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A SHORT film starring Denis Lawson, which was funded and made in Scotland, has won the top award at a highly rated French festival.

Leonard, in which Lawson plays a man struggling with a compulsive disorder, claimed the 2002 Audience Award at the Clermont Ferrand short film festival.

The film was produced with help from the New Found Land funding scheme, which is sponsored by Scottish Screen with Scottish Television and Grampian Television.

Sandy Ross, managing director of Scottish Television, said: “We always knew Leonard was a very good film, with a stand out performance from Denis Lawson at the heart of it.

“This award confirms to us that the New Found Land scheme is one of the most successful film schemes launched in Scotland.”

Leonard is said to have created interest among international buyers, and the reaction has delighted its director, Brian Kelly. “It is very pleasing to get this kind of accolade from the audience rather than being judged by a jury or a panel,” he said.

New Found Land has also financed Solid Geometry, another 30 minute production due to start shooting within the next two weeks.

The film, which is directed by Lawson, will star his nephew, Ewan McGregor.

For Steve McIntyre, the chief executive of Scottish Screen, an additional pleasure of Leonard s success was the fact that the film had been premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

He added: “Brian Kelly is one of Scotland s brightest young directors and it is gratifying to watch his progress through our short film schemes. I have no doubt we will be seeing a lot more of his work in the future.”

In his next project, Kelly will direct one of this year s Tartan Shorts, Billy Bongo, under the BBC Scotland/Scottish Screen short film scheme.

For McGregor,
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the film represents part of his busiest Scottish schedule since he starred in the 1996 film Trainspotting.

After completing work on Solid Geometry, he will star with Tilda Swinton in the 4 million Young Adam, adapted from a story by Alexander Trocchi.

Moulin Rouge and Black Hawk Down Academy Award nominations

Nominations for the 74th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. Both Moulin Rouge and Black Hawk Down fared well, although Ewan was not nominated.

Moulin Rouge earned nominations for best actress (Nicole Kidman), art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup, best motion picture, and sound.

Black Hawk Down earned nominations for cinematography, directing, film editing, and sound. (PST).

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

09:00 01 February 2002

SCOTS film star Ewan McGregor is set to take to the streets of New York to celebrate Tartan Day in America and to promote Scotland.

The Hollywood star is signing up as honorary drum president to the parade, which is expected to attract 10,000 pipers to create the world largest ever pipe band.

McGregor family band, including father Jim, who have been busy rehearsing in a Crieff park for the event, will be participating in the parade and he hopes to join them in the procession.

Speaking yesterday, Ewan McGregor said: “It an honour to be asked as drum president for this event,” he said.

“It all about raising money for important charities and giving the US a taste of some of the things that make Scotland such a special place,
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” he said.

“I very proud to be a Scot I love Scotland and this parade will give the McGregor Pipe Band an opportunity to beat the drum for Scotland around the world . . . it going to be an amazing day and one set to put Scotland firmly on the map.”

The organisers of the ScottishPower Tunes of Glory event hope to raise 1million for American and British cancer charities. The parade will span 36 city blocks up to Sixth Avenue and Central Park.

VisitScotland chairman Peter Lederer said he was delighted the film star had agreed to take part in the event.