Kiss The Water reviewed in The Observer

Kiss The Water, the documentary feature directed by Eric Steel which includes 10 minutes of animation by Film Club's Em Cooper was reviewed in the Observer yesterday in the run up to its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Click here to see a clip of Em's fantastic oil paint animation
The full review from Jason Solomons, the Observer Sunday June 16th

Fishing for film gold

The Edinburgh international film festival starts this week, casting its net wide with Korean films and American indies. But this 67th edition might be remembered for a very local tale and one of the unlikeliest documentaries that's ever hooked me. It's called Kiss the Water: A Love Story, a portrait of an eccentric, almost hermit-like woman called Megan Boyd who became the world's foremost maker of salmon flies. Seriously. Prince Charles was one of her loyal clients, even delivering her OBE to her cottage because Boyd couldn't be bothered with the fuss of going to the palace to accept it from the Queen.

The film is by American doc maker Eric Steel, whose last film, The Bridge, was about suicides off the Golden Gate bridge. This is a calmer, less controversial affair, though equally contemplative, it seems to me, still questioning why people make certain life choices. Boyd's devotion to creating little bits of bait from silk, thread and feathers of toucans, parrots and ibis is indeed baffling, and Steel probes her life with testimonies from those who knew her, and using striking impressionistic animations by British illustrator Em Cooper. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and a vanishing way of life also plays a major part. Steel first heard of Boyd when he read her obituary in the New York Times in 2001. When I call him at his isolated beach house off Montauk, he tells me he's just finished reading that day's obits and is staring at the sea. "People die everyday," he says. "I read them for inspiration but for some reason Megan's was one I clipped out and stuck in on the wall and stared at it for many years, every day. I don't know why. I don't eat salmon, I'd never fished, never been to Scotland. I guess it was the mystery that reeled me in." Kissing the Water premieres at EIFF next Sunday, in the presence of several of the ghillies who appear in the film. "They read the river," Steel says, "and it's like reading the mysteries of life. They're the keepers of some kind of magic, so it will be an honour to be in Edinburgh with them."

Kiss The Water UK premier at Edinburgh film festival

Kiss The Water with animated sections by Film Club director Em Cooper has its UK premier at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday 23rd June.

The feature documentary directed by Eric Steel features 10 minutes of Ems beautiful oil paint animation which had its world premier at the Tribecca Film Festival in April to an audience which also included Ralph Lauren and jerry Seinfeld who described the film as "a combination of being in a dream and eating dessert".

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The film is described as A rich documentary inspired by the life and work of Megan Boyd, a legendary Scottish maker of salmon flies. Filled with tributes and recollections from those who knew this solitary and enigmatic woman, this elegiac film draws further inspiration from the colours and textures of Boyd’s handmade, featheradorned flies. The film also takes off into flights of expressive fantasy, courtesy of Em Cooper’s oil-painted animation. An impressionistic tribute to a master of the art of making fishing flies.

It will be screened on 23 June, 17:30 at Cineworld 11 and 25 June, 18:15 at Cineworld 8

For tickets go to

Click here to watch an excerpt from the film.