Meet the Kessock RNLI crew at Launch! On the sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

The first cinema tour dates have been announced for Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats - a new release of archive film and video celebrating RNLI communities across Scotland. The film will screen twice at Eden Court in Inverness on Thursday 16th and Sunday 19th September 2021 with a panel

Jack Lowe and NLS Moving Image Archive

This is a not to be missed opportunity to gain an insight into the work of the charity volunteer lifesavers who are on call 365 days a year ready to save those in difficulty in the water.

After the film itself members of local Kessock RNLI lifeboat station will take to the stage to answer questions from the public and there will be a stall manned by the charity fundraisers with souvenirs and memorabilia available to purchase.

Directed, researched and edited by Shona Thomson in a co-production with Screen Argyll, the 44-minute film has been two years in the making with unprecedented access to the RNLI’s own archives. 1920s film footage of lifeboats sourced from the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive is woven with 1960s colour promotional films and breath-taking digital video captured by RNLI crews’ 21st century helmet cameras whilst out on the wild sea. The Tour begins at Screenplay Film Festival in Shetland on 5 September before visiting cinemas across Scotland throughout the Autumn and Winter for film screenings in collaboration with local RNLI stations.

Launch! features a brand new immersive 5.1 surround soundtrack – designed specifically to be experienced in the cinema – composed and recorded by John Ellis (who has played and recorded with Tom Jones, Lily Allen, James Yorkston, John Squire and The Cinematic Orchestra), Arun Ghosh (APPJA Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year), Jason Singh (sound artist and nature beatboxer known for regular appearances on Springwatch, Countryfile and BBC 6 Music), and Jenny Sturgeon (acclaimed singer-songwriter whose recent project The Living Mountain is a collection of songs and films inspired by Nan Shepherd).

For ticket information and to book contact Eden Court Theatre 01463 234234

Bringing the musicians together whilst in lockdown through pioneering online mixing software was the soundtrack’s producer David McEwan (who has collaborated with Nitin Sawhney, Jeff Beck, and Sting).Reflecting modern volunteer lifeboat crews, Launch! also features images of the women who save lives at sea in Scotland. These were made using glass plate photography by Jack Lowe as part of The Lifeboat Station Project – Jack’s eight-year mission to photograph all RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland. Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats – a new release of archive film and video celebrating RNLI communities across Scotland – will tour cinemas across the country this Autumn and Winter. Part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 celebrations, the tour will open at Screenplay Film Festival in Shetland on 5 September before touring to Scottish cinemas, including showings in: Scotland’s mobile cinema the Screen Machine on 25 September in Fort Augustus; outdoor light and arts festival Northern Lights Festival in Wick on 13 October; the newly opened Montrose Playhouse on 23 October; and The Byre Theatre, St Andrews on 18 November. Cinemas screening the film are collaborating with local RNLI stations and groups to celebrate the important work of local volunteers as part of their Launch! screenings.

The film’s director and award-winning curator of A Kind of Seeing, Shona Thomson said: “However long it’s taken to make, Launch! has always been a film about celebrating and sharing the crucial work of RNLI volunteers across the country – it’s using the past to talk about the future. By bringing it to audiences in their local cinemas, this tour is reaching into the hearts of communities and offering everyone a safe and special big screen immersive experience. It’s really inspiring to see the creative collaborations between cinemas and RNLI stations as they uncover fascinating lifeboat stories of their own island, town or village being presented alongside Launch!”

Jason Singh, who collaborated with Shona on their successful Following the Fleet UK tour in 2017, said: “Creating the soundtrack for Launch! was an incredible experience. We had a dream team of creative and technical virtuosity and wanted to create a score that honoured the emotion and power of the footage and that of the work of the RNLI. We also wanted to bring together acoustic and electronic musical worlds to reflect tradition and also modernity. I hope people get to experience the amazing work that the RNLI and the wider communities have done over the years.”

Roger Lockwood CB, Chair of the RNLI Scottish Council, said: “This is a truly unique and exciting opportunity for audiences to see for themselves the operations of the RNLI in Scotland. Scotland’s 46 lifeboat stations provide coverage for some of the most dangerous coastal waters in the world - used not just for leisure or transport, but also for essential livelihood. I am delighted that through Launch! a wider public will be able to appreciate the selflessness of our Lifeboat volunteers who put their own lives at risk to save others.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Scottish cinema tour of Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. Scotland offers the perfect stage to celebrate our coastal traditions and this tour gives audiences around the country the chance to experience a unique insight into the vital work of the RNLI and lifeboat communities.

