Glasgow tries to scotch Edinburgh's Cannes bid

David Lister reports on a clash of the clans erupting at the film festival
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The Independent Online
A traditional and very British rivalry is about to invade the Cannes Film Festival.

On the seafront, there will today be a high-profile launch of the Glasgow Film Office. At a champagne breakfast, the Lord Provost of Glasgow in his kilt, accompanied by Tom Clarke, the new minister responsible for films and tourism, will tell the world's film makers to come to Glasgow to shoot their movies.

It has a wonderful mix of gritty housing developments and beautiful scenery. What is more, it was the place where Trainspotting was shot.

But a few desks away in the British Pavilion, the Edinburgh Film Office will be putting up their posters and selling their city to Hollywood's finest as the place to shoot their movies.

It has gritty housing estates and beautiful scenery, they will boast: what is more, it was the place where Trainspotting was shot.

"My office has been going for seven years now, and Glasgow are aping it," said a disgruntled George Carlaw, of the Edinburgh and Lothian Scene Industries Office Limited.

"We have a massive range of locations. And we can recreate the Highlands with the scenery in Mid-Lothian. And I am prepared to close Princes Street or the Royal Mile for film makers. Indeed I did get the Royal Mile closed for the making of Jude.

"Trainspotting's exteriors were all shot in Edinburgh. It was only the interiors that were shot in Glasgow. We are a Georgian city, the civilised education centre, the money centre. Glasgow is an industrial base.

"Of course we want the film makers to come to us rather than to Glasgow. And if they want gritty housing developments, we've got all that too."

Hilda McLean, spokeswoman for the Glasgow Film Office, responded: "We are already the film city. We have 75 per cent of Scotland's film and TV crews living in the area. Its a film-friendly city. And 95 per cent of the production of Trainspotting took place in Glasgow.

"As for the scenery, its a 20-minute drive to Loch Lomond, you have got parks right in the middle of Glasgow and wonderful Victorian architecture."

And so, film makers and members of the public will today watch a piece of British pageant when Glasgow's Lord Provost, Pat Lally, is played across the Croisette by a piper in full Highland dress to declare: "Come to us and make your next movie in Glasgow."

If those same film makers follow him into the British Pavilion they could witness another piece of British pageant - a very unluvvy row between the clans.