26 MARCH 2009

When Scottish star Tilda Swinton staged a free Caledonian-themed film festival for Beijing residents this week, her invite came with strings attatched. Guests had to don a kilt to be eligible for entry.

The Narnia and Michael Clayton actress welcomed cinema goers dressed in tartan herself, and waving a flag to the music of her countrywoman Annie Lennox.

During the five-day extravaganza the audience has been sitting on bean bags in a movie theatre transformed into a Celtic wood for the occasion. The forest atmosphere was conjured up by recordings of bird song and projections of trees on the wall.

Modelled on a bohemian event organised by the Oscar winner near her Highland home in Nairn last summer, the project has already proved a triumph. Some 600 million Chinese viewers tuned in to watch when Tilda appeared on state TV to promote it.

Photo: Getty Images
In order to secure a seat at her Scottish-themed film fest in Beijing, guests had to emulate Tilda Swinton and her associate Mark Cousins in donning a kilt
Photo: Getty Images
Audience members at the tartan-themed five-day extravaganza were seated on bean bags and surrounded by projections of trees and the sound of recorded birdsong