Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders
Edinburgh's Award Winners
Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Edinburgh's Award Winners

The glitz, the glamour, the controversy, the ever present "will Leo win" discussion. Yes, the film industry's awards season is clearly in full swing. With the BAFTAs and the Oscars still to come this month we take a look at some of the big award-winners from over the years filmed in the Edinburgh city region.

Maggie Smith won her first Oscar for the role as a headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh. She ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12-year-old charges with her over-romanticized worldview.

Filmed at Edinburgh Academy on Henderson Row, as well as scenes at Greyfriars Churchyard, Dalmeny House and Barnbougle Castle. Dame Maggie’s performance was much lauded and the film picked up further nominations and wins at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards.

Hugh Hudson directed the story of Olympic gold medallist athlete Eric Liddell starring Ben Cross, Ian Charleston and Nicholas Farrell. Chariots of Fire won 4 Academy Awards from its 7 nominations at the 1982 event including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It also picked up big wins at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as being nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.

The Scotland-Ireland athletics were in Inverleith; Liddell races to a meeting in the Assembly Hall; there's a walk in Holyrood Park and a dinner in the Cafe Royal and the Church of Scotland in Paris was the Broughton McDonald Church, Broughton Place.

Going by the title you might not automatically think awards film, but Hugh Hudson’s adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel garnered 3 Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay and a posthumous nomination for Ralph Richardson.

The heir to the 6th Earl of Greystoke and his wife Alice are shipwrecked on the African coast. Alice gives birth to a baby but dies shortly afterwards, and an ape kills her husband John. The baby is brought up by apes. Years later, an expedition of British adventurers lands and is attacked by gorillas. The expedition leader is nursed to health by a half-naked man, befriends him, teaches him English, calls him 'Jean' and deduces that he must be the son of the late Lord John and Lady Alice of Greystoke. He returns to the UK and introduces 'Jean' as the long lost grandson and heir of the Earl of Greystoke.

Floors Castle was used as Greystoke, family estate in the Lowlands of Scotland.

Despite all the nominations, Greystoke The Legend of Tarzan had to settle for a BAFTA for Best Make Up.

Trainspotting (1996)

After picking up a host of awards, including Best British Film at the 1995 BAFTA Awards for Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle’s next film would also be set in Edinburgh. While the majority of the film was shot in Glasgow, the now iconic opening sequence was filmed on location in Princes Street and Leith Street.

Based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, this black comedy drama starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle, sees Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, attempting to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

While Boyle and Andrew MacDonald didn’t manage back to back BAFTA wins, screenwriter John Hodge picked up an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Honourable Mentions

Mary Queen of Scots (1971)
Filmed in the Scottish Borders at Hermitage Castle this interpretation of the life of the doomed Queen found itself with 5 Oscar nominations including a Best Actress nod for Vanessa Redgrave. Despite an equal number of Golden Globe nominations Mary Queen of Scots failed to win any of them.

The House of Mirth (2000)
Terence Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel starring Gillian Anderson was filmed on location at Manderston in the Scottish Borders and Gosford in East Lothian. The film received two BAFTA nominations, including Best British Film, while Anderson won Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards for her role as New York socialite Lily Bart.

The Illusionist (2010)
Sylvain Chomet’s wonderful animation based on Jacques Tati’s story featured Edinburgh in all its breath-taking glorly. Set and animated in the city, The Illusionist was rewarded with Best Animation nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards among others.

Under The Skin (2013)
While it never managed any of the ‘big’ awards, Jonathan Glazer’s brilliant sci-fi picked up a staggering 116 nominations in total from various critics associations and festivals including two BAFTA nominations.