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Carlyle debut to open film festival

Actor Robert Carlyle's "marvellously macabre" directorial debut is to open the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), where it will receive its world premiere.

The Legend Of Barney Thomson, in which Carlyle also stars, will be screened at the Festival Theatre on June 17, kicking off the 12-day festival.

The "darkly humorous Glasgow-set thriller" also stars the likes of Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen and Martin Compston, with some of the cast expected on the red carpet at the opening gala.

Carlyle said he feels honoured his film has been chosen to open the festival.

He said : "After a career-long association with EIFF, it gives me enormous pleasure to have The Legend Of Barney Thomson chosen as opening-night film.

"It really is such an honour for me to have my first feature as director premiered here in Edinburgh at the festival that has played such a huge part in my life."

Based on the book The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay, The Legend Of Barney Thomson is described as a dark comedy.

Trainspotting star Carlyle, honorary patron of EIFF, plays Barney, an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences.

Complicating matters further, Barney's mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own, causing a bloody and comedic chain of events while police inspector Holdall (Winstone) tries to solve the crime.

The film also stars Brian Pettifer, Kevin Guthrie, James Cosmo, Stephen McCole and Samuel Robertson, with a screenplay by Colin McLaren and Richard Cowan.

Mark Adams, the new EIFF artistic director, said: "We are thrilled to be opening this year's festival with Robert Carlyle's wonderful black comedy.

"It is a marvellously macabre and playful film, impressively directed and with a terrific cast. It is the perfect film to kick off what promises to be an exciting festival."

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