A NEW cinema will open in Montrose this weekend with a special showing of the acclaimed documentary Eye of the Storm.

The cinema is part of the new £3.5 million Montrose Playhouse arts complex, which has arisen out of the former swimming pool in the Angus town.

The Montrose Playhouse is a three-screen cinema, community and arts venue.

Eye of the Storm is directed by Anthony Baxter – a patron of the complex along with top licensing solicitor Janet Hood and Hollywood producer Mark Millar.

The film will be screened on Saturday at 7.30pm, a little more than a year after the death of painter and subject of the documentary, James Morrison.

It will be the first time that the full film has been shown on the big screen in Europe, and the opening night is already a sell-out.

Baxter will be present and will take part in a post-screening Q&A, which will also include the late artist’s son, Professor John Morrison, a leading art historian.

Although Eye of the Storm had its world premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year, due to Covid-19 the film has only been seen virtually in Europe to date.

Eye of the Storm has subsequently played at prestigious festivals around the world, including Shanghai International Film Festival, San Francisco, Washington DC and Montreal.

It is a moving account of the life and work of Morrison, dealing sensitively with his loss of eyesight.

Baxter said: “With a year having passed since the loss of James, it feels very fitting that Eye of the Storm will launch on the big screen in his hometown of Montrose. And where better to enjoy his extraordinary landscapes, than at the town’s incredible new state- of- the-art cinema.”

The Montrose Playhouse’s manager Matt Buchanan said: “Tickets for this screening sold out in a few days, but we’re already planning to show the film again later this month, so that as many people who want to see it have the opportunity to do so.”

When a shorter, made-for-television version of Eye of the Storm was broadcast by BBC2 on Easter Sunday, the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh’s website crashed under the strain of thousands of enquiries about Morrison, whom the gallery represented for several decades.

The film tells the story of Morrison’s life – from his training at Glasgow School of Art, to his extraordinary trips to the Arctic and his breath-taking landscapes painted around Angus and the west coast of Scotland. His works hang in art galleries around the country.

Eye of the Storm, which was supported by BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland, was produced by Montrose Pictures, the award-winning film andb television production company based in the town, which makes content for the BBC, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and international broadcasters.