ISLANDERS on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides were shown a special screening of The Road Dance, a movie based and filmed on the island.

Set around the beginning of World War 1, the story follows the tragic tale of real-life Lewis native Kirsty Macleod. The film is set on the book of the same name which was written by STV News Anchor, John MacKay.

McKay has strong links to the island as his family is originally from Lewis, with him spending many summers there as a boy.

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Speaking to STV News, he said: “This is the landscape and the people that inspired The Road Dance so to bring it back here and let the local community see it, before most other people have seen it, is thrilling. Absolutely thrilling.”

Back in 2020 when the film was being shot, over 70 members of the cast and crew descended upon the island to create the movie. Most of the filming was done in the historic scenery of the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.

Speaking to STV News, Iain Macarthur, director of Gearrannan said: “It all happened in the lockdown year so we had literally no income coming in and they had the place to themselves and we got a bit of money out of it so all round, it was really good.”

It is hoped that in the aftermath of the pandemic the film’s exhibition of Lewis’s stunning landscape will boost tourism on the island.

Jenni Steele from Visit Scotland said: “When films shoot on locations like this, you see the real landscapes and scenery on the big screen which is an advert for Scotland that money can’t buy.

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“Gearrannan Blackhouse is actually a real location which has its own fantastic history and story of its own, so it’s a perfect place for people to come and explore.”

The Road Dance is set to hit cinemas on May 20 but those who caught the special screening on Lewis say it was “really good and very moving” while another said the movie had her “howling” and that “it was just beautiful”.

STV News report that several members of the audience in the community hall showing had tears in their eyes but one, in particular, was Mackay’s auntie Ina, who said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m very proud, very proud indeed.”