Na­tive Amer­i­can film is sell-out at Oban cinema

The Oban Times - - LEISURE - By Kathie Grif­fiths kgrif­[email protected]­

Scot­tish film di­rec­tor Steven Lewis Simp­son is count­ing on Oban to help get his film into cin­e­mas around the UK.

His land­mark Na­tive Amer­i­can film - Nei­ther Wolf Nor Dog - was screened at Oban’s Phoenix Cinema this week­end as part of a six-day fes­ti­val of film and was de­clared a ‘best-seller’.

Even though it had its world premier at the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val where it was a big hit, the Aberdeen-born movie maker reached out to a num­ber of smaller film the­atres in Scot­land as part of a ploy to se­cure more tak­ers for it when it is re­leased into UK cin­e­mas next year.

With­out a booker or pub­li­cist, Steven self-dis­trib­uted the film into 200 cin­e­mas in just 20 per cent of the US mar­ket first, more than many ac­claimed films, and it is now the most suc­cess­ful non-Hol­ly­wood Na­tive Amer­i­can themed film in years.

Steven has great ex­pec­ta­tions for it in the UK. He said: ‘I reached out to small town cin­e­mas and Oban’s Pheonix reached back out to me. I’ve been re­ally ex­cited about it. We were pre-selling tick­ets. When I’m go­ing to other cin­e­mas, it’s a big help as a self-dis­trib­u­tor if I can tell them just how we filled seats in Oban. In big cities it’s hard to work up a head of steam but word seemed to get round in Oban.’

Adapted from the ac­claimed novel Nei­ther Wolf Nor Dog, by Kent Ner­burn, the sto­ry­line fol­lows a white au­thor who gets sucked into the heart of con­tem­po­rary Na­tive Amer­i­can life in the sparse lands of the Dako­tas.

The cast in­cludes Lakota el­der Chief David Beau­ti­ful Bald Ea­gle in what was to be his last film role.

He died aged 97 in July 2016 hav­ing starred in 40 films, in­clud­ing Dances With Wolves.

‘It has been the best-seller just now. It’s a bit dif­fer­ent for us but then that’s what we are all about,’ said Phoenix duty man­ager Marco Pacitti just be­fore the first screen­ing on Fri­day, which was fol­lowed by a sec­ond show­ing on Satur­day night.

Three ex­tra show­ings of the film have been added to the Oban Phoenix Cinema pro­gramme: Fri­day De­cem­ber 7 at 1.30pm; Satur­day De­cem­ber 8 at 6pm and Sun­day De­cem­ber 9 at 2.30pm.

Steven added: ‘I’m thrilled we had two sold out shows last week. Now peo­ple who couldn’t get in have three more chances to see it. We even had some­one drive from Cum­bria to see the film.’

Nei­ther Wolf Nor Dog was Chief David Beau­ti­ful Bald Ea­gle’s last film.

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