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Silent Roar: A Captivating Teenage Journey to the Outer Hebrides Premieres at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2023


The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival this year, is thrilled to announce the opening of the Festival on Friday, August 18, 2023.

We are proud to present the world premiere of Silent Roar, the first feature film by talented Scottish writer and director, Johnny Barrington.

Silent Roar is a captivating teenage story set in the scenic Outer Hebrides of Scotland, encompassing themes of surfing, sexuality, and personal turmoil. The film follows Dondo, portrayed by the promising newcomer Louis McCartney, a young surfer grappling with the recent mysterious disappearance of his father at sea. Consumed by grief, Dondo finds solace and awakening through his connection with the rebellious Sas (played by Ella Lily Hyland), an ambitious individual yearning to break free from the confines of the island. As a peculiar and enigmatic new minister arrives on the island, Dondo’s perception takes an otherworldly turn, leading him on a journey of cosmic visions and self-discovery.

Silent Roar is the first feature film from BAFTA-nominated writer and director Johnny Barrington, and has been produced by Scottish producer Chris Young (The Inbetweeners Movie). The film was shot in the beautiful surroundings of Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, and draws inspiration from Barrington’s teenage years on the Isle of Skye.  

The cast includes Louis McCartney (Hope Street), Ella Lily Hyland (Fifteen Love), Mark Lockyer (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Fiona Bell (The Nest, Shetland), Victoria Balnaves (Trust Me), Anders Hayward (Looted) and Chinenye Ezeudu (Sex Education). 

Hosted by Edinburgh International Festival in 2023, Edinburgh International Film Festival will present a bold, hand-picked programme celebrating the work of exceptional local and global filmmakers and ensuring the flame of EIFF burns bright for future generations of passionate cinema fans. 

“I’m delighted for Silent Roar to have its world premiere at EIFF, and start its life from a festival and a city so close to my heart. The film is a fun ride into surfing, death and the cosmos and awkward high school memories from the 90’s. The shoot was the best time of my life, with the best cast and crew in the world sweating creative blood… (and partying hard at weekends – or so I have been told). What formed is a story well wadded with ineffable nonsense, tears and laughter. So, if you like staring into sea caves, the human soul and cement mixers, then you’ll love Silent Roar.”

Writer/Director of Silent Roar, Johnny Barrington

“Silent Roar is a very easy film to fall in love with. From the idiosyncratic charm of Louis McCartney’s performance, to Ella Lily Hyland’s turn as crisp-chomping cool girl Sas, to Hannah Peel’s soaring score, the film is infused with mystic charisma. Johnny Barrington renders the Hebridean landscape, shot on film, as something strange and elemental: a place where we can see transgressive explorations of mourning exist alongside witty forays into religion and teenage hormonal curiosity. Stylistically, Silent Roar is the kind of bold, vivid and highly absorbing cinema that EIFF wants to champion, and we can’t wait to give the film a beautiful launch into the world.” 

Kate Taylor, Programme Director, Edinburgh International Film Festival

“It is so exciting that Johnny’s hotly anticipated debut feature will first meet its audience at Edinburgh. As one of Scotland’s most distinctive and beguiling new voices, it’s been a privilege to have supported his creative journey.”   

Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland

Silent Roar was made with the participation of Screen Scotland, BBC Films, and BFI.  

Sales agent enquires are through MK2 Films. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2023 programme including participating film festival venue information launches on Thursday 6 July 2023. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from Friday 18 to Wednesday 23 August 2023.  

All tickets for Edinburgh International Film Festival go on sale at midday on 7 July via eif.co.uk/edfilmfest Sign up for all the latest EIFF news on the newsletter here.

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Silent Roar: Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival