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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2017

The past year on the whole was an impressive year for films. Here is what we consider the best and the worst of 2017.

The Best:

1. Blade Runner 2049: What should have been a disaster turned out to be a sequel almost as good as the classic 1982 original. Great script and fantastic stunning visual set pieces.

2. The Florida Project: Delightful coming of age drama with fantastic performances from mainly a young cast and a supporting role from Willem Defoe as a kindly motel owner.

3. IT: Finally a Stephen King adaptation that lived up to the novel. Not as scary, but as much fun as the original source material with a classic 80’s vibe.

4. T2 Trainspotting: 20 years in the making, the long awaited sequel was worth the wait with the story focusing on the original characters longing for the hope for the future they once had.

5. Detroit: Gripping and brutal true story revolving around riots and racial abuse in the 60’s from ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ director Kathryn Bigalow.

6. Paddington 2: Another sequel which is better than original with a surprisingly great performance from the smug Hugh Grant who plays a washed up theatrical actor.

7. The Levelling: A haunting tense drama revolving around death and the breakup of family set on a Somerset farm. Stunning feature debut from Hope Dickson Leach.

8. Okja: Charming, humorous and touching tale from one of Asia’s leading filmmakers, Bong Joon-ho. The tale of a young girl’s friendship with a genetically engineered pig.

9. Manchester by the Sea: Bleak, somber, but beautifully acted drama. Although very depressing it is also compelling at the same time.
10. Split: M Night Shyamalan returns to form with his best movie since Unbreakable and James McAvoy giving one of his best performances to date. Unsettling horroresque tale about a kidnapper with multiple personalities.

The Worst

1. Bad Kids of Crestview Academy: Extremely bad and insulting comic book inspired horror set in a posh American school.

2. The Emoji Movie: A really silly idea for an animated film which loses so much steam they have to incorporate Minecraft and Candy Crush as well as stealing story elements from the far superior ‘Wreck it Ralph’. Not even Patrick Stewart can save this turd of a movie.

3. Baywatch : A TV show ideal for a spoof, which results in a comedy without laughs.

4. The Snowman: Great source material, cast and director, even the trailer was great. But why is this adaptation so dull and predictable, we may never know.

5. Justice League: DC Comics gives audiences another boring , overloaded comic book movie.

6. The House: Will Ferrell is always hit and miss. This latest so called comedy is more of the latter with a pointless cameo by Jeremy Renner. Just watch the trailer all the amusing scenes are in that!

7. The Mummy: The much hyped Dark Universe franchise lands with a bump with this first feature. The movie really does not know what it should be apart, a Tom Cruise action movie with Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise.

8. Fist Fight: One idea, one joke comedy about two teachers who hate each other. That is all.

9. C.H.I.P.S.: Another TV adaptation except unlike Baywatch this one does have a few laughs.

10. Cars 3: Pixar improves on their latest instalment of the franchise. However all they have done is made an animated film that is not annoying and tedious. Just pretty boring.

Edinburgh International Film Festival announces opening & closing films for 2017

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that the will open with Francis Lee’s award-winning debut feature God’s Own Country on 21st June 2017. 

Shot entirely on location in West Yorkshire, God’s Own Country is a contemporary tale of self-discovery and emotional awakening.

Johnny (Josh O’Connor) is a young man running his family’s sheep farm alone until the arrival of Romanian worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu). Supporting the central pair are acting stalwarts Ian Hart and Gemma Jones, who play Johnny’s stroke-afflicted father and formidable grandmother.

EIFF also announced they would close with the World Premiere of England is Mine, about the early life of singer Morrissey on Sunday 2nd July 2017. 
This much-anticipated film explores the early years of Steven Morrissey’s (Jack Lowden) life in 1970s Manchester. An introverted, uncompromising teenager, Morrissey finds himself frustrated with his working-class existence. He finds solace in the city’s underground gig scene where he meets Linder Sterling – an intelligent, self-assured artist – who encourages him to make his ideas of superstardom a reality.

Both films will screen at Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

Cars 3 drives onto screens at Edinburgh International Film Festival 

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) 2017 has announced that it will host the UK premiere of Disney.Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’ on Sunday, 25th June 2017 at 2pm at the Festival Theatre. 
 The film’s Story Supervisor, Scott Morse, will also be attendance.
To promote the event, the EIFF have set up a national art competition for children of up to 13 years. Children are asked to draw the ultimate racing car they would pitch against the movie’s main racing car protaganist, Lightning McQueen.  
Competition prizes will include tickets for the premiere and an opportunity to attend an exclusive story workshop with Scott Morse. Further details can be found on the EIFF website.  

Two schools performances will be held at Cineworld Fountain Park on Monday, June 26th; tickets cost £3 per pupil.

