THE Gaelic King, is a historical fantasy action film set in Scotland – made by five brothers from two Scots families – it goes on sale worldwide next month (July 10, 2017).
The 90-minute-long film was shot entirely on location in Scotland, including scenes in the brothers' parents’ manse home in Stirlingshire. It is being released in DVD format in the UK, Ireland, United States, Japan, Italy and the Middle East.
The film is the result of three years effort by its makers, brothers Phil, Nathan and Matthew Todd, who are Glasgow based, and their cousins, brothers Tom and John Walkinshaw.
The five young men, aged between 22 and 28, formed Fellowship Film, a film production company, to get the micro budget project under way. They relied on crowd funding, friends and families plus sales’ advances to make their dream come true.
The cast for The Gaelic King – nicknamed the “budget Braveheart” and promoted as “Braveheart meets Game Of Thrones” – includes many first-time actors and children.
It focuses on the tale of Scots warrior king, Alpin MacEchdach who hunts his young brother’s kidnappers through a dark forest where an ancient evil is said to hide. The dramatic story is set in the war-torn, dark ages of 800AD in Scotland.
A major part of the film centres on a medieval village near the family home at Airth in Stirlingshire that was built by the film crew bolstered by people from the local community. For one filming block, Phil, Nathan and Matthew’s family home – their dad is the local minister – was over-run by Picts and tree demons changing costumes and drinking tea.
“This is a film made in Scotland by Scots and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Matthew Todd, the film’s writer and co-producer.
“We took risks to make it happen, we have gone it alone and now we’ve done it, so we hope lots of people will enjoy it.”
The film’s high production values were admired when the Todd brothers visited the Cannes Film Festival last year to find a distributor. The Gaelic King was screened at Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Phil Todd, an award-winning filmmaker with a strong vision for Scotland to become an international centre for high quality film production, directed The Gaelic King, which was originally called, Dalriata’s King.
“We believe the film has excellent acting, amazing sets and, of course, spectacular views of Scotland for battle scenes,” said Phil.
“We brought together more than 200 people whose creativity, talent and energy helped us achieve the impossible. All in all, this is a fantastic Scottish project, a film made in Scotland in every way.”
All those involved waived fees but will be paid when the film starts making a profit.
• Film synopsis – Braveheart meets Game of Thrones.
Set in the war-torn dark ages of 800AD Scotland, The Gaelic King tells the story of young Warrior-King Alpin McEchdach. When his family is brutally attacked and murdered by a rival Pict king, Alpin and his infant brother Finn are the sole escapees. Alpin swears to one day return, seeking vengeance on the Picts and regaining the Gael kingdom of Dalriata.
Ten years later Alpin and Finn, disguised as civilians, come across the front settlement of a community under oppression from the mysterious dark ‘Shadows’.
The children are being kidnapped one by one, and the villagers hide in fear. When Finn gets captured, Alpin sets out to rescue him and the villagers, accompanied by a peculiar druid-monk called Lachlan.
What ensues is a gripping and heart-wrenching adventure, culminating in a final epic battle between Alpin and Nathara, the sorceress who awoke and controls the Shadows.
In a final desperate fight, Alpin, wielding the magical King’s Power, defeats Nathara and liberates the villagers. He returns home with Finn to take up his rightful place as King of Dalriata.
• Fellowship Film was formed by brothers Philip Todd, 26, actor and filmmaker; Matthew Todd, 28, musician and writer; Nathan Todd, 22, web consultant; and their cousins, John Walkinshaw, 24, law graduate and Tom Walkinshaw, 23, engineering graduate.
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