THE tiny island of Muck is the setting for a new film which will receive its world premiere this month at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Described as a haunting and ­cinematic documentary, the Prince Of Muck will be simultaneously screened in around 12 locations across Scotland from Edinburgh to Lerwick, Tiree to Tobermory and ­Inverness to Glasgow.

Made by Dutch filmmaker Cindy Jansen, it explores how difficult it is to change habits of a lifetime, focusing on the charismatic laird Lawrence MacEwen who has just turned 80.

Recognised for his eco-conscious farming in the 1970s, the film shows him stubbornly battling to preserve his vision of Muck for the next generation while trying to maintain his and the island’s relevance for the future.

He believes it has been his mission in life to preserve the fragile society on the Inner Hebridean island so it may pass to future generations but the documentary shows him struggling to accept he no longer controls his life, nor the isle he so loves, as he did in former years.

Jansen said she had first gone to the Isle of Muck with an open curiosity, but quickly became fascinated by the complex nature of the way in which everyone on the island is interdependent.

“It made me think deeply about my own society, here in Holland, but I knew that in Muck, I had the opportunity to study the fragile balance ­between tradition and modernity in an entire ‘micro society’,” she said.

“In Lawrence MacEwen, I found an engaging character who is not only deeply embedded in the community but who transcends the history of the island as he struggles to accept that intergenerational change is ­profoundly challenging but inevitable. It is wonderful that the film will premiere at EIFF in Scotland, close to its home ground. I feel it is a great compliment to the people in the film and the team who made it happen, in Scotland and here in The Netherlands.”

Rohan Crickmar, documentary programme consultant for EIFF said: “Quite simply it is a ­celebration of the Scottish landscape and its people that focuses on the need to renew and evolve heritage and tradition to ­preserve a sense of community. It will allow you to see a part of ­Scotland rarely documented, and in a ­strikingly different way which highlights ­cultural commonalities across Europe’s northlands.”

Prince of Muck was supported by The National Lottery and the Scottish Government through Screen Scotland’s Film Development and Production Fund.

Screen Scotland’s Mark Thomas said the “beautifully” cinematic portrait of an island and a family in transition was the result of a strong European co-production between Scotland-based production company Faction North and Dutch company De Productie, coming together to ­realise Jansen’s vision.

“Thanks to the festival’s work with venues and cinemas, it’s fantastic that audiences across Scotland will have the opportunity to see the film simultaneously this summer,” he said.

Prince of Muck is one of three films which will screen at the same time at locations across Scotland as part of EIFF’s vision to play an active role in bringing cinema audiences back ­together across the country. The ­other two are the opening film, the European Premiere of Pig ­starring Nicolas Cage, and the closing film, the UK Premiere of Here Today, ­directed and starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish.

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “I am pleased that £50,000 of funding from the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund has contributed to the Edinburgh ­International Film Festival’s innovative development of this communal cinema experience, so that these films can be enjoyed nationwide.”