Loch Ness: They Created a Monster

Cannes Docs

Loch Ness: They Created a Monster

Original title: Loch Ness: They Created a Monster

Directed by: John MACLAVERTY

Produced by: John ARCHER

Country of production: Scotland

Runtime: 88'

Expected release: August, 2023

Production stage: Completed

Budget: €455.000 (100% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Festivals, Distributors, Buyers


In the 1970s, beneath the murky waters of Loch Ness, lay a world of violent rivalry, fakes’n’ fraud, sexual shenanigans and monster egos. Cameras peered into the depths – but the real action happened on the banks. The Loch was a natural history frontier – even Attenborough was impressed. Flimsy evidence became scientific fact, frustration turned to fakery – but the deeper you go, the darker it gets.

Director’s profile:

From swearing, to kilts, to accents to…. Scotch pies – John MacLaverty has been writing and directing documentaries in Scotland – and about Scotland – for over 25 years. Though born in Belfast, he’s made long form and entertaining films that celebrate Caledonian cultural life, with wit and stylistic flair. With his partner, John co-runs Indelible Telly, a new(ish) boutique production company who’ve been commissioned by BBC and others to produced film about the Scottish newspaper industry, about the travails of tourism, the scandal of anthrax testing in rural Scotland. Loch Ness, They Created a Monster heralds his arrival into the world of feature docs, and the combination of an epic subject, and epic setting and an epic era, makes for an epic debut.

Producer’s profile:

Bafta winner John Archer runs Hopscotch Films who specialise in international feature documentaries. Recent premieres include Mark Cousins’ My Name is Alfred Hitchcock (Telluride ‘22); Jono McLeod’s My Old School (Sundance, HotDocs ’22) which opened in US and UK cinemas last summer; Mark Cousins’ Story of Film a New Generation (Cannes ’21) and Women Make Film (Venice, TIFF,) which was awarded the inaugural Innovation in Storytelling Award from European Film Academy. Other recent feature docs from great directors are: The Ballad of a Great Disordered Heart, Dùthchas (EIFF 2022), Eminent Monsters, Make Me Up, Arcadia, Glasgow Love & Apartheid, and Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War. Hopscotch Films are co-producing Beast with Denmark’s Bullitt Films and Sweden’s Plattform Productions and recently combined forces with Channel X to produce comedy and drama together from Scotland.