About the Filmmakers



Colours of the Alphabet is the latest in a series of documentaries directed by Scotland based, New Zealand born Alastair Cole on the subtle, intimate and often amusing reality of living in a multilingual world. Alastair’s first film captured the foreign tongue of the Glaswegian, foreign that is to the most recent recruits from Poland to drive the buses in Glasgow. The film C’moan Get Aff won the Polyglot Film Competition in 2011. This short film was followed by an intimate exploration of multi-lingual love across southern Europe, with 6 couples whom all have different mother tongues to each other. The resulting film, Do You Really Love Me? featured 12 different languages and premiered at Cannes Critics Week in 2011 and went on to screen at festivals internationally, and be broadcast in 27 countries. Alastair followed this with a humorous investigation into the phenomena of Pikku Kalle, a figure of fun in Finland, not unlike the concept of a village idiot, whose existence each villager ascribes to their neighbours but never to themselves. Pikku Kalle screened as part of Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and continues to be screened internationally.

Alastair Cole is also a Lecturer in Film Practice, at Newcastle University.



Colours of the Alphabet is the fourth feature documentary that Nick has produced through Lansdowne Productions.

Previous productions include the BAFTA Scotland nominated, We Are Northern Lights, that was the breakaway hit of the Glasgow Film Festival in 2013 and went on to become the first ever Scottish documentary to be released nationally by the multiplex cinema chain, Cineworld. Remaining in Scottish cinemas for 6 months, We Are Northern Lights continues to be the most successful theatrical release of Scottish documentary ever.

Nick also originated, co-directed and co-produced The New Ten Commandments (EIFF & Sheffield 2008, BBC & Winner of the Refugee Film Festival Best Documentary Award) and produced and directed, A Massacre Foretold (EIFF 2007 & Winner of the WACC/SIGNIS Best Human Rights Documentary Film Award 2007). Earlier films include the RTS and Prix Europa nominated Hidden Gifts: The Mystery of Angus MacPhee that went on to win the Britspotting Award for Best Documentary Director in Berlin in 2004. The following year 2005 his documentary short Women in Black was selected to be one of the opening films for Nobel Peace Foundation in Norway and went on to screen in Scottish cinemas before features. His films have been broadcast on the BBC, STV, Al Jazeera, SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), ZDF (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), VPRO (the Netherlands) and continue to be distributed by Icarus Films (North America) & Deckert Distribution (Europe) and screened at film festivals internationally. Nick currently teaches and holds a Professorship in Media Practice at the University of the West of Scotland.


One of the Scotland’s most highly regarded editors, Glasgow born Colin has twenty years’ experience in both film and television, always working on high quality productions but noticeably favouring home-grown Scottish projects. Early in his career he edited actor and filmmaker Peter Mullan’s pivotal short film Fridge; the beginning of a working relationship that subsequently saw him editing Orphans, The Magdalene Sisters and Neds. Colin’s film credits also include director David Mackenzie’s Young Adam and Hallam Foe, while his documentary editing work includes Future My Love, Jig and We Are Northern Lights. He is currently editing Kenny Glenann’s latest feature project.

Further Credits:

  • Music: Victoria Wijeratne
  • Ged Fitzsimmons, PMD
  • Editor: Nick Gibbon
  • Nyanja Translation: Suwilanji Ngambi, Brighton Lubasi
  • Soli Translation and Interpreting: Peter Lupiya
  • Subtitle Production: Elena Zini, Screen Language
  • Animation: Kate Charter
  • Research Consultant: Dr Magnus Course, The University of Edinburgh.

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