Twelve days. One hundred and fifty films. Nineteen World premieres. Thirteen International premieres. Eleven European premieres. Seventy-six UK premieres. It’s safe to say there’s going to be a lot going on at the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival.
I’m lucky enough to be heading up to Scotland (for the very first time) next month and will be bringing you as much coverage as I can. As the Festival gets closer I will reflect a little more on what I’m most excited about, so, for now, here’s a round up of what’s going on between 20th June – 1st July.
The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film returns this year alongside The International Feature Competition, both of which include documentaries and narrative film. Nominees can be seen in this picture from the Festival brochure:
To see what films will be heading to Edinburgh next month, check out the full press release below or head over to the Festival’s official website here for more information:
‘Edinburgh, Scotland – 30 May 2012… At a press conference at Filmhouse in Edinburgh this morning, Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara announced details of his inaugural programme for the 66th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 20 June to 1 July, will host nineteen World premieres and thirteen International premieres.
The Festival will showcase one hundred and twenty-one new features from fifty-two countries, including eleven European premieres and seventy-six UK premieres in addition to the World and International premieres. Highlights include the World premieres of Richard Ledes’ FRED; Nathan Silver’s EXIT ELENA and Benjamin Pascoe’s LEAVE IT ON THE TRACK and European premieres of Lu Sheng’s HERE, THERE and Yang Jung-ho’s MIRAGE in the maiden New Perspectives section; and the International premiere of Benicio Del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Gaspar Noé, Juan Carlos Tabio and Laurent Cantet’s 7 DAYS IN HAVANA and the European premiere of Bobcat Goldthwait’s GOD BLESS AMERICA in the Directors’ Showcase. In addition to the new features presented, the Festival will also host twenty-nine older titles in Retrospectives and Special Screenings, bringing the total number of feature films to one hundred and fifty across the twelve-day event.
British films competing for the Michael Powell Award will include, for the first time, documentaries contending alongside narrative films. Among them are seven World premieres: Peter Strickland’s BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO; DAY OF THE FLOWERS by John Roberts; Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s FLYING BLIND; Maja Borg’s FUTURE MY LOVE; Alex Barrett’s LIFE JUST IS; ONE MILE AWAY by Penny Woolcock and PUSHER by Luis Prieto. The Michael Powell Award contenders, which also include Bart Layton’s THE IMPOSTER; SHADOW DANCER by James Marsh and Martin Wallace’s SMALL CREATURES, also compete for the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.
The International Feature Competition, supported by Innis and Gunn, hosts a selection of outstanding new films from around the world and includes the World premieres of Mao Mao’s HERE, THEN and Alexandre O Philippe’s return to EIFF with THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PAUL THE PSYCHIC OCTOPUS. The International Feature Competition includes, for the first time, documentary films alongside narrative films. International premieres competing for the award are Jang Kun-jae’s SLEEPLESS NIGHT and Dan Sallitt’s THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT; while other titles include ONE.TWO.ONE by Mania Akbari; Oskar Alegria’s THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA; Yeon Sang-ho’s THE KING OF PIGS; David Zellner’s KID-THING; Maite Alberdi’s THE LIFEGUARD and TABU by Miguel Gomes. Two films are by co-directing couples: Clarissa Campolina and Helvécio Marins Jr’s GIRIMUNHO and Anka Sasnal and Wilhelm Sasnal’s IT LOOKS PRETTY FROM A DISTANCE. Gastón Solnicki’s PAPIROSEN and A WOMAN’S REVENGE by Rita Azevedo Gomes round out the International Feature Competition.
Focusing on two masters of their art, Spotlight on Shinya Tsukamoto and Spotlight on Wang Bing bring together a collection of their films, including Japanese cult director Tsukamoto’s latest project KOTOKO, and culminating in a Masterclass with Wang Bing, who will discuss his extraordinary documentary filmmaking career. Accompanying their respective films, ¡VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! and CALIFORNIA SOLO, director Victor Kossakovsky and actor Robert Carlyle, EIFF Patron, will also have on-stage In-Person events, with Victor Kossakovsky presenting a Masterclass, while Robert Carlyle is the subject of 2012’s In Person: BAFTA Scotland Interview.
EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara commented: “Our programme reflects the exceptionally vibrant state of current cinema. Our audiences will be able to explore a wide range of outstanding films from around the world, including work by established masters and films from new and emerging talents. There are also some no less exciting discoveries to be made this year in our Retrospectives. Altogether it’s a rich and diverse programme that tells, I believe, a fascinating story about where cinema is today, what it can learn from the past, and where it is going in the future.”
Jules Bishop’s BORROWED TIME, Steve Rainbow’s NFA and Scott Graham’s SHELL are the three World premieres in the new British Scenes section, where it is joined by Bryn Higgins’ UNCONDITIONAL, in a strand introducing films from the UK that are made by new filmmakers, that try out non-traditional funding models or that venture into unusual thematic areas. WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE? by Mark Cousins receives its World premiere alongside Nicholas Ray’s WE CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN and Susan Ray’s accompanying DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH in the new Films on Film section.
The late-night Night Moves strand sees the World premiere of Ian Clark’s GUINEA PIGS and the European premiere of Jon Wright’s GRABBERS, both from the UK, and other titles include EDDIE – THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL by Boris Rodriguez; Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker’s TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE; the multi-directed V/H/S; Quentin Dupieux’s WRONG and Magnus Martens’ JACKPOT, based on a story by Jo Nesbo.
