Three Lochs Festival

Starting next Thursday is the first Three Lochs Book and Arts Festival, here in Strontian.

It promises to be an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Anyone who thinks we're starved of culture out here in the sticks might be pleasantly surprised.

It's a three day festival, although looking at the programme (download) things really get going on the Friday night and Saturday.

The big name in the line-up is internationally acclaimed writer Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

I'm in there too on the Saturday morning, talking about shooting kayakers. However, my main contribution has been to secure the services of someone else.

Twenty-five years ago, I made friends with an American bloke I met in a pub in Langdale, in the English Lake District. Will and I became good friends, even before e-mail.

He stayed with me a few times and I spent two weeks driving around California with him and two crazy Italian girls, one of whom he married.

Back then Will wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life. He knows now. Will Geiger is a movie director in Hollywood. And a writer. How cool is that?

After film-school, his first feature length movie, written and directed, left the industry speechless in awe. I watched Ocean Tribe sat on his couch, in his house near LA, after I completed hiking the John Muir Trail.

The movie left me more exhausted than the 220 miles. It took me through the whole range of emotions, from flood so ftears to whooping with joy. (I had been in the US for 3 weeks so whooping seemed normal).

His second movie is, in some ways, even better. That's what we'll be showing at the Three Lochs Festival.

Elivs and Anabelle (trailers below) is a huge cult movie. Search for it on YouTube and you'll find kids around the world have made their own trailers with their own music.

It touched a chord. And it got Will noticed by the big studios. He co-wrote and directed Free Willy - Escape from Pirate's Cove (err, not my cup of Orca) and has written the new version of Black Beauty for Warner's. He draws a distinction between these films and those which are his 'babies'.

The screening of Elvis and Anabelle is a week tomorrow, Saturday 18th. Then the audience be able to question Will live via a Skype link-up projected on a big screen. I'll do my best to hold the whole thing together, which will be easy if the technology works.

So, the Highlands meets Hollywood. Should be fun.

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