Highlight Arts Launch

Celebrate a New Era as Reel Festivals become Highlights Arts

The team behind Reel Festivals (Reel Syria, Reel Iraq and Reel Afghanistan) are ushering in in a new era as they shed their ‘Reel’ and become ‘Highlight Arts’

To celebrate, they are hosting a launch event on October 2nd at the Scottish Storytelling Centre – the home of Scotland’s culture – featuring live music, film and poetry with collaborators old and new including Shooglenifty, Krystelle Bamford, singer Kaela Ewan, Syrian writer Golan Haji, DJ Dolphin Boy plus films by director Roxana Vilk and some specially curated Arctic shorts.

Highlight Arts will continue in the same vein as Reel Festivals, organising festivals, events and workshops to uncover stories about people and places affected by conflict.  They collaborate with artists and organisations from around the globe, resulting in inspiring narratives that challenge stereotypes and encourage dialogue and debate.

Join us here at the Centre for what promises to be a great evening showcasing world talent:
Thursday October 2nd 2014
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Start: 7.30pm

FREE EVENT (4 tickets per person)
Advanced Booking necessary
Box Office: 0131 556 9579 or reserve online here

Artist Profiles

Shooglenifty performed at Beirut’s Music Hall as part of Reel Festivals in 2011 performing with a group of Lebanese musicians. They’re currently in the studio working on their next album to be released before the end of the year.

Golan Haji is a Syrian poet and translator who has translated the Scottish classic Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson into Arabic. He works as a translator from English and American literature. He lived in Damascus until he had to flee his country, and has now settled in France. 

Roxana Vilk is an award winning British/Iranian filmmaker.  In 2014 she was commissioned by Scottish Poetry Library and Commonwealth Year of Culture to make 8 short films called ‘Composing The Commonwealth’ with poets from across the Commonwealth. She was also nominated for a Margaret Tait Award for her film work. 

Emily Ballou is an award winning American-Australian poet, novelist and screenwriter based in Glasgow and recently appeared at Reel Festival’s Syria Speaks event at Edinburgh Book Festival. She adapted two episodes of Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap (BBC4), nominated for International Emmy, BAFTA, and Royal TV Society Awards.

Krystelle Bamford is a poet whose work has appeared in The American Poetry Review and The Kenyon Review. She recetly went out on a Reel Festivals project to Erbil, northern Iraq as part of a poetry translation partnership with Iraqi writers joining fellow Scottish poets Jen Hadfield, William Letford and John Glenday at the Erbil Literature Festival.

Kaela Rowan’s first collaboration with Highlight Arts see her playing tracks from the new album ‘Melangerie’ which was recently penned as Bewitching” bythe Scotsman.

Dolphin Boy is anEdinburgh based DJ who plays music with a Celtic twist, but done with a rare elegance and style, an infectious combination.

For more information on the organisation please visit