Focus on director at May Fest

Steve Coogan with director Jon S Baird on the set of 'Stan & Ollie'
Steve Coogan with director Jon S Baird on the set of 'Stan & Ollie'

Peterhead-born movie director Jon S Baird will re-visit the north east next week when he takes part in the University of Aberdeen’s May Fest.

Jon, whose work includes ‘Stan & Ollie’ - one of the most acclaimed films of 2018 - will take part in the event on Friday, May 24.

Peterhead-born director Jon S Baird at the premiere of 'Filth' in Edinburgh

Peterhead-born director Jon S Baird at the premiere of 'Filth' in Edinburgh

In a special edition of the Director’s Cut series, Jon will discuss how growing up in Aberdeenshire contributed to the kind of stories he became interested in developing as feature films, including his earlier works ‘Cass’ and ‘Filth’.

The event will be hosted by Professor Alan Marcus, Professor in Film and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen.

Jon, who has worked with many producers including Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Jim Carrey, Mick Jagger, as well as a host of award-winning actors, was born and brought up in Peterhead.

He studied for an MA at the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 1996.

He began his career at BBC television, quickly progressing through the ranks to become one of Britain’s most exciting and highly-regarded directorial talents.

Baird’s sophomore feature ‘Filth’, which he also wrote, directed and produced, was based on the best-selling novel by Irvine Welsh and starred James McAvoy. It won numerous awards and played at several international film festivals.

In 2014, Baird directed the television drama ‘Babylon’ for Channel 4, which was produced by Academy Award Winner, Danny Boyle.

Baird was approached by HBO in 2015 to direct an episode of the Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger-produced show ‘Vinyl’, and in 2016, he directed the second episode of ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ for Showtime, produced by Jim Carrey.

In 2018, Baird directed ‘Stan & Ollie’, a feature film based on the lives of the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly.

It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and was released in the US two months later, arriving in the UK in January this year.

The biographical comedy-drama focuses on details of the comedy duo’s personal relationship, while relating how they embarked on a gruelling music hall tour of the UK and Ireland during 1953 and struggled to get another film made.

Jon said: “I’m truly honoured to be invited to this event and to be returning home to the North East. As a very average University of Aberdeen student, never would I have dreamt that my career would’ve turned out the way it has.

“I’m therefore extremely excited to be given the opportunity to share some stories and hopefully pass on advice to anyone who wants to follow a similar path.”

Tickets (£12/£10) can be booked online at www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival.