02 May 2023

Cast and crew from the classic Scottish film Local Hero will return to north-east

Cast and crew from the classic Scottish film Local Hero will return to the area where it was shot to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its release.

A meet and greet with Scottish actors involved in the film has been organised by Cinescapes, which specialises in showing films in the areas which inspired them.

Peter Riegert, the American actor who played Mac the Oilman, will join the event at Banff Springs Hotel on May 26 via video link, live from his home in Hudson Valley.

Riegert says: “It is amazing to see something I worked on forty years ago still survives and has such a place in people’s hearts.”

The project is supported by Aberdeenshire Council’s Coastal Community Fund via the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.

Aberdeenshire Council Leader and local Troup councillor Mark Findlater said: “As we move ever closer to the various events in Pennan, Banff and Portsoy to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Local Hero, there is a palpable sense of excitement within our communities as they look forward to a host of screenings and activities in May including the Q&A session with star of the film Peter Riegert.

"There remains a real affinity for Local Hero four decades on from its release and I would again encourage local residents and visitors alike to come along to our events which Aberdeenshire Council is proud to be supporting and be part of the celebration of this wonderful film.”

‘Local Hero’, which was shot in Pennan on the north east coast will be the highlight of outdoor screenings at Banff Castle on May 26 and 27 and at Portsoy Sail Loft on May 28 (see below).

The Local Hero Weekender will also include a programme of documentaries, family friendly films alongside Scottish classic films Gregory’s Girl and the original and remade versions of Whisky Galore.    Ticket prices have been kept low, with free and pay what you want options available.

Author Jonathan Melville will discuss the making of ‘Local Hero’ via live video link with Riegert at a free event at Banff Springs Hotel on May 26.

Actors Jimmy Yuill, Jonathan Watson and Tam Dean Burn will attend the Q and A and the screenings in person – and will also meet S1-S3 pupils from Banff Academy to discuss the film and the opportunities offered by the film industry in Scotland.

Amanda Rogers, founder of Cinescapes, which is organising the outdoor screenings said:“’Local Hero’ is such an important film and is so loved.   Since announcing this project, I have been overwhelmed by the reaction in Scotland, the UK and all over the world.   Bringing members of the cast and crew back to the north east coast is so exciting and we are delighted to be bringing Peter Riegert into the mix.”

Peter Riegert, who will also record an introduction to the live screenings said: “It is a very interesting thing to play a character who becomes entranced by another place.  It’s a classic story – a wanderer who comes across someone or somewhere and is transformed.”

Riegert said he had a great time making the film, and he was delighted that it also proved to be a ‘great film’.

Jimmy Yuill, who plays Iain the fixer in the film, Jonathan Watson who plays Jonathan and Tam Dean Burn, who plays Roddy the barman will also answer questions from the public, alongside writer and film historian Jonathan Melville, with other guests still to be confirmed.

Jonathan Melville, who wrote ‘Local Hero: Making a Scottish Classic’, says: “I think the re-release of the film has generated a lot of interest and excitement.   It’s a real combination of things that make this film so special – the characters, the scenery and the script.   Everything just came together perfectly.”

Villagers in Pennan, which was the setting for the fictional village of Ferness, will be holding regular screenings of the film, as well as ‘Local Hero’ themed ceilidhs at their village hall.

Fiona McRae, a photographer who lives in Pennan and who is a member of the village hall committee said: “We have people coming to visit all year round and they all talk about ‘Local Hero’.  It shows the appeal of the film and the impact it has had all these years.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that some of the people involved in the film will be coming back to visit.”

Pupils at Fraserburgh Academy, which is just five miles from Pennan, will be involved in creating materials to commemorate the anniversary, which can be shared with Local Hero fans around the world.

Nicola Kettlewood, Manager, Film Hub Scotland, says: “The re-issue of ‘Local Hero’ will allow both a new generation to discover this charming Scottish film, and the rest of us to enjoy it all over again. The film’s depiction of Scotland’s beautiful landscape was made for the big screen and feels even more prescient in this environmentally-conscious time. We’re delighted that Cinescapes are leading activity to celebrate this classic in Aberdeenshire, as they create such inventive and enjoyable cinema events.”

The film is being re-released in UK cinemas on May 19 by distributors Park Circus.

Cinescapes has previously run outdoor screenings around Scotland, showing films in Leith, Princes Street Gardens, East Kilbride, Oban, Glasgow and Fife as part of its Cinescapes Festival.  The company also worked with Edinburgh Council to create a short film crafted from local archives which was projected onto local landmarks.

Buy tickets here:

Event programme


Banff Springs Hotel

2pm. Meet the cast and crew with live video link with Peter Riegert.  Free and ticketed.

Banff Castle

7pm Local Hero, Outdoor Screening, £3-£7


Banff Castle

11am Song of the Sea. Pay as you can.  Kids free

1pm Shore Shorts.  Short films from Scotland.  Free event.

3pm Ride the Wave. Documentary about a Scottish surfer.  Pay as you can. (£3-£7)

5pm Gregory’s Girl, Pay as you can. (£3-£7)

7pm Local Hero, Outdoor Screening, 7pm, £3-£7


Portsoy Sail Loft

11am Luca, Pay as you can, kids under five free

1pm The Oil Machine, documentary.  Free event.

3pm Whisky Galore (2016) Pay as you can. (£3-£7)

5pm Whisky Galore (1949) Pay as you can. (£3-£7)

7pm Local Hero  £3-£7