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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
McGregor film kicks off festival
Tilda Swinton, Ewan McGregor and Emily Mortimer at Cannes
Ewan McGregor with Young Adam stars Tilda Swinton and Emily Mortimer
Stars of stage and screen gathered in Scotland's capital for the opening night of the 57th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

For the second year in a row it was the premiere of a Scottish movie which opened the two week festival.

Young Adam, starring Ewan McGregor as a drifter on the Clyde canal in the 1950s, is based on the cult novel by Glaswegian Alexander Trocchi.

Trainspotting star McGregor could not attend the screening due to filming commitments for the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga in Sydney, Australia.

Hanging around

But his mother Carol took his place at the event and she admitted she was sad that her son could not be there.

Two of the film's other stars, Peter Mullan and Tilda Swinton, were in attendance along with the film's Scottish director David McKenzie.

Mullan said he had been persuaded to take the part by Ewan McGregor - but admitted he would not be hanging around to watch the whole film.

He said: "I'm actually going to sneak out the back and go and watch the Celtic game."

Others who attended the premiere were Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell, Inspector Rebus author Iain Rankin, comedians Phil Kay and Greg Proops and Australian pop star Holly Vallance.

Film festival poster
Young Adam will open the festival next month

She said: "I heard a lot about the film and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

"I've never been to a film festival before and Edinburgh is a really lovely place, so I'm really excited."

Jack McConnell had earlier said he was "proud" that the festival's first film was Scottish and that he wanted to see the industry flourish north of the border.

He said: "We already have one of the best film festivals in the world, the challenge now is to make our domestic film industry and the contribution of Scottish talent to cinemas worldwide even more successful.

Ticket sales for the festival are already up 20% on last year and organisers are tipping this year's event to be one of the best ever.

Withdraw the movie

However, the festival was dealt a blow earlier on Wednesday when it was confirmed that Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood's latest movie has been withdrawn from the event.

Mystic River, which is directed by Eastwood and stars Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins, was due to be shown twice during the festival.

But its distributors, Warner Brothers, said that "unforeseen scheduling commitments" had forced them to withdraw the movie.

The 57th festival will feature more than 100 film premieres between 13 and 24 August.

Arts correspondent Pauline Maclean reports
"This is the second year in a row that a Scottish film has opened the festival."

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