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland said: “Launch! is a thrilling and vivid fusion of archive film from the rich history of the RNLI with contemporary music by some of the UK music industry’s most exciting artists, brought together by Shona Thomson, one of our best cultural producers. It promises to be a truly unique experience that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Screen Scotland is a very proud supporter of the project and look forward to it touring our Scottish cinemas.”

Nicola Kettlewood, Manager at Film Hub Scotland said: “It is fantastic news that Scottish cinema audiences will at long last have the opportunity to experience Launch! on the big screen. A treat for the senses, this affecting film tells a story of bravery, ingenuity and community through a skilful blend of archive film and video with a spirited original soundtrack.”

Listings Details

Book tickets with venues directly using links below.

If not on sale already, tickets will be available from venues nearer the screening date.

Sun 5 Sep – LERWICK, SHETLAND – Mareel, as part of Screenplay Film Festival

Thu 16 Sep & Sun 19 Sep – INVERNESS – Eden Court, as part of Under Canvas

Sat 25 Sep – FORT AUGUSTUS – Screen Machine

Tue 28 Sep – TARBERT, HARRIS – Screen Machine

Sun 3 Oct – LINICLATE, BENBECULA – Screen Machine

Sat 9 Oct – CASTLEBAY, BARRA – Screen Machine

Sat 9 Oct – CROSSAPOL, TIREE – Screen Argyll at An Talla Community Hall

Sun 10 Oct – DUNOON – Dunoon Burgh Hall

Wed 13 Oct – WICK – Lyth Arts Centre, as part of Northern Lights Festival

Wed 13 Oct – COLL – Screen Machine

Sun 17 Oct – ABERDEEN – Belmont Filmhouse

Sat 23 Oct – MONTROSE – Montrose Playhouse

Mon 8 Nov – BRODICK, ARRAN – Screen Machine

Wed 10 Nov – EDINBURGH – Filmhouse

Thu 18 Nov – ST ANDREWS – The Byre Theatre

Thu 25 Nov – TIGHNABRUAICH – Screen Machine

+ More to be confirmed.

Cinemas, film clubs and community groups can contact the Launch! team to arrange a screening of the film (supported by the film’s accompanying marketing pack) through the project website: launchonthesea.com.

Follow the Launch! project through our social media channels:

Facebook: facebook.com/LaunchOnTheSea

Twitter: twitter.com/LaunchOnTheSea

Instagram: instagram.com/launchonthesea

Media Details

For a digital screener, interviews, images etc please contact Ruth Marsh on 07824468396 /

ruth.marshpr@gmail.com

Editors Notes

Shona Thomson is an award-winning independent creative producer and curator based in Edinburgh and through A Kind of Seeing she’s presented live cinema events reaching over 8000 people across the UK and internationally. Driven by a passion for connecting people and places with their heritage, Shona has been producing and curating film events, festivals and tours for over 20 years, including a long association with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, new commissions for the Glasgow Film Festival, and producing the first five years of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, Scotland's only event dedicated to silent film with live performance. akindofseeing.co.uk / @urbantwitcher / Facebook

Screen Argyll supports all forms of film exhibition, promotion and engagement throughout Argyll, providing opportunities for remote communities to connect through film with the widest possible audience. Digital technologies and film offer people and communities new opportunities to tell their stories, develop skills and open doors to careers in a growth industry. screenargyll.co.uk / @screenargyll / Facebook

Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats is supported by: Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased throughout 2020 and 2021 and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors. A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky. Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. 2022 will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories. Join the conversation using #YCW2021.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. screen.scot / Twitter / Instagram.

Film Hub Scotland is led by Glasgow Film, funded by BFI and Screen Scotland. As part of the BFI's Film Audience Network, they are one of eight Hubs set up across the UK to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film. filmhubscotland.com / @filmhubscotland / Facebook

RNLI media contacts

Yvette Kershaw , Lifeboat Press Officer, 07809 116153, Yvette_Kershaw@gmail.com

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, martin_macnamara@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 143,000 lives.

RNLI/Yvette Kershaw

Volunteer crew from RNLI Kessock Lifeboat Station

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.