Animal Magic at Folk Film Gathering

A unique opportunity to see two landmark works of British social realism side by side on the big screen, alongside the opportunity to chat with the filmmakers, is available this weekend thanks to a special pairing of films focused on close community ties to horses at the Folk Film Gathering.

Clio Barnard’s ‘A Selfish Giant’ (Sat 30 Apr) and the Amber Collective’s ‘Eden Valley’ (Sun 1 May) share a remarkable resonance in exploring the experience of working class communities under pressure in North England, the ties of young people to horses and harness racing.

Now entering its second year, Edinburgh’s Folk Film Gathering – the world’s first festival of folk cinema – is a celebration of the myriad ways in which world cinema has engaged with folk culture at different points in space and time. The programmes’ central theme for 2016 focuses on animals and the stories that bind them to communities.

Each screening will be enriched with an introduction by a traditional storyteller, who will share folklore inspired by the themes and issues of each film, with Amanda Edmiston and Lindsey Gibb sharing ecological tales, no doubt containing equestrian whinnies, to highlight the intangible heritage of oral history, strengthening the crossover between live traditional arts and multi-media recordings.

A selection of thirteen rare, acclaimed films explore the work of celebrated Scottish and British filmmakers alongside films from Italy, Spain and Ethiopia. Rare gems of Scottish cinema, such as ‘Venus Peter’ in 35mm and the newly restored ‘Shepherds of Berneray’ get an outing, alongside the Scottish premiere of Sundance hit ‘Songs My Brothers Taught Me’.

The Folk Film Gathering is on from Fri 29 Apr to Thu 12 May at Filmhouse and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. For further information visit:

The Folk Film Gathering is part of TradFest Edinburgh: