ReDrawing Edinburgh
Archive film lights up the Scottish capital

Site-specific film festival Cinescapes brings history to life on the streets of Edinburgh.

Local landmarks across Edinburgh are being lit up with spectacular scenes from history throughout September as part of the Cinescapes film festival. The film on tour across the city is ReDrawing Edinburgh - a new short film programme crafted from national, city and local archives, which revisits a moment of historic change to daily life and local identity in the Scottish capital a century ago.

The 1920 Edinburgh Boundaries Extension and Tramways Act - or the “amalgamation” as it was known at time - saw the city limits extended to incorporate the Burgh of Leith and the parishes of Cramond, Corstorphine, Colinton, and Liberton. The expansion transformed Edinburgh and the surrounding communities; the city more than tripled in area and its population grew by over 100,000.

Met with mixed reactions in its day, the Act reached its centenary in November 2020 and the ReDrawing Edinburgh project was launched to commemorate its history and legacy.

These site-specific, touring film events, produced by Cinetopia and supported by National Lottery funding through our New Directions programme, bring ReDrawing Edinburgh and its story of a changing city directly to the communities involved in the amalgamation of 1920. Buildings, walls and bridges in Corstorphine, Colinton, Cramond, Liberton and Leith will play host to images from the past and a celebration of evolving local identity.

   It’s not just about nostalgia. All of these areas had their own identities before the merger, and they are still there 100 years later... We see and think about our past through the archive footage and that helps us to think about our future. - Alistair Rutherford, Scriptwriter

The film features footage from all five areas involved in the boundary extension, including work from keen amateur filmmakers such as Colinton’s resident cine-chronicler, William Dobson who documented village life in a series of films produced from 1945 - 1971. Set to a newly commissioned soundtrack by Edinburgh folk duo Dowally, the film takes local audiences back in time and invites them to consider their community and its history in a different light.

Following its site-specific showcase throughout September, ReDrawing Edinburgh will be available to view online alongside a range of other centenary resources hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Find out more at Cinescapes

Photos: Lesley Martin.

The ReDrawing Edinburgh tour is supported by National Lottery funding through our New Directions programme. For more information on how we can help your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding landing page.