Funding bid for N-east film sequel

Christy Robinson and Richard Burke at Milton of Crathes station
Christy Robinson and Richard Burke at Milton of Crathes station

A Deeside-based independent film producer is launching a crowdfunding campaign to produce a sequel to an acclaimed short film shot on the North-east coastline.

The Scottish BAFTA-nominated period drama Whistle My Lad was written by Richard Burke, of Page Break Productions in Banchory, and screened at the Cannes Film Festival following its release in 2014.

Richard now plans to raise £20,000 to make the follow-up.

Fans who donate will be offered exclusive access to the film-shoot and experiences including a day on the set, the chance to appear as an extra, backstage access and tickets to the premiere.

Richard has worked with BAFTA award-winning teams around the world and is aiming to secure funding to allow filming to start next summer, with Aberdeenshire Council already offering a grant worth more than £5,000 for the project.

Based on his time living and working on the Banff and Buchan coast, the sequel to Whistle My Lad (set in 1912) will continue the story of Agnes, the young daughter of a successful fisherman in the isolated village of Crovie, who falls in love with Fraser, the son of a rival skipper.

Richard said: “Whistle my Lad was such an evocative film of the era and we were so lucky to have an amazing cast and stunning locations to work with.

“Since the release we’ve wanted to put plans in place for a sequel to help us achieve our goal of turning this wonderful story into a full-length feature film.

“We are counting on the backing of our fans and supporters who love this story. They can help us launch the careers of young Scottish actors.”

Agnes will again be played by Christy Robinson, 17, a sixth year pupil at St Margaret’s School for Girls in Aberdeen, who made her acting debut in the original film.

She said: “Appearing in the first Whistle my Lad film was such an amazing, life-changing experience for me and has inspired me to take-up a career in acting.”

Steve Harris, chief executive of Visit Aberdeenshire, said: “Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have long been linked to the film industry, and are known for fostering talent both in front of and behind the camera.

“It is always encouraging to see local filmmakers embracing the region and featuring its landscapes in their work.”

The sequel will feature many of the original locations along the Banff and Buchan coastline.