Films, photography, special guests, talks, music and more with a great line up of affordable and free events for the whole family

An exciting weekend of award-winning films, stunning photography, celebrity guests, inspirational talks, controversy, art and music is in store at Wild Film Festival Scotland.

The organisers have also announced extra attractions on top of a packed programme which already featured 30 films, 20 speakers and two photographic exhibtions.

Among the headline speakers is Sacha Dench, the human swan, who made headlines this week with the announcement that she plans a powered paraglider flight from tip to toe of the Hebrides.

Rewilding expert David Ballharry will also be raising the idea of returning up to 600km2 of the Southern Uplands to nature and creating a modern wilderness that would attract tourists and help reverse Scotland’s loss of wild lands.

One of the country’s leading climate change scientists Professor Pete Smith will be in conservation with artist John Wallace about their latest collaboration – The Same Hillside at 6.40pm on Saturday at the Theatre Royal.

The Same Hillside is an immersive audio-visual art installation which can be seen all weekend for free at the Theatre Royal Dance Studio, it explores how one hillside is the source of three of Scotland’s mightiest rivers.

John said: “It’s an open Q&A session intended to encourage people to debate issues raised by the work. I will talk about creating this installation with Pete Smith and he in turn will talk about the science that lies behind the work. He’ll also give an overview of where the world currently stands in terms of human-made climate change.”

On Friday Dave Borthwick will talk about the folklore of birds at 7pm at the Robert Burns Centre.  And at 11am on Saturday Chris Rollie of the RSPB talks about his fabulous book Jack Gordon and His Birds of Wigtownshire, at Brigend Theatre.

New attractions include:

·       Talk: Want to make it in the world of natural history filmmaking? Join Fergus and Amy at Gracefield Arts Centre at 1pm on Sunday to learn how they have succeeded at Glasgow-based filmmakers Maramedia. Free entry (See below)
·       Talk: The making of Vivere the Wild Film Festival Scotland homepage video. Friday 1pm at the Robert Burns Centre. Hear from Dan about his career in photography and how the short video which has been used as the official WFFS film took months to create. Free entry
·       Talk: Brian Morrell from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Caerlaverock – Why Caerlaverock is so special and the incredible journeys the birds experience to get there. Brigend Theatre, 5.45pm Friday. Tickets £5
Live Music: Beluga Lagoon play the soundtrack to Sullivan’s Winter in the Theatre Royal. Saturday 9.15pm. Free entry
·       Music: VJ Andrew McDonald plays a blend of Celtica and reggae to wildlife imagery at the Coach and Horses, on Whitesands. Friday 8pm. Free entry
·       Music: Tommy Gun pays tribute to some of the greatest up-tempo music from the 80s, ideal for fans of the Clash and the Jam. Saturday 9pm at the Coach and Horses. Free entry

Sid Ambrose, festival organiser, said: “It’s shaping up to be an epic weekend with a huge amount going on – there are films for everyone to enjoy, including ones by David Attenborough and DisneyNature’s Bears and Monkey Kingdom for the children.

“It’s the first event of its kind in Scotland and has been attracting interest from all over the country.

“There’s a huge amount with special Scottish interest, plus great speakers from all over the UK, Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway. Most ticket prices have been kept down to a fiver and some events are free – so we hope there will be plenty that eveyone can enjoy.”

WFFS takes place in venues across Dumfries from 24-26 March and its central themes will be Amazing Journeys, Wild Places and Rewilding. Some 30 films are being screened, many of them winners of coveted Wildscreen Panda Awards (the wildlife Oscars).

Naturalists and broadcasters Simon King (Big Cat Diary) and Iolo Williams (Springwatch) will be among the 20 speakers.

Wild Film Festival Scotland is being made possible due to a series of partnerships. Our funders and supporters include the Rural Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme, Dumfries and Galloway Council and The Hollywood Trust, The Scottish Rural Development Programme and E-on.
See attached background document for more about the festival.