Scotland the star as Salmond attends world premier of Disney-Pixar’s Brave

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By a Newsnet reporter

Scotland is the talk of Holywood as First Minister Alex Salmond walked a special green carpet at the world premiere of the Disney-Pixar animation Brave.

The animated movie opened the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night and Mr Salmond joined a list of Scottish stars who appear in the movie, which is already receiving rave reviews.

By a Newsnet reporter

Scotland is the talk of Holyrood as First Minister Alex Salmond walked a special green carpet at the world premiere of the Disney-Pixar animation Brave.

The animated movie opened the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night and Mr Salmond joined a list of Scottish stars who appear in the movie, which is already receiving rave reviews.

Featuring the voices of Craig Ferguson, Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd and Kelly Macdonald, the movie is expected to bring a boost of £140 million to the Scottish economy.

Set in the Highlands of Scotland, the film follows the journey of Merida, the rebellious daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor.

Merida is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, who described her character as “an adventurous tomboy and a happy young woman” but who struggles to take on adult responsibilities.

The premiere has brought together Disney-Pixar and VisitScotland in a unique collaboration between the film giant and Scotland‘s tourism agency to showcase Scotland across the world.

Dr Michael Cantlay OF VisitScotland said the collaboration will provide a “great opportunity” for the country.

He said: “This will be the first time we’ve been able to run a television advert out here in North America for 10 years.  In total, around the world, it should touch 80 million people.

“This is a great opportunity on the back of the movie to try and encourage people, once they’ve seen it, to hopefully come and see us in Scotland.”

He added: “The pictures are stunning and America’s going daft for this movie.  The first thing I saw when I flew into Los Angeles was a great big billboard for Brave and we hadn’t even landed.

“I think the really special thing is how the Scottish character is depicted and the acting talent have done such a wonderful job to explore that.”

VisitScotland are running an ad alongside the movie in order to tap into what is expected to be massive interest in Scotland.

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Speaking at the event, Mr Salmond said:

“This is a fantastic film, it’s great fun and a terrific showcase for Scotland across the world.  It features an incredibly talented cast – many of them Scots themselves.

“Millions of people are going to see Brave and they’re going to see for themselves an animated vision of our beautiful country.

“To make the most of that, VisitScotland is launching its biggest ever worldwide tourism campaign and the Scottish economy can look forward to a boost of around £140 million.

“I know how impressed people are with Scotland after seeing Brave and we have the chance to reap some of the benefits of that after people see this beautiful film.”

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The film is scheduled to arrive in UK cinemas in August, although its European premiere will be held later this month on the closing night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The First Minister’s attendance at the movie premier coincides with a four-day trade mission to the United States to boost tourism and encourage inward investment.

More than 70 Californian based firms have already been contacted as part of the four-day trade mission on the US west coast.

In a letter to each company, Mr Salmond spelled out the reasons he believed made investing in Scotland a better proposition than anywhere else.

“Scotland is a land of major opportunity and it is open for business.  We have a long and impressive track record in life sciences, sciences, technology and creative industries developing an environment where ingenuity and innovation can create jobs and wealth for Scotland.” he wrote and added:

“We have five universities in the world’s top 200, we rank first in the world in research productivity per unit of GDP and second in the world in research impact.

“Business operating costs for key functions can be almost a third lower here.”

Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to highlight Scotland’s competitive advantages to some of California’s biggest companies.”

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