Highlighting EIFF’s global curatorial expanse, the Philippine New Wave examines the creativity of young independent Filipino filmmakers, and includes the World premieres of Emerson Reyes’ MNL 143 and PHILIPPINE NEW WAVE: THIS IS NOT A FILM MOVEMENT by Khavn De La Cruz among the twelve strong section. A special Focus on Denmark features Mads Brügger’s THE AMBASSADOR; Nicole N Horanyi and Heidi Kim Andersen’s AU PAIR; and SIBLINGS – FOR BETTER OF WORSE by Max Kestner, Mikala Krough, Laila Hodell and Aage Rais-Nordentoft. Showcasing the vitality of filmmaking in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Looking South brings together a collection of films including Juan Ignacio Domìnguez’s RIDING ZORRO; MÚSICA CAMPESINA [COUNTRY MUSIC] by Alberto Fuguet; and Ana Katz’s LOS MARZIANO.
The Directors’ Showcase, presenting work from the established auteurs of our time, includes Denis Côté’s BESTIAIRE; Johnnie To’s LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE; Peter Chan’s DRAGON; Asoka Handagama’s HIM, HERE AFTER; Gakuryu Ishii’s ISN’T ANYONE ALIVE?; RENT-A-CAT by Naoko Ogigami and THE REST OF THE WORLD by Damien Odoul. New Perspectives, boasting 40 titles, presents a global array of work by emerging directors also including Tetsuaki Matsue’s TOKYO DRIFTER, DJ Chen’s YOUNG DUDES, Patrik Eklund’s FLICKER, Gabe Torres’ BRAKE, Petros Sevastikoglou’s ATTRACTIVE ILLUSION and NUCLEAR NATION by Atsushi Funahashi.
EIFF’s animation tradition continues with THE 99 UNBOUND by Dave Osborne and a Special Screening of Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda’s 3D version of DR SEUSS’ THE LORAX. In addition to the animated films and shorts at the Festival, EIFF continues to showcase the best of Scottish, UK and international shorts in a series of programmes which include Romola Garai’s directorial début SCRUBBER; FUNTIMES by Joe Carter and REVOLUTIONARY MEMORIES OF BAHMAN WHO LOVED LEILA by Sarahnaz Sharifi. The experimental Black Box section also presents a series of shorts programmes from innovators of the visual art world, as well as Abigail Child’s feature-length THE SUBURBAN TRILOGY. The world of art is also represented by four free exhibitions and events across Edinburgh, through collaborations with Collective, Stills, Inspace and the Ingleby Gallery in Beyond EIFF.
Special Screenings and Festival Events throughout EIFF include the new digital restoration of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, marking the 50th anniversary of this masterpiece. The process of restoring the classic will be discussed by multi-Oscar®-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker and Grover Crisp of Sony Pictures Entertainment at the panel event FILM RESTORATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE. Returning due to popular demand will be the SURPRISE MOVIE and AWARDS CEREMONY, as well as ESSENTIAL EDINBURGH & EIFF – UNDER THE STARS 2012, a prelude to EIFF the weekend before the Festival kicks off, when family-friendly films will get an airing in St Andrew Square Garden.
2012’s previously announced Shinji Somai Retrospective section, presenting the world of a neglected master of Japanese cinema, will be joined by a second Retrospective exploring the creations of screen comedy genius Gregory La Cava including: MY MAN GODFREY (1936), two films starring Claudette Colbert, PRIVATE WORLDS (1935) and SHE MARRIED HER BOSS (1935), and the rarely seen masterpiece UNFINISHED BUSINESS (1941). EIFF will screen six of La Cava’s films, and the Retrospective will continue at Filmhouse throughout July, with a further six films.
Special Screenings also include Penny Woolcock’s ONE DAY, Margaret Tait’s BLUE BLACK PERMANENT, Harmony Korine, Aleksei Fedorchenko and Jan Kwiecinski’s THE FOURTH DIMENSION and the previously announced World premiere of the London 2012 Festival-commissioned films by Lynne Ramsay, Mike Leigh, Asif Kapadia and Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini.
Other Special Events include MIDNIGHT SUN, accompanying a screening of the original Norwegian INSOMNIA, directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg, which will give audience members an experience of the late light northern sky to celebrate summer solstice; while THE BROCKAS IN FILM CONCERT will present Philippine art-rock improvisers The Brockas performing their first Edinburgh gig against the backdrop of GENGHIS KHAN, a Philippine film that originally screened at EIFF in 1952. An annual series of lectures looking at the history of cinema in Scotland has its inaugural year with THE EDINBURGH FILM GUILD FORSYTH HARDY LECTURE, presenting a fully illustrated account of the beginning of EIFF followed by a complete screening of Humphrey Jennings’ rarely seen THE CUMBERLAND STORY, the first film shown at EIFF 1947.
To help guide audiences in their exploration, for the first time this year EIFF is introducing Pathways. Each Pathway is a group of films, selected from across the different strands of the EIFF programme, that are linked by common themes or that appeal to particular tastes. Pathways include Teenage Kicks (films for 15-year-olds and upwards); Played for Laughs (films for comedy lovers); Relationships (films on love, couples and relationships) and Community & Conflict (films on themes of power, responsibility and history).
As previously announced, the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival opens with William Friedkin’s KILLER JOE and the Closing Gala will be the European premiere of Disney/Pixar’s BRAVE.’