Hebridean Set Surf Drama “Silent Roar” Will Open Edinburgh Film Festival 2023

Submitted by edg on Wed, 14 Jun '23 12.06am
EIFF 2023 opener Silent Roar
Ali Tollervey

A teenage tale of “surfing, sex and hellfire” set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides will open this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival 2023 on Friday 18 August.

Shot on Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, Silent Roar was inspired by writer-director Johnny Barrington’s teenage years on the Isle of Skye.

The film follows a young surfer (newcomer Louis McCartney) struggling to accept his father’s recent disappearance at sea. Caught up in grief, he is brought to his senses by rebellious crush Sas (Ella Lily Hyland), a high-achiever who dreams of escaping the island.

When an oddly-behaved new minister arrives on the island, Dondo begins to have cosmic visions.

Kate Taylor, Programme Director, for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, describes Silent Roar as “a very easy film to fall in love with…infused with mystic charisma.”

She adds: “Johnny Barrington renders the Hebridean landscape, shot on film, as something strange and elemental: a place where we can see transgressive explorations of mourning exist alongside witty forays into religion and teenage hormonal curiosity. Stylistically, Silent Roar is the kind of bold, vivid and highly absorbing cinema that EIFF wants to champion, and we can’t wait to give the film a beautiful launch into the world.”

Silent Roar is produced by Scottish producer Chris Young (The Inbetweeners Movie), with Screen Scotland, BBC Films, and BFI. Barrington was nominated for a BAFTA for his Norse warrior short Tumult in 2012.

“I’m delighted for Silent Roar to have its world premiere at EIFF, and start its life from a festival and a city so close to my heart,” said Johnny Barrington of his debut feature film.

“The film is a fun ride into surfing, death and the cosmos and awkward high school memories from the Nineties,” said Barrington.

“The shoot was the best time of my life, with the best cast and crew in the world sweating creative blood (and partying hard at weekends - or so I have been told). What formed is a story well wadded with ineffable nonsense, tears and laughter. So, if you like staring into sea caves, the human soul and cement mixers, then you’ll love Silent Roar.”

The cast of Silent Roar includes Louis McCartney (Hope Street), Ella Lily Hyland (Fifteen Love), Mark Lockyer (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Fiona Bell (The Nest, Shetland), Victoria Balnaves (Trust Me), Anders Hayward (Looted) and Chinenye Ezeudu (Sex Education).

The Edinburgh International Film Festival 2023 programme including participating film festival venue information will be revealed on Thursday 6 July 2023 and tickets go on sale at midday on 7 July.