AN Oscar-winner is one of the speakers to be announced so far for XpoNorth, the creative industries conference held in Inverness each year. Visual effects supervisor Ian Hunter, acclaimed for his work on the likes of The Dark Knight, Inception and First Man, will make a keynote speech at the two-day conference.

Having overseen stunning sequences in some of the most memorable contemporary blockbusters, Hunter is described by XpoNorth organisers as “a true visionary [who] deftly utilises his experience in visual effects and film design into the cutting-edge virtual reality world”.

READ MORE: Play tells the story of politician who brought hydro to the Highlands

Hunter (pictured) will join other experts from the worlds of film, music, gaming, fashion, craft and publishing at the free event, which is currently looking for music and film submissions.

A selection of the musicians invited to perform will also be put forward for consideration to perform on the XpoNorth Stage at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in August.

A keynote speech will also be given by Jason Lust, former head of the Jim Henson Company’s feature film division. Other experts announced include Angela Quaintrell, former head fashion buyer at luxury store Liberty, Annie Stone from Bookbub and members of the Music Producers Guild. Journalist/broadcasters Stuart Cosgrove and John Robb will lead a discussion on the “story behind the music”. More speakers are set to be announced over the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Political tensions of Brazil captured and brought back to capital

XpoNorth, formerly called goNORTH, is partly funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and aims to be a meeting place for local, national and international people across the creative industries. A new introduction for this year is the market, a pop-up space for local and regional businesses to showcase and sell their work.

Iain Hamilton, HIE’s head of creative industries, said: “It’s important that we continue to develop the range of areas XpoNorth covers and ensure the event remains as vibrant, innovative and relevant as possible. Delivering a multi-genre destination for our attendees to connect with leading local, national and international voices from across the creative industries is key to maintaining our reputation as a fantastic platform to exchange ideas, develop new networks and discuss the issues impacting and shaping the sector.”