A FILM-MAKER is in the frame for an honour at the Edinburgh International Film Festival for his production based on mysterious Greenock character Catman.

James Kearnie Beaton, 46, is celebrating being shortlisted for best short film for 'Catman's Greenock'.

Inspired by a poem written by childhood friend Shaun Salom, James's production is a portrayal of how the town has changed, through the eyes of one of the area's most-talked about figures.

The character is part of local folklore - a man who lives and forages in the undergrowth of Scott Street, or Scott's Lane, which runs between Baker Street and Dellingburn Street.

Many people claim to have seen him over the years and there are several images and videos online.

The new film was made in partnership with James's Edinburgh-based director pal Leo Bruges, who visited Greenock a few years ago and insisted on making a film.

James told the Tele: "We started talking and got into depth about how we have this local character called Catman and decided to tell this story through him. "We've shared this timeline with Catman and any information passed through this lane he would've heard, from school kids chatting to people going to work, and there would've been a lot of goodbyes."

Shaun, 44, who lives in Branchton, said: "We used to come through here as boys and that's how we know the Catman story. "We grew up here and when we started talking about everything we know, Catman came up and we wondered what happened to him and that's the mystery.

"That's when James asked me to write a poem.

"But the depth of meaning in the film is massive, not just about Catman but Greenock.

"It's a fantastic achievement to be shortlisted for this award."

Recognition at the festival caps off a long journey for director James, who lives in the Strone and is through in the capital for the premiere and judging.

He had several knock-backs along the way and was thrilled when he got a call from the Edinburgh festival organisers.

James, who runs his own company, StillMoving Image, said: "I started out in photography but film-making is my ideology.

"This began in 2008 and I spent a lot of money on it and I wasn't making much money at the time, I was eating beans.

"When Edinburgh said they'd put the film in for the award I thought, 'James, what have you done'.

"When people see it, they really see the meaning and true depth of it, and it's bigger than we thought.

"The opening ceremony is tonight then there's a private audience tomorrow and that's when it will be decided if we get the best film."