‘Unique’ film into the lives of the RNLI volunteers

This Friday at An Lanntair the public will be given a unique insight into the life and history of the RNLI and the dangers faced by volunteer crews as they go about their selfless duty of saving the lives of stricken mariners.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 1:24 pm
The film has accessed unique archive footage going back to the 1920s

A special film, which has been two years in the making, brings together fascinating archive footage going back to the 1920s, along with promotional videos from the 1960s, and brings it all up to date with striking digital images captured from the helmet cameras of today’s lifeboat crews.

In what promises to be just as illuminating, there is a special question and answer session planned with members of the local team after the screening. Ticket prices are £5 and all proceeds will be donated to the RNLI. It will start at 7.30pm.

“Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats” is supported by The National Lottery and the Scottish Government through Screen Scotland, and Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network.

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The film’s director and award-winning curator of A Kind of Seeing, Shona Thomson said: “It’s been quite a journey but I’m grateful everyone involved has sustained that passion for sharing the incredible work of the RNLI with audiences who want to come back together and return to their local cinemas.

“I feel honoured that the RNLI generously opened up their archives to me. With a beautiful soundtrack that intertwines sensitively with the archive images, Launch! is an atmospheric film made for the big screen that I hope cinema goers will enjoy as it truly does take a community to launch a lifeboat.”

The film features a brand new immersive surround soundtrack – designed specifically for the cinema – composed and recorded by John Ellis (who has played and recorded with Tom Jones, Lily Allen, James Yorkston, John Squire and The Cinematic Orchestra); Arun Ghosh (APPJA Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year); Jason Singh (sound artist and nature beatboxer known for regular appearances on Springwatch, Countryfile and BBC 6 Music), and Jenny Sturgeon (acclaimed singer-songwriter whose recent project The Living Mountain is a collection of songs and films inspired by Nan Shepherd). It also features images of the women who save lives at sea in Scotland.

Jason Singh said: “Creating the soundtrack was an incredible experience. We had a dream team of creative and technical virtuosity and wanted to create a score that honoured the emotion and power of the footage and of the work of the RNLI. We also wanted to bring together acoustic and electronic musical worlds to reflect tradition and also modernity. I hope people get to experience the amazing work that the RNLI and the wider communities have done over the years.”

Rear-admiral Roger Lockwood CB, Chair of the RNLI Scottish Council, added: “This is a truly unique and exciting opportunity for audiences to see for themselves the operations of the RNLI in Scotland. Scotland’s 46 lifeboat stations provide coverage for some of the most dangerous coastal waters in the world – used not just for leisure or transport, but also for people’s essential livelihood. I am delighted a wider public will be able to appreciate the selflessness of our lifeboat volunteers who put their own lives at risk to save others.”