Wage Row Puts Spoke Into Cycling Film Gala

Written by Steven Raeburn on . Posted in Film industry


Protesters to  Target EIFF Opening Gala Over Unpaid Wages

Jonny Lee Miller appears as Graham Obree, Scots cyle champion who built his own bikeProtesters are set to target the Edinburgh International Film Festival's opening gala in a row over unpaid wages. One of the companies behind The Flying Scotsman, the movie which will kick off the event, has gone into administration - leaving about 60 crew members and extras out of pocket.

The union which represents the workers is organising a mass picket and boycott of the movie's world premiere at Fountain Park on 14 August. BECTU said that its members were owed a total of £79,000. The stars of the film, including Brian Cox and Jonny Lee Miller, are understood to have been paid.


The union has also lodged an official protest with the festival, requesting that The Flying Scotsman not be screened until written guarantees are obtained that the cast and crew will be paid from any profits made following the release of the film. However, the film has still to secure a UK distributor.

The film, which was shot in Scotland and Germany last year, tells the story of cyclist Graham Obree, who designed and built his own innovative competition bike that took him to record-breaking success in the 1990s.

The production company behind the project, Mel Films Limited, was formed specifically to make The Flying Scotsman. The firm has never filed any company accounts and is now in administration.

The movie has had serious difficulties making it to the big screen. It exceeded its budget and production shut down when filming was completed. The film was only able to be completed when the principal backer, Fortress Finance, advanced another £450,000 to enable post-production work to be carried out.

Full report published in The Scotsman