Stenhousemuir actor secures first film role alongside Scottish stars including Gary Hollywood and Greg McHugh

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A young Stenhousemuir actor has secured her first film role.

Lily McGuire, 16, takes on the lead role of Vaila in the ambitious and uniquely Scottish short film, Faithful.

Written by film-maker Fraser Coull, Faithful aims to fire Scotland’s fairytales into the spotlight and preserve the nation's myths and legends for generations to come.

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The short follows young Vaila as she bravely runs into the woods after lights out in the hope that she’ll find the mythical Cù-Sìth, a Grim Reaper Fairy Dog who will drag you to The Otherworld if you hear it howling three times. Vaila hopes to find the dog so that it will lead her to her mother who she lost years previously.

Lily McGuire recently filmed Faithful, a short film in which she plays the young lead Vaila.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)Lily McGuire recently filmed Faithful, a short film in which she plays the young lead Vaila.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Lily McGuire recently filmed Faithful, a short film in which she plays the young lead Vaila. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Starring alongside Lily are a number of familiar Scottish faces, including Gary: Tank Commander’s Greg McHugh, Mrs Brown’s Boys actor Gary Hollywood, River City and Balamory star Juliet Cadzow and Fresh Meat's Kimberley Nixon.

Although she’s no stranger to the stage, having performed in front of audiences in musical theatre productions at venues around the district, this is Larbert High pupil Lily’s first time appearing in front of the camera for a film.

However, her mum Sharon McGuire said she’s loved the whole experience.

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She explained: “Lily is on the books of a casting agency, Cameron Kids, and had a request to submit a self tape which she did. She was then asked for a second self tape and after that they said they were interested in her playing the lead part of Vaila.

Lily McGuire in action as Vaila in the short film, Faithful.  (Pic: Sonja Blietschau)Lily McGuire in action as Vaila in the short film, Faithful.  (Pic: Sonja Blietschau)
Lily McGuire in action as Vaila in the short film, Faithful. (Pic: Sonja Blietschau)

"She was nervous at first because this is her first film role that she’s had. She was nervous but excited to be involved in it.

"We spent four days in Ayrshire filming.

“It’s been a fantastic experience and she would tell you herself that the people that she’s worked with have all helped make it that way. They are a very warm and friendly cast and crew.

"It’s an independent film and neither of us had any idea how it worked before in terms of the extent of raising money to complete the process.

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Lily is no stranger to the stage, however Faithful is her first film appearance.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)Lily is no stranger to the stage, however Faithful is her first film appearance.  (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Lily is no stranger to the stage, however Faithful is her first film appearance. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

"Hats off and full credit to Fraser and the team for doing what they have done. He’s had a vision and worked his socks off to make sure that it has happened.”

Fraser and the team raised around £15,000 in order to pay the cast and crew and to cover the costs of production.

They also received a contribution from sponsor Simon Webster and a grant from Kiran’s Trust – a charity which celebrates the creative arts and sport – as well as support from over 100 members of the public through the project’s crowdfunding campaigns.

Former Carron Primary pupil Lily started to pursue her interest in musical theatre at a young age as a member of Sunny Stars. She then went on to join Big Bad Wolf Theatre Company when she was eight.

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Her mum continued: “She just loves it. She’s totally at home on the stage, and she seemed at home on the film set as well. She just loves to perform.”

Although filming may be over for Faithful, the project is ongoing with the short now in post production.

Sharon added: “Work is still ongoing and we can’t wait to see the finished film. Seeing how they’ve pulled it together is going to be very exciting.”

Faithful is directed by Lucy Linger and produced by Valerie Andrews and Lindsay Dowell.

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Work is ongoing to raise more funds in order to submit the film to festivals around the world as well as a potential tour in the Highlands and Islands, and it is hoped it will be available on the STV player.

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