Eye Of The Storm – a feature documentary film about the late great British landscape painter James Morrison is to receive an innovative UK wide theatrical release despite cinemas remaining closed.
For three decades, Morrison produced stunning Scottish landscapes, prized in collections around the world. The Duke of Edinburgh and JK Rowling are among those who own his works.
Eye of the Storm follows the last two years of the artist’s life as he battles fading eyesight while aiming to create one final landscape and will receive its World Premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 28 February. A UK wide theatrical release immediately follows from Friday 5 March ahead of a broadcast of the film on the BBC Scotland Channel this spring.
However, with many cinemas remaining closed due to lockdown restrictions, thanks to National Lottery funding from Screen Scotland, distributor Cosmic Cat has teamed up with art galleries and independent movie theatres to ensure the film can be seen widely through a unique online experience.
After watching the film, audiences will also be able to “attend” an interactive online “exhibition” of Morrison’s work, created in conjunction with the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. In addition, Scottish company Screen Language has created a special alternative audio experience for those with sight impairment, with guidance from national sight loss charity RNIB.
Commissioned by BBC Scotland and made with added support from Screen Scotland, the filmmakers were able to finish Eye of the Storm during lockdown as many aspects of Morrison’s life – including his journeys to the High Arctic – were captured by Scottish animator Catriona Black, including a dramatic encounter with a polar bear.
Director Anthony Baxter said, “Thanks to a descriptive audio track, Eye of the Storm can now also be enjoyed by people with sight impairment, who are confined to their homes due to Covid-19. It’s a fitting tribute to the incredible work James Morrison produced over a lifetime of painting.”
James Adams, Director of RNIB Scotland said, “One especially touching and poignant message from this beautifully made film, is that anyone can experience sight loss, even an artist like James who depends so much on his vision.”
Eye of the Storm will be available to viewers through the websites of the following cinemas and art galleries from Friday 5 March with more being added this week:
Arthouse, Crouch End, London
Birmingham Art Gallery
Broadway Cinema, Nottingham
Depot Cinema, Lewes
Plymouth Arts Cinema
Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh