A NEW film celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath has gone online today - and has received praise from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The 30-minute film, produced by National columnist Lesley Riddoch and filmmaker Charlie Stuart, ensures the important milestone does not go unmarked following the cancellation of the originally-organised live events in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sturgeon took to Twitter this morning to share the film, highlighting that "an important part of Scotland's history is recorded" in the video.

The film includes interviews with historians Fiona Watson, Tom Turpie and Billy Kay who discuss the significance of the document and the meaning of the text.

Commenting on the "last-minute" film, Riddoch said: “We’ve had the most extraordinary luck with historians and authors who dropped everything two weeks ago to get filming finished before the coronavirus lockdown.

“We’re also grateful to Historic Environment Scotland and staff at Arboath Abbey itself for access as they were closing the venue.

“Since then Charlie and I have worked together remotely, along with composer Patrick Doyle. We were absolutely astonished and so grateful for his unexpected offer to produce an original score for the film.

“Now we need everyone’s help to distribute Declaration when it’s launched on Saturday morning – the day that should have been marked by an official parade and march through Arbroath. We have no broadcaster behind us, so we urge Scots to share widely and make sure the Declaration has a virtual 700th anniversary to remember.”

Declaration, the letter of liberty, is now available on social media, on lesleyriddoch.com and via this link: vimeo.com/401599947.

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