A new Scottish feature film, billed as a reimagined Cinderella story, makes its debut on the STV Player this week.
Tuesday saw the nationwide premiere of Stella, ahead of its free release on the STV Player as well as screenings at selected cinemas and events across the country.
Writer and director Jessica Fox was joined by stars of the movie including Edinburgh’s Oli Fyne (who plays the titular role of Stella Deutch), Louis Hall (Will) and Fiona MacKinnon at The Dominion Cinema for the event.
The multi-award winning movie follows the story of a Jewish German refugee who finds herself working at a stately home belonging to aristocratic supporters of a fascist leader.
Fox, the grandchild of holocaust survivors, created the story as a retelling of early folk versions of Cinderella in which she was a young woman forced to flee the kingdom where she lived with just a trunk.
It was filmed at locations in and around Scotland’s National Book Town, Wigtown, in Dumfries and Galloway – where Fox lives – including at Galloway House, and will be shown at this year’s Wigtown Festival.
Fox said: “It’s a huge breakthrough to see Stella on screen in a Scottish cinema just as it becomes available to viewers all across the UK. A premiere at The Dominion Cinema is especially fitting as the business was founded in 1937 – the year the movie is set.
“As the granddaughter of people who had to flee their homes with only what they could carry, Stella is a tale that’s close to my heart.
“Given the number of people having to escape hatred and violence today – it’s also very much a story for now.”
Edinburgh actress Oli Fyne said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Stella not only coming to Scottish screens but premiering in one of my favourite cinema’s in my home town.
“I used to come to this cinema as a child and swoon over all the talented actors projected on its screen.
“To see our film here is amazing. It’s such an honour to have been a part of this project and I’m so proud of everyone involved for all their hard work and dedication.”
Fiona MacKinnon, known as the Voice of Scotland for her work on international promotions for VisitScotland and promoting shows like Take The High Road on STV Player, added: “This is Scottish independent film making at its best.
“Taking the great story that Jessica wrote and filming on location in Galloway felt very special for all of us.
“The wealth of Scottish cast and crew that came together to create this beautiful film, featured established and fresh talent, many of us with deep connections to Galloway. It’s fantastic to have STV Player make Stella available UK-wide. You’re in for a treat!”
Richard Williams, managing director of the STV Player, said: “We were hugely impressed by the rich storytelling in this independent film and it’s a pleasure to bring it to a wider audience.
“STV Player is the go-to, free streaming destination for top-quality drama from around the world, and Stella is an exciting addition to the many high-profile titles in our content library.
“As a Scotland-based service, we’re also delighted to be giving a platform to a homegrown production like this, and helping to shine a light on promising new Scottish talent – both in front and behind the camera.”
Stella is free on the STV Player – available on all major platforms across the UK – from Wednesday, June 7.