News round-up

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News round-up

Big-hearted Scottish comedy Gregory’s Girl has been hand-picked as part of a specially selected best top ten film poll by Scottish Screen. The film topped a hitlist of educational films aimed at kids. Cinema Paradiso, Monsters Inc (pictured), Great Expectations and Au Revoir, Les Enfants also made it into the mix.

Tennis supremo Andy Murray has served up his top ten Scottish haunts for the VisitScotland website. The 20-year-old’s favourite pastimes include watching Hibs play at Easter Road, playing at Edinburgh’s Craiglockhart Tennis Centre, where he won his first Scottish junior title, and golfing at Gleneagles where he learned how to play as a boy. Murray’s list also included The Wallace Monument, Edinburgh Dungeons, The Himalayas putting green on the seafront at St Andrews and Go Karting in Knockhill.

The Festivities may be over but plans for next year are just beginning for Festivals Edinburgh, the organisation created by the city’s 12 major festivals, as they ponder their marketing strategy and action plan for next year. The collective was set up last year to ensure that the Festivals remain as prominent as ever in the face of stiff competition in other cities. Discussions follow another successful year for the Festivals, in particular the Fringe which sold a record 1.7 million tickets this year. The arts festival, now in its 60th year, saw an increase in sales of more than 10% compared with 2006. 18,626 performers trod the boards this year, in 31,000 performances at more than 2000 shows.

Gleneagles Hotel has launched its new Mediterranean deli-style restaurant Deseo. Meaning ‘whatever you desire’ in Spanish, the restaurant will be among the first in Scotland to offer a ‘Dine Around’ experience, whereby guests can walk around the various food stations including an oyster bar stocked with vintage Champagne and an antipasto table, laden with herb-roasted vegetables and olives.

Fancy being cultured and nosey this month? Then this could be for you, as venues across the Highlands participate in the Highland Open Studios Open Doors project. Artists and craftspeople will welcome visitors to studios and workshops for a chance to talk about the art produced, view the equipment used in the process and watch work in production, until 9 September. See www.highlands openstudios.co.uk/for more info.

Youth music initiative Clued Up is getting young people who are affected by substance misuse into the studio. As part of the new project sponsored by the Scottish Art Council’s Youth Music Initiative, youngsters are being encouraged to use music as an outlet to express their feelings.

Book-copying controversy forgotten, the first major paintings to have been commissioned from Scottish artist Jack Vettriano are to go under the hammer at auction. The seven Bluebirds pictures were commissioned by Sir Terence Conran in 1997 for his Bluebird Club in London. The works marked the beginning of a career which has seen Vettriano become one of the most popular and controversial artists in the UK. The pieces are expected to fetch more than £1.2m at the Sotheby’s sale in Gleneagles.

As Festival season draws to a close, so we must return indoors for our live music fix. Be content that the autumn is shaping up nicely with The Hives set to play ABC on 22 November, UNKLE to appear at the same venue on 13 November and The Pogues making a welcome return to Carling Academy on 11 Decmeber.

And finally, as if proof were needed that The List’s talent knows no bounds, Kirstin Innes, one of the mag’s writers and section editors, has bagged the Allen Wright Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism for her coverage of this year’s Fringe. Innes was praised for her reviews of Popsicle Departure 1989 and Bed and Breakfast. The awards were judged by a panel of journalists and arts professionals, including Jon Morgan, director of the Fringe, and Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly. Founded in 1998, the award was set up to commemorate Wright, a distinguished journalist and arts editor of the Scotsman newspaper for 30 years. (AM)

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