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With Hold Back The Night, Edinburgh born, bred and trained actor STUART SINCLAIR BLYTH is about to be seen in his hometown in his first big screen starring role. Words: Miles Fielder

Way back in May. Stuart Sinclair Blyth stripped his shirt off by a hotel rooftop swimming pool in Cannes. It was a scorching hot day and Blyth was promoting his film debut. Hold Back Tire Night. at road movie romance partly filmed in the Scottish Highlands.

‘lt blew me away a wee bit. seeing my two movies that I'd never seen before. there in Cannes.‘ reca s Blyth. (The other film is Accelerator. about lrish joyriders.) ‘I thought. “What am I doing here'.’ What exactly has happened?”

Before Hold Back The Night happened. you may

have caught Blyth in The Debt Collector. Taggart. or

on stage with the Raindog theatre company. Accelerator has yet to be screened in Scotland. but in the pipeline is a new television drama. Tinsel Town. and coming soon is Mist Gate. at film for the new Loch Lomond lMAX facility. Taking matters literally into his own hands. Blyth has also been working away on a script with fellow actor Stephen McCole called Supply And Demand (formerly The Pact). ‘lt‘s a fictional version of King Of The (ivps‘iesf explains Blyth. 'There‘s plenty of bare knuckle lighting in it. but we got the idea two years ago. before Fight Club. I would like to try and do something that's not really

'I liked the empathy and the heart that Declan has - he's lovely.’ Stuart Sinclair Blyth

been done. l would like to get lots of actors to improv dialogue. I‘ve done it before with Raindog and I really like that way of working.’

Does Blyth have any ambition to direct‘.’ ‘I would try and produce a piece of work that I wanted to do as an actor.‘ he says. ‘but I‘m not a director yet. In time. maybe: now I want to act. Supp/y And Demand is about getting my friends to help me and about me helping them do what they want to do.‘

For now. Blyth can be seen in his debut. Hold Back The Night. which premiered in the UK last August at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. In it Blyth plays an young. idealistic eco-warrior who ends up on the road with Christine Tremarco‘s abused teenager and Sheila Handcock’s terminally ill older woman.

‘I liked the empathy and the heart that Declan has

he‘s lovely.‘ says Blyth of

his first starring role. ‘He becomes infatuated with Christine's character as soon as he sees her; be literally falls in love with her. He sees she's hurting and he wants to help. And although he doesn‘t have a breakthrough she has a breakthrough it was his persistence. he made a change. Like these protesters. they carry on until people become aware.’

‘lt was very. very strange to have my friends and family‘s reactions.~ continues Blyth. 'Naturally. they were quite shocked to see me up there on screen doing my thing with the dreadlocks. but they gave me a lot of feedback. It was very grounding. Also it gave me a chance to celebrate. because they‘re the people that matter to me. l gained a lot of confidence from them seeing what I do. Before it was like. “Yeah. yeah. you’re an actor". Now it‘s. "Oh. you are an actor".'

Hold Back The Night opens Fri 17 Dec.

preview FILM

Rough cuts

Lights, camera, action . . .

LYNNE RAMSAY WILL announce the successful Screenworks 2000 candidates at the Glasgow Film and Video Workshop on Fri 17 Dec. Funded by Scottish Arts Council, National Lottery New Directions Fund and Glasgow City Council and now in its eighth year, Screenworks is a short filmmaking scheme aimed at first time directors. For Screenworks 2000, the six successful candidates will be trained and fully funded for their debut films.

At the same event, Finnish filmmaker Marika Orenius will screen her newly completed short film, Zone. Made under the European artists residency programme, Pepinieres, Zone is billed as an investigation of public spaces in Glasgow. Patrice Bonnaffe, the director of Pepinieres, which was launched in Paris in 1990, will attend the screening.

TIME LAPSE 2000 is to film Edinburgh's Millennium Hogmanay for playback over the Internet. A number of cameras have already been positioned around the city at strategic points to capture the celebrations on film, and the organisers are expecting to expand their coverage with public contributions. To find out more phone Ian Ferguson at Time Lapse 2000 on 0131 317 7828. And that all- important website address: www.TlMELAPSE2000.bun.com

STRANGER THAN FICTION are the buzzwords for the sixth Sheffield International Documentary Festival Tour, which touches down at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh's Filmhouse Tue 4 Jan. Two big name directors kick the Festival off: Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line) with Mr Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter Jr, and Werner Herzog (Auguirre, Wrath Of God, Fitzcarraldo) with My Best Fiend. See reviews, pages ?? and ??

EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART follows its recent screening of New Work with a feature length film, Snake 40320 on Sat 18 Dec at Edinburgh's Filmhouse. Written by award-winning Scots playwright Rona Munro and directed by Roddy Simpson, the film was conceived as a non-linear narrative in eight segments with 40320 different running order combinations.

One combination: Snake 40320

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16 Dec 1999—6 Jan 2000 THE U8T27