Edinburgh film festival artistic director steps down


Hannah McGill has stepped aside as Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival

By Cara Sulieman

THE ARTISTIC Director of the Edinburgh film festival is standing down after four years in the role.

It was announced today that Hannah McGill was moving on from her role with the internationally renowned festival.

She joined the festival in 2001 as a programme consultant before she took over as curator in 2006.

As she prepared to leave, the chair of the EIFF, Iain Smith, said that Ms McGill has been “a huge asset” and she had helped the festival grow.

She oversaw the festival moving from the busy month of August back to June which has been credited with giving the programme more publicity.

Mr Smith said: “We are immensely sad to see Hannah go, but wish her the very best for her future career.

“She has been a huge asset to the Festival and we thank her for all her hard work over what has been a significant four years for the Festival.”

Ms McGill said that she had enjoyed her time with the festival but it was time to move on.

She added: “I love EIFF and have been privileged to be a part of it.

“I’m very proud of what the team achieved during my time as Artistic Director, and I take away a great many happy memories.

“I wish the Festival the very best for its next phase – and I look forward to being in the audience.”

In her time at the festival, high profile patrons Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle and Seamus McGarvey have joined Sean Connery as ambassadors.

She helped select films for the festival that went on to win awards and international acclaim including The Hurt Locker as well as Holywood hits such as this year’s screening of Toy Story 3.

Faith Liddell from Festivals Edinburgh said: “We are very sorry to see Hannah go.

“She has been a wonderful festival colleague with a strong individual vision and a great collaborative spirit.

“We wish her all the best with her next endeavours.”

And Andrew Dixon, the CEO of Creative Scotland added: “Hannah brought a huge energy and passion to her role as artistic director and has done much to raise the profile of the festival.”

As well as successfully running the festival for four years, Ms McGill was awarded the Women in Film and Television UK Talkback Thames New Talent Award in 2009.

Ms McGill will stay in her post until later this year as the Edinburgh International Film Festival will start looking for her replacement.