Toronto premiere for Montrose director

A NEW documentary by a local film-maker investigating the impact of Donald Trump’s dream golf resort near Aberdeen will premier at an international festival in May.

‘You’ve Been Trumped’, directed by Montrose man Anthony Baxter, looks at the social, economic and environmental effect of the £750 million development at the Menie Estate, north of Aberdeen, and will feature in this year’s Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Better known as Hot Docs, the festival in May is the largest and most important documentary film showcase in North America.

The 90-minute feature is currently being completed by Mr Baxter’s company, Montrose Pictures – an independent production company in Angus. The premiere will be held at the world famous Bloor Cinema in Toronto and a further three screenings are scheduled in the city.

‘You’ve Been Trumped’ has also been chosen for the popular Hot Docs for Schools Programme – only 10 titles from the 170 films shown at the festival are selected.

The filmmakers followed developments at Menie for more than a year and the documentary questions the decision by the Scottish Government to give the development the go-ahead based on economic predictions described as “wildly optimistic” by one of Britain’s leading economists.

Paul Cheshire, an emeritus professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics, said a report commissioned from Strathclyde University by the Trump organisation in 2008 contained a number of “implausible” assumptions.

Mr Baxter was handcuffed and arrested while making the film in what the National Union of Journalists described as “a blatant example of police interference aimed at stopping bona fide journalists from doing their job”. He and producer Richard Phinney were held in police cells for four hours before being charged with breach of the peace. The charges were later dropped.

A global campaign to finish the film to theatrical standards has raised over £6,000 – more than half the target – in less than a week and donations have come from Australia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Norway, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Sweden in addition to the UK. It has also attracted some illustrious support from Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald, director of hit films ‘Touching the Void’, ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and ‘The Eagle’.

In addition, the film’s YouTube trailer has attracted more than 50,000 hits in one week.

The crowd sourcing for the film is run by the US-based IndieGoGo, the world’s largest crowd sourcing website.

Site co-founder Slava Rubin said: “We’re thrilled director Anthony Baxter chose to fund his documentary on IndieGoGo’s worldwide platform. We’re watching his progress closely and eagerly anticipating the debut of his important documentary.” Mr Baxter this week said the amount of support the film has received has been gratifying.

He said, “We’ve been flabbergasted that over 50,000 people have watched the YouTube trailer in less than a week. And we’re immensely grateful to the large numbers of people – most of them complete strangers – who have sent a contribution.”