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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
Loach defends town's portrayal
William Ruane with Annemarie Fulton, Ken Loach and Martin Compston (left to right)
Ken Loach and his actors at the film's premiere
Film director Ken Loach has hit back at claims that his new movie portrays the Scottish town of Greenock in a deliberately harsh light.

As celebrities turned out for the UK premiere of Sweet Sixteen in Glasgow, Mr Loach said the film should be judged by the people featured in it.

The film, which won a best screenplay award at Cannes, features Martin Compston as a teenager who takes to dealing drugs to raise enough money to buy his imprisoned mother a caravan on her release from jail.

Compston - a footballer for Scottish Third Division side Greenock Morton - was one of a large number of local actors used by Loach, the acclaimed director of films such as Kes, Land and Freedom and Carla's Song

Michelle Collins at the premiere
Michelle Collins at the premiere

The town of Greenock lies on the southern bank of the Firth of Clyde about 20 miles west of Glasgow.

Mr Loach said: "I think the film should be about the people who feature in it. This very much belongs to the people who are in it and they own it.

"I have heard that the MP for Greenock has expressed concerns about the film but has not even seen it yet.

"I think it will be down to the people of Greenock and we will happily stand by their judgment."

Speaking at the film's premiere at the UGC in Glasgow, the director admitted that the film would be shown with subtitles at a later showing in London.

He said: "There is talk that, to appreciate the rhythms of the west coast accent and the special humour, the first reel will be subtitled at no extra cost to the English."

Among those attending the premiere were Changing Rooms presenter Carol Smillie, Kathleen McDermott, star of acclaimed feature film Morvern Callar, former Eastenders star Michelle Collins, and the cast of new BBC Scotland soap River City.

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Entertainment
21 May 02 | Entertainment
26 May 02 | Entertainment
23 May 02 | Entertainment
14 May 01 | Entertainment
13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
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