Edinburgh International Film Festival programme launched



By Oliver Farrimond

A STAR-STUDDED programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival was officially unveiled yesterday at the Capital’s Filmhouse cinema.

Festival patrons Tilda Swinton, Seamus McGarvey and Sir Sean Connery will also return for the event, which runs from 17-28 June.

No fewer than 23 films will have their world premieres at the renowned festival, which will include a special showcase on the work of celebrated Scottish film-makers Peter MacDougall and John Mackenzie.

Scots audiences can look forward to a number of Scottish feature films being screened, including a new film from “Hallam Foe” director David Mackenzie, titled “Spread”.

Hannah McGill, artistic director for the festival, said: “I’m thrilled about this programme, and really looking forward to showing these films to our audience, as well as welcoming this wide array of exciting guests.

“We’ve been really privileged to see a tremendous range of very varied work from all over the world this year.

“The British section is especially diverse, and it’s also great that in the year of Homecoming to be celebrating Scottish talent with both our McDougall/Mackenzie focus and our new Scottish feature films.

“The programming team have done incredible work in selecting the best and most innovative films.”

The Edinburgh International Film Festival, in its 63rd year, has become an important fixture in the city’s cultural calendar after shifting dates last year to June from the Capital’s busy festival month of August.

Digital technology will be one of the key themes of this year’s event, as industry insiders explore recent advances in film-making technology and distribution.

Industry greats Sam Mendes and Darren Aronofsky will also be visiting the festival to take to the stage for in-person interviews.

Diane Henderson, deputy artistic director, said that organisers were anticipating a hugely successful run on the back of last year’s festival.

She said: “This is the second time we’ve run the festival in June, and we’re looking to improve on those numbers, which were excellent in themselves.

“Last year our box office figures were up, as well as visits from local people, and we fully expect that to happen this year while we continue to rise.”

She added: “We’ve had to keep our programme secret for long it’s nice to be able to talk about it for a change.

“I can genuinely say that we’ve got films to please everyone, so it’s a very exciting day for us.”