Protesters are threateningto picket the world premiere screening of TheFlying Scotsman, which is scheduled to open the 60th EdinburghInternational Film Festival on August 14.

The production companyformed to make The Flying Scotsman,Mel Films Limited, is now in administration. Around 60crew members and extras have yet to be paid for their work on the film and aresaid to be owed a total of $147,563 (£79,000). A protest is planned for theopening night with the support of BECTU, the UK union for the broadcasting, film, theatre andentertainment industries.

The Flying Scotsman is currently seeking a UK distribution deal. "Only by the film achievingdistribution do the unpaid stand a chance of being paid," claims Edinburgh's managing director GinnieAtkinson. "It is understandable that people are fed up and angry but focusingon the Festival screening is counter-productive. Distributors like to see howaudiences and critics react to a film and that's what Edinburgh will provide. It is the best chance for the film tomove forward. The unpaid might be better engaging with the administrators andsales agents to ensure they are first in the list of creditors when the filmdoes start to make money."

The film, directed byDouglas MacKinnon, tells the inspirational true story of champion Scottishcyclist Graeme Obree and stars JonnyLee Miller, Brian Cox and Laura Fraser.