The annual Edinburgh International Film Festival does not take place until June but yesterday a press launch for the event was held in the city, giving film buffs a taster of what is to come…
With 135 features from 33 countries – including 23 World Premieres – this year’s programme promises to be one of the strongest yet.
EIFF will open with the previously announced Away We Go from British director Sam Mendes on 17 June, and close with the International Premiere of Adam, a romantic drama from Max Meyer on 28 June.
In between there will be plenty of new talent introduced to the Festival audience, alongside returning favourites such as Stephen Soderbergh (The Girlfriend Experience), David Mackenzie (Spread) and Shane Meadows (the World Premiere of Le Donk, starring Paddy Considine).
The first new addition to the festival is Cinematic Television, a marriage of cinema and television made in heaven. It will feature UK Premieres of high concept TV dramas on the big screen. The first two episodes of the much-anticipated vampire drama True Blood, from the creator of Six Feet Under, will be screened along with the ‘first week’ of brand new HBO drama In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne.
Another first for EIFF is the Paradise Movie Hall, curated by film writer and broadcaster Mark Cousins. St Johns Church Hall will be converted into a magical forest cinema, screening a three day spectacular of Bengali cinema and featuring an on-stage interview with Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore by Cousins, who was over the moon that EIFF will host the Paradise Movie Hall. “We’re showing West Bengali films in that little forest cinema because the creative heart of Indian cinema is in West Bengal,” he commented. “We invited the first lady of Bengali cinema, Sharmila Tagore, because she’s a legend and her career is unique. We’re totally thrilled.
In addition to the film programme, in 2009 the Festival will present a comprehensive series of events designed to stimulate debate, inform and enhance your professional life. Be the first to participate in wide-ranging discussions around the ‘Digital Britain’ report- EIFF will tackle all aspects of this relating to the moving image sector, and will be celebrating 3D as well.
Spearheaded by John Grierson, the founder of the British documentary movement and animation pioneer Norman McLaren the festival was launched alongside Edinburgh’s International Festival in 1947, and was one of the world’s first ever film festivals. More recently audience favourites have included Tsotsi, Control, Paranoid Park, Knocked Up, Man on Wire and The Edge of Love.
Tickets for all films and events go on sale at midday this Friday, the 8th of May, and the festival takes place between 17-28 June