Actress Tilda Swinton has unveiled plans for the newest, most unusual film festival in the UK. The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams, as the event is currently called, will take place over 8 1/2 days in a Ballroom in Nairn, in the north-east of Scotland, next month (Aug 15-23).

The festival is the brainchild of Swinton, who will be running it with producer (and ex-Edinburgh International Film Festival boss) Mark Cousins. The programmers include film-maker Joel Coen.

The films will all screen in a venue called the Ballerina where, in the 1960s and 1970s, Cream, Pink Floyd and The Who played gigs.
'This festival grows out of a passion that Tilda Swinton and I have for trying to get as imaginative films as possible to young people,' Cousins said.

Full details of the programme are yet to be revealed but films that will screen include Powell and Pressburger's I Know Where I Am Going, Henry Hathaway's romance Peter Ibbetson (1935), one of Swinton's favourite movies which will open the festival, Sylvain Chomet's The Old Lady And The Pigeons, and Mohammed Ali Talebi's celebrated children's film, The Boots. The closing film is Federico Fellini's 8 1/2. Special digital projection facilities are being provided by Bjorn Koll, the MD of Berlin's Salzgeber.

'There will be no champagne receptions, absolutely not, no opening addresses and no politcians - it will be purely triple-distilled cinephilia,' Cousins said of the event. Nor will there be awards.

He said that the festival will show some new films. 'But what we are not trying to do at all is compete or stamp on the toes of those festivals that are trying to be premiere festivals.'

The long-term aim of the event is 'to reinject some romance into the film festival circuit' and to escape 'the shackles' of release schedules.

The guests are expected to include a mix of festival directors, film producers from the UK, curtaors, journalists and local kids.

Swinton and Cousins are also in the midst of setting up an '8 1/2Foundation' aimed at building enthusiasm among young cinemagoers.