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Graeme Obree Talks About The Flying Scotsman

The 60th EIFF will get off to an outstanding start thanks to the World Premiere of The Flying Scotsman on Opening Night. The film, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Brian Cox, tells the extraordinary real...

The 60th EIFF will get off to an outstanding start thanks to the World Premiere of The Flying Scotsman on Opening Night.

The film, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Brian Cox, tells the extraordinary real-life story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree, the eponymous Flying Scotsman, who broke multiple world records and won the World Pursuit Championship on a revolutionary bike that he designed and created at home.

Graeme was in town for the 2006 Programme launch and was thrilled that his story had finally made it onto the big screen; "The possibility of making a movie was first discussed ten years ago so to see it getting a big film festival launch is great." Having had a sneak preview, he was equally effusive about the finished product; "The excitement and emotion I felt when watching it reminded me of Chariots of Fire. It’s a fantastic film."

He was closely involved with the production as Technical Advisor and occasionally found himself back in familiar territory, running repairs in his garage. "I’d find myself staying up until two in the morning, getting the bike prepped for Jonny to ride on set the following day." And the hard work was worth it judging by his response to the spectacularly shot race sequences; "When I was watching those sections of the film for the first time I’d get the sweaty palms and feel the buzz, exactly the way I did back then."

However, it’s not just about the bike. Graeme had battles both on and off the track, struggling with depression at times throughout his career. The candour he displays on the subject in his autobiography, and in person, is reflected on screen. Whilst there’s a necessary element of fictionalisation, Graeme is pleased with the integrity of the film because, "it doesn’t gloss over things, it’s more than just a movie about competitive cycling."

With its mixture of human drama, high tension racing action and stunning cinematography this biopic will go some way to immortalizing his incredible achievements.

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