The much-anticipated Disney-Pixar animated film “Brave” will receive a glittering European premiere on the closing night of the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scottish First Minister First Minister Alex Salmond and festival artistic director Chris Fujiwara announced Tuesday.
Set in mythical Scotland, Bravefeatures some of the United Kingdom’s best-loved stars, including Kelly Macdonald (as Princess Merida), Billy Connolly (King Fergus) and Emma Thompson (Queen Elinor).
The red carpet will be rolled out June 30 at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre for a host of stars and filmmakers when the animated tale of a courageous Scottish heroine is unveiled.
Salmond made the announcement about the premiere during his speech at VisitScotland’s Winning Years Conference in Perth.
He told an audience of tourism specialists, operators and business people assembled to discuss how they could maximize promotional activity by focusing on major events and milestones in the next few years.
“I am delighted to announce that Hollywood will roll into town during the Edinburgh International Film Festival when we host the European premiere of Brave,” he said. “This will present us with an immense opportunity when Scotland will be centre stage in the film with all the tourism and business opportunities this will bring. I fully expect that as the film launches across the world, so will awareness of Scotland increase.”
The announcement came just days after VisitScotland revealed that it had joined forces with Disney-Pixar in a campaign which is designed to promote Scottish tourism across the world and bring a boost to the Scottish economy.
The premiere will provide a showpiece finale for the Edinburgh International Film Festival as it plays and will set the scene for the United Kingdom launch of the movie in August.
“We’re delighted to host the premiere of Brave and continue the Festival’s long relationship with Disney,” said Fujiwara. “Though we are an international film festival, we’re mindful that we have a special responsibility to Scotland’s cinematic image. It makes perfect sense that this film, which is so strongly tied to the cultural mythology of Scotland and the beauty of the Scottish landscape, and in which Scottish talent has such a significant involvement, should be part of our festival.”
Added Salmond: “Brave will be the most high-profile film ever set in, and themed around, Scotland, featuring Scottish stars. We are looking at a film which comes from the award-winning team behind such box office smashes as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Up, and will create global buzz when it is released.”
Added VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay: “When better than in the Year of Creative Scotland and where better than right here on Scottish soil to launch Brave for the first time in Europe. The film will showcase the scenery, humor and culture of Scotland, and we are looking forward to converting cinemagoers into visitors.”
The Winning Years conference brought together tourism industry representatives to consider opportunities being presented by a number of world-scale events taking place in Scotland from 2012 to 2014.
The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place from June 20 to July 1.