About The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams


A while ago, on an impulse, a quixotic seizure, Tilda Swinton rented a ballroom in an old Victorian stone building in Nairn in the North East of Scotland, a seaside town where Chaplin used to holiday and which has a balmy microclimate and vistas across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle, Cromarty and Sutherland. The ballroom is called Ballerina. In the 60s and 70s Pink Floyd, The Who and Cream played there. The ballroom in nearby Elgin was called The Red Shoes.

After renting the Ballerina, Tilda emailed Mark Cousins to ask if he’d help her put on a film festival in it. As quixotic as she, he said yes. Tilda took Mark to see the place – they were making a wee film about being 8 1/2 and falling in love with cinema – and he loved it and so, together, they dreamt up a festival of beanbags on the floor, that would run 8 1/2 days, that would be a 6 out of ten on the grunge scale, that would serve home-made cakes and fish finger sandwiches, whose tickets would be £3/£2, and that would transform the Ballerina into something like a ghost train...

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is the chicken,
the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams is the egg.
Tilda Swinton