The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric (HippFest Opening Night)

Pioneering Glasgow-born filmmaker Jenny Gilbertson directs this poignant “story documentary” about crofting families in Shetland. 

Jenny’s husband-to-be plays Johnny: a young man torn between his duty to home and his love for Enga, with the promise of a new life in Australia. Hailed by John Grierson - father of the British documentary movement - as “one of the best descriptions of life in the country anybody has yet made”, this tender and beautiful dramatisation of Shetland life surpasses the bounds of both fiction and non-fiction filmmaking.  

HippFest is proud to present the world premiere of a new music commission by award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer from Fair Isle: Inge Thomson, with Shetland-born Catriona Macdonald - considered one of the world's leading traditional fiddle players.

Click here to book tickets for the online live-stream of this screening.

Click here to attend the premiere of 'Jenny Gilberston: 'A Real Illuminator'


 *Content warning: this film contains some shots of dead animals*

Dir. Jenny Gilbertson (née Brown) | UK | 1933 | N/C U | 1h approx. + short

With: John Gilbertson, Enga Stout

Performing live: Inge Thomson, Catriona Macdonald 

Creative captioning of music by Max McGrath

Introduced by Janet McBain, former Curator and Founder of the Scottish Screen Archive (Scotland’s Moving Image Archive) 

Screening material courtesy of National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive

Online programme notes by Dr Shona Main

Commission funded by Creative Scotland National Lottery Open Fund for Organisations

Enjoy a complimentary tasting of single malt whisky on arrival, courtesy of Ian Macleod Distillers (over 18s only, ID required).


10 Hope Street Bo'ness
EH51 0AA

01324 506850


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