Swinton launches Cinema of Dreams

Scottish film festival to be held in old ballroom

Forget the usual fest shuffle. Tilda Swinton is stepping up with a new take on film confabs.

Swinton is launching the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams fest, an unusual, pared-down event in her hometown of Nairn, Scotland.

The delightfully named event, running Aug. 15-23, will have no red carpets, few premieres and take place in an old ballroom that once hosted rock acts like Pink Floyd and the Who.

Festgoers — mostly locals, with a smattering of journos and cinephiles — will pay $6 to sit on beanbags and watch an eclectic mix of three pics a day ranging from Fellini’s “8 ½” (the event’s closer) to obscure African cinema to Czech surrealism.

Swinton, who cut her teeth as an actress in Derek Jarman arthouse fare before winning her Oscar for “Michael Clayton,” is financially backing, organizing and programming the fest alongside Mark Cousins, ex-artistic director of the Edinburgh Intl. Film Fest. They’ve tapped helmer Joel Coen to program the two Friday-night slots.

In a tub-thumping MySpace blurb, Swinton and Cousins promise a “fest of swash and buckle, of misty art direction and sinister revelation, of moonage daydreaming, of surrealism, of collisions between films, of passionate love for cinema, its wonder and plenitude.”

The implicit message: Leave your Blackberries and dealmaking visions at home.

ends

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