Chance for film fans to see ‘Brave’ in Ballater

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Movie fans of all ages have reason to be excited this summer as Ballater Victoria Week brings them the opportunity to watch the biggest animated blockbuster of the summer almost two weeks before it comes to multiplexes.

The BVW committee is delighted to present Brave, the latest Disney Pixar animation, at the Victoria Hall, Ballater, on Saturday 4 August at 5pm. A star-studded national premiere took place in Edinburgh last weekend and the film is released nationwide on August 17.

The plot of the movie revolves around Princess Merida, a skilled archer and the headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. She lives in the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch with her three brothers, Hamish, Hubert and Harris, and is betrothed to the son of a laird. When Merida defies one of the kingdom’s traditions by sabotaging an archery contest between three local lairds, she inadvertently causes controversy and chaos throughout the kingdom. Queen Elinor is particularly annoyed with her but when Merida turns to an elderly wise woman to use a spell on her mother, it backfires rather badly. Merida must discover the true meaning of bravery by undoing the spell to save her family and the kingdom. The film’s voice cast features Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane and John Ratzenberger.

Choosing a female lead for a film is a first for Pixar and, to make the most complex visuals possible, the studio completely rewrote its animation system for the first time in 25 years. The importance of the film to Scottish tourism also cannot be underestimated. First Minister Alex Salmond, prior to attending the world premiere of the movie in California last month, said: “(The film) is expected to boost the Scottish economy by £140 million, and the unique collaboration between Disney-Pixar and VisitScotland to showcase Scotland across the world is a fantastic example of maximising economic benefit from the strength of our nation’s global brand.”

Victoria Week coordinator Adrian Scripps said: “We are so excited to be bringing a film of this calibre to Ballater, the culmination of several months’ work bringing films to Ballater’s Victoria and Albert Halls. I really hope the community comes out to support it; they’re in for a real treat!”

With the help of local house furnisher Ted Emslie, VW intends to roll out the red carpet at the Station Square venue, and villagers and visitors will be encouraged to research the film’s characters online or elsewhere and come dressed as their favourite, like Katie Hendry (pictured) or to come in Highland dress to make the Highland premiere a really special event for the village.

Tickets are available from Yule’s Newsagent in Bridge Street, Ballater, by email from boxoffice@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, and from the Victoria Week Box Office when it opens on Friday 3 August at 10am. There are plans to also make them available online from the Ballater Victoria Week website soon. Tickets cost £5 each and under-10s must be accompanied by an adult. The event is supported by Ballater Victoria Week, The Ballater Highland Games Committee and Filmmobile Scotland.

More details about the rest of BVW’s events, which take place from Saturday August 4 to Sunday 12, can be found at www.ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk or on Facebook.