THE director of a documentary showcasing the 2014 independence campaign has expressed frustration after the film was rejected from "all" of Scotland’s film festivals.

To See Ourselves, which is acclaimed filmmaker Jane McAllister’s first feature-length documentary, focuses on her father’s activism in the run-up to the September vote – and surrounding familial life.

The film's production was funded via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which managed to raise more than £25,000.

Fighting for support for the film has been “exhausting”, McAllister said after failing to make the final selection for the Central Scotland Documentary Festival in Stirling. The event had been her last hope after being rejected from all other Scottish festivals.

READ MORE: The documentary about the 2014 referendum that all Scots should see

McAllister is concerned that the film’s lack of success on the festival circuit is down to its political nature – and was unsettled to learn that the Central Scotland Documentary Festival is now screening a film about Brexit from a pro-Remain perspective.

“I feel there was an expectation of sort of BBC impartiality with this film,” the filmmaker said. “I think there was a fear that if it was backed there would be accusations of supporting one side over another.”

She went on: “Then I look at the programme the other day, and I saw that film. 

“It's following a trend. All the festivals rejected [To See Ourselves] and none gave feedback … this crops up and I think oh okay you can do politics, just not Scottish politics?

“You’d think they might prioritise Scottish films, and also prioritise new films. It just baffled me.”

McAllister questioned why she has not been given explanations for the film’s rejection across an array of festivals.

“I just wish somebody would give me a reason,” she said. 

The director has also raised concerns over the lack of support shown for the documentary from Scottish Government figures.

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The National has seen an email the production team sent to Angus Robertson MSP (above), Secretary for the Constitution and Culture, inviting him to the sold-out premiere of To See Ourselves at the GFT.

In the email, McAllister expresses concerns that cultural institutions fear the film is “too politically biased”, before giving examples of other documentaries with political angles which have managed to secure funding and widespread support – such as The Edge Of Democracy in Brazil, which follows the rise of Jair Bolsonaro from a left-wing perspective.

McAllister says she did not receive a response from the MSP. No ministers were available to attend the screening – though she did receive two responses via the Scottish Government after reaching out.

“You just wonder what other stories are not getting out in our culture because it’s so hard,” she told The National.

“You’ve got a film that I’ve made struggling so hard in an SNP-run Scotland to get any traction,” she said. “I just don’t understand why nobody in the arts sector could stand beside it in anyway.

“The problem is me saying this, essentially I’ll probably never get funding to do another film.”

READ MORE: New film tells the story of the 2014 referendum – but it needs your support

According to the organisers of the Central Scotland Documentary Festival, based at Macrobert Arts Centre, To See Ourselves was not selected for the programme as it wasn’t submitted through official channels, and came after most submissions had already been chosen.

They say they would be happy to show the film as part of regular programming at the cinema in early 2024.

Brexit documentary Postcards From The 48% is being shown because the festival is giving its filmmaker, David Nicholas Wilkinson, The Stirling Award for Achievement in Documentary, they said.

McAllister and her team at NEW LiCHT FiLMS are hoping to release the film online in some capacity in the near future, and they're still holding out for support from a television broadcaster.

"Even though it is hard to imagine a broadcaster might take it, you’ve really got no chance when it’s available online," she explained. "So we're still wanting to try and keep pressure up to see if we can get some kind of broadcast, whether it’s here or maybe in Europe."

To find out more about To See Ourselves, click here.