was inspired to write the novel after being told the tale by a family member years ago.

“I’d always had this ambition to write a novel and I thought, if you’re going to write a book, this is the story to write about and that’s what happened,” he said. 

Twenty years on, the novel has made the leap from page to screen and will debut at the Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh on Wednesday. 

Filming took place on the Isle of Lewis, with John and his sons enjoying cameos in the movie. 

“I play crofter number four at the back of the road dance,” laughs John.

“Just a guy drinking at a ceilidh, I’ve practiced for it for a long time.

“[My sons] enjoyed it as well. they were there for a couple of days.”

Hermione Corfield, who has appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, stars as main character Kirsty while Scottish actress Morven Christie plays her mother Mairi.

Dr Who writer and Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss also stars in the film as Doctor Maclean.

“I was immediately captured by the story, I fell in love with it,” Hermione said. 

“I fell in love with Kirsty and there was a huge sense of responsibility for playing her because it is a true story and such a special and heartbreaking story.”

Shot during the coronavirus pandemic, the actors enjoyed typical Scottish weather during filming.

“We had rain, we had sun, we had gale force winds but it kind of adds to the atmosphere of the film and it makes it even more wild and special and beautiful,” Hermione said.

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