WRITERS and actors behind a film about the mystery of the Loch Ness monster hope their production will leave a whole new audience fascinated by a story that has encapsulated the nation for hundreds of years.

The movie Nessie – starring Taggart actor John Michie and Dynasty’s Stephanie Beacham – has begun touring cinemas across Scotland and is set to hit the likes of Arbroath, Annan and Glenrothes this month.

The story begins with Jimmy, the village committee chairman, receiving a letter stating the community has been left $50 million by a rich American industrialist to improve the place, until his son Brad decides to contest the will.

A young solicitor is dispatched to the island for Brad but ends up in an awkward spot after she befriends the villagers but is then shunned by them when they realise she is working for him. In a desperate attempt to make amends with them, she attempts to convince Brad Nessie is real so he will see the potential in the area.

READ MORE: Possible video footage of Nessie following major search of Loch Ness

Writers Tim Churchill and Catherine O’Reilly – who came up with the idea for the film way back in 2015 – said the release of the film could not have been timed better given a major search for Nessie, the biggest for more than 50 years, has recently taken place on the loch.

Possible video footage of the creature emerged from the search, which hundreds of volunteers took part in.

Churchill and O’Reilly said they hope the film with leave people feeling uplifted and encourage them to believe in the legend.

O’Reilly said: “The whole point of the film is about hope, that’s the overriding message. You don’t have to see something to think that it’s exists.

“The thing with Nessie is it’s just a fascinating mystery and I don’t think I’d ever want to know either way [whether she exists].

“I think they [audiences] will walk away feeling uplifted and perhaps have witnessed a bit of magic and have a little bit more hope.”

The National: Writer Catherine O'Reilly (right) with distributor Mairi SutherlandWriter Catherine O'Reilly (right) with distributor Mairi Sutherland (Image: Mairi Sutherland)

Churchill added: “It’s definitely got that message of hope at the end. I’m so glad it was made into a family film, as originally we had a few adult jokes in there.

“I like the fact people can sit there with their families and kids and watch. Kids will be able to learn about the Loch Ness monster for the first time.”

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Jason Harvey, who has played a couple of suspects in Taggart over the years, stars as the romantic lead of Geordie.

He told The National he thoroughly enjoyed playing a more fun-loving character than usual and hopes will fall in love with the characters.

“It’s a fantastic story and a really feel-good, family movie,” he said.

“In all honesty, I’ve played a lot more gritty characters so Geordie is a lot more family-orientated and down to earth.

“The characters are fantastic. It’s a big cast for a feature film. I love the community feel of it and all the characters have got their own wee stories to tell.

“You’re definitely going to walk away laughing.”

The film – which cost £500,000 – came in for some critical media reactions earlier this year for not being filmed on Loch Ness. It was instead filmed at Loch Awe in Argyll.

But Caroline Guthrie, who plays the character of Moira the shopkeeper, said: “There’s so many things people who aren’t in the industry don’t understand.

“Local Hero was filmed in about seven different locations. It’s very rare for something to be entirely filmed where it is set. It’s all to do with accessibility and budgets that’s beyond people’s control.”

Guthrie, who starred in Local Hero, said she had a “joyous” experience on set which came close to being as enjoyable as her time filming the 1983 classic.

She said: “I think the location was stunning. I just think it’s a very warm film about a very important part of Scottish folklore. It’s a great myth to have.

“It was an absolutely joyous experience. We were all there for three or four weeks living right on the edge of Loch Awe, and we had the most amazing group in the cast. I had a ball.

“Local Hero was the pinnacle of having a good time on a job but this came a very close second.”

Nessie is currently being shown at the Fort William Highland Cinema until Thursday, September 7.

It will then move to the Annan Lonsdale from September 9 to 13, before going up to the Chalmers Filmhouse in Arbroath and the Kino Cinema in Glenrothes later this month.