Glittering international line-up for the EIFF
A beautiful Scottish hillside city will soon be the home of the most successful and adventurous Hollywood and World cinema filmmakers when it hosts the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival.
With the programme now announced for this year’s festival – which runs from 19-30 June – Edinburgh shows its international nature.
The full line-up was announced by the festival’s artistic director Chris Fujiwara in Edinburgh today (29 May), who said: “I’m very proud that in my second year at the Festival we’ve again put together a programme that reflects our festival’s commitment to international cinema, while giving our audiences opportunities to discover a broad range of outstanding work from British filmmakers. This year we take the Festival in a number of new directions. “
This year’s EIFF will play host to 146 features from 53 countries, including 14 world premieres, 6 international premieres and 10 European premieres.
The opening night gala film is the European premiere of Drake Doremus’s Breathe In, while John McKay’s Not Another Happy Ending closes the festival.
International premieres include Upstream, from actor/writer/director Shane Carruth; This is Martin Bonner, directed by Chad Hartigan and Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G.
The International Feature Film Competition will see a broad range of live-action films, animations and documentaries, with contributions from filmmakers from around the world. A World Not Ours is the debut feature from Mahdi Fleifel, and portrays family life in a Palestinian refugee camp. Before Snowfall, following a rites-of-passage journey, comes from Iraqi-Kurdistan-born director Hisham Zaman and Argentinian director Leonardo Brzezicki presents Noche.
The global significance of the EIFF is also manifest in the World Perspectives Strand, in which 25 films from emerging directors will be screened. 18 countries are represented, with showing of titles such as kidnap thriller Days of Grace from Mexican director Everardo Valerio Gout; Dutch director Alex Pitstra’s Die Welt, set after the 2011 Tunisian revolution; political satire Emperor Visits the Hell from Li Lou of China and Everybody’s Gone from Soviet director Georgiy Paradjanov.
Among the many special screenings at the EIFF are the world premiere of The Battle of the Sexes, recounting the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973, and Hawking, from Stephen Finnigan, made with unique access to the extraordinary scientist Stephen Hawking. There will also be a special screening of I Am Breathing, the true life story of Neil Platt’s diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease shortly after the birth of his son.
There are several special strands running throughout the festival, including the newly established American Dreams, which will include the European premiere of Scott McGehee’s What Maisie Knew; Sebastian Silva’s Magic Magic, The East, from director Zal Batmanglij; Frances Ha, directed by Noah Baumbach and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring.
The Directors’ Showcase will screen work from both established and emerging world talent, with 23 films from 17 countries, six of which are documentaries.
And documentary filmmaking is also represented in the New Realities strand, with showings including Consequence, following the day- to-day running of a crematorium and Lunarcy! in which director Simon Ennis follows a group of moon-obsessed enthusiasts.
Other strands include Not Another Teen Movie, a new section in which teenagers have chosen the programme, and Film on Film, in which filmmakers and filmmaking are the subjects.
The Night Moves strand will include the premiere of the latest in the Nazi zombie series Outpost 3: Rise of the Spetsnaz and the European premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s Shooting Bigfoot.
The Michael Powell Award sees a wide range of British films competing for the prestigious trophy, including Paul Wright’s much-talked about For Those in Peril, Jamie Chambers’ Blackbird and Not Another Happy Ending from John McKay.
Short films are also making a robust contribution, with 172 screening in total from filmmakers around the world.
Various retrospectives will also feature this year, with a look at the work of acclaimed animator Richard Williams, whose career has spanned six decades. French director Jean Gremillon and American director Richard Fleischer will also be honoured with retrospectives of their life’s work.
For a full programme of films and events, please click here.