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Golf legend film 'a love letter to a father', says director Jason Connery

Published 15/06/2016

Tommy's Honour was directed by Sean Connery's son Jason
Tommy's Honour was directed by Sean Connery's son Jason

Jason Connery has said his film about Scottish golf legend Old Tom Morris could be described as a love letter to his father, Sir Sean.

Shot on location along the east coast of Scotland, Tommy's Honour is based on the story of the pioneering golfer and his relationship with his son.

Directed by Connery and starring Peter Mullan, the film opened the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) on Wednesday.

Actress Therese Bradley described it as a "love letter to Scotland and Sean Connery" and the director agreed.

He said: "I suppose it could be seen in that way. It really is a love letter to a father and son.

"Very often in these things as a director you put in a lot of your own personal feelings and of course that gives you a perspective.

"I'm a father and my son is making his way in the world, I'm also a son to my father and it's the whole wheel of life without getting overly esoteric, and I think that makes it universal."

Connery, who attended the screening at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre dressed in a kilt, confirmed a screening of Tommy's Honour would be staged in the Bahamas - where his father lives - after the festival.

He said the film was not a sporting movie but a "family drama set against the backdrop of golf".

The 53-year-old director revealed that golf had been a big part of the Connery family.

He said: "My father for a long time played in pro-celebrity golf competitions and I remember being at Gleneagles a number of times with him when the weather was always sunny, can you believe?

"I went to school at Gordonstoun and started at Perth Rep so Scotland has had a very big impact in my life."

Actor Mullan said the film still had resonance today despite being set more than a century ago.

"I knew nothing about golf - when I seen the script it, for me, it was about a rigid class system that took hold of a sport that belonged to everybody but young Tom Morris came along and changed all that," he said.

"It still goes on to an extent - look at Muirfield, what does that say about any organisation when you have professional women golfers around the world who could put any man to shame and they're not allowed to be members?

"It's absurd and an embarrassment to our country."

Mullan who performs around the world was delighted to get the opportunity to return home to open the EIFF.

He said: "Edinburgh is special, so to be opening the festival is really something and I love being at home."

Other big names due to appear at the festival over the next 12 days include Meg Ryan, Kim Cattrall and Brian Cox.

More than 50,000 tickets were sold for last year's festival, breaking previous records.

The festival's deputy artistic director Diane Henderson said: ''In this special year we're proud to welcome so many exciting and talented guests from all over the world.

''Some we're lucky enough to welcome back and others are here for the very first time.

''If you'd like the chance to rub shoulders with your favourite actor, director, animator or producer, or the opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow, then EIFF has it all.''

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