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Edinburgh Film Festival to Open with Robert Carlyle’s ‘The Legend of Barney Thomson’

LONDON — The Edinburgh Film Festival will open June 17 with the world premiere of Robert Carlyle’s feature film directorial debut, “The Legend of Barney Thomson.”

Carlyle stars in the Glasgow-set thriller alongside Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone. Also appearing in the film are Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen and Martin Compston.

Mark Adams, the fest’s new artistic director and a former Variety journalist, said: “We are thrilled to be opening this year’s festival with Robert Carlyle’s wonderful black comedy. It is a marvellously macabre and playful film, impressively directed and with a terrific cast. It is the perfect film to kick off what promises to be an exciting festival.”

The screenplay is by Colin McLaren and Richard Cowan, and is adapted from Douglas Lindsay’s book “The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson.” It is a dark comedy that tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences. Complicating matters further, Barney’s mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own, causing a bloody and comedic chain of events. While Barney clumsily tries to cover his and his mother’s tracks, the local police inspector Holdall (Winstone) fights his own battles within his inept homicide department.

The movie is produced by John G. Lenic, Kaleena Kiff, Brian Coffey, Holly Brydson and Cowan. It is executive produced by Doug Apatow and Kirk D’Amico.

The film will be released in the U.K. late summer through Icon Film Distribution.

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