Directed by Brian Fee, (storyboard artist ‘Cars,’ ‘Cars 2’) and produced by Kevin Reher (‘A Bug’s Life,’ ‘La Luna’ short) the movie follows the continuing fortunes of Lightning McQueen. Owen Wilson reprises the role he voiced in previous movies.
 The original ‘Cars’ won a Golden Globe® for best animated feature film and two Annie Awards for best animated feature and best music in an animated feature production. Composer Randy Newman won a Grammy® for best song written for motion picture, television or other visual media (‘Our Town’). 
The film was nominated for an Oscar® for best animated feature film, as well as best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song (‘Our Town’). ‘Cars 2’ was nominated for a Golden Globe® for best animated feature film, in addition to a large number of industry nominations. Between them ‘Cars’ and ‘Cars 2’ took over $1billion at the box office worldwide.
Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: ‘Pixar Animation Studios is responsible for some of the greatest animated movies of our time and we’re thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the studio and providing such a treat for our younger audiences and their families in our 70th Anniversary Year with Cars 3.’

 Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Thursday 23 March 2017 and can be purchased via the EIFF website, or by calling 0131 623 8030. Ticket prices range from £12, £8 (concession), £5 (under 16s).   
The 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 21 June – 2 July, 2017. 
‘Cars 3’ goes on general release in the UK on 14th July 2017.

Edinburgh International Film Festival announces award winners


Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has announced the Award Winners for this year’s 70th edition. 

Over 160 features and 130 shorts from 55 countries screened at this year’s Festival, with the jurors viewing an extensive and varied selection of shorts, documentaries and features since the start of the Festival.


The winner of the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to Scottish filmmaker Ben Sharrock’s directorial debut, PIKADERO, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival. 

 The jurors also gave a special mention to BRAKES, directed by Mercedes Grower, which received its World Premiere at the Festival.

The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury comprised of acclaimed actress Kim Cattrall, Edinburgh-based Spanish filmmaker and actress Icíar Bollaín and the iconic actor Clancy Brown.

The Michael Powell Jury said: “We wanted to recognise the very personal and individual voice of director Ben Sharrock for his film PIKADERO. In a year when the jury viewed a selection of very distinctive and different films his film really stood out.”

 Ben Sharrock said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive the Michael Powell Award. It is an incredible feeling. It is so valuable to have this kind of recognition for PIKADERO in the UK. It is awards and recognition like this that help us get the film out to as wide an audience as possible. We have been lucky enough to screen PIKADERO in different countries around the world but it has been a very special experience having the UK Premiere here at EIFF and showing it to audiences in my home city. I am extremely grateful and I would like to thank the jury, the Festival team and Mark Adams. Finally, I want to thank everyone who was involved in this film for all their talent and hard work. What a journey!”



 This award went to actress Catrin Stewart for her role in THE LIBRARY SUICIDES and was also selected by the Michael Powell jurors.

 The Michael Powell Jury said: “We wanted to recognise the striking performance by Catrin Stewart in THE LIBRARY SUICIDES (Y LLYFGELL). The complexities and subtleties of playing twin characters is challenging and she managed to achieve the rare feat of making each of the two roles she played truly distinctive.”

 Catrin Stewart said: “Thank you EIFF! I feel hugely honoured to be given this award. It was my first feature film role and a fantastic challenge to play two characters side by side. I loved working with the wonderful Euros Lyn and Fflur Dafydd’s exciting script. It was also very special for me to make a film in Welsh, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved. Diolch yn fawr!”

 The jury also gave a special mention to David Sillars for his role in SEAT IN SHADOW.



The award for Best International Feature Film went to Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ SUNTAN, which received its UK Premiere at this year’s Festival. The winner was chosen by the International Jury comprised of actor Angus Macfadyen, actress and producer Sadie Frost and Editor of Screen International, Matt Mueller.

The International Jury said:

“While there were many outstanding films in the international competition, SUNTAN is the title that really resonated with us. Argyris Papadimitropolous’s film is a compelling and unflinching portrait of one man’s journey from infatuation to desperation, marked out by a truly great performance from its lead actor, Efthymis Papadimitriou.”

Argyris Papadimitropoulos said: “Back in the late ’90s I was a student in the UK. All the films that were awarded in the Edinburgh International Film Festival were part of the conversation among us. We would go and watch everything with an Edinburgh laurel on the poster. Little did I know that 15 years later I would be so honoured as to be the recipient of such an award. I can’t wait to print new posters. Thank you to the lovely people of the Festival and the amazing jury, I could not be happier.”


The award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Johan Grimonprez’s eye-opening documentary SHADOW WORLD, which dwelt on the shocking realities of the global arms trade. This year’s jury comprised veteran producer Steve Abbott, Fife-native actor Dougray Scott and film executive Tejinder Jouhal.

 The Documentary Jury said: “The jury felt there was an exceptionally high quality of films presented in the documentary section this year but, for us, the clear winner was SHADOW WORLD. Quite simply, it is an extraordinary film. A particularly powerful, poignant and provocative documentary, this film asked critical questions that continue to resonate. Director Johan Grimonprez and writer Andrew Feinstein pose the essential question: will we be allowed to choose peace over the business of war?”

 Johan Grimonprez said: “In an interview James Baldwin once said: ‘What we call history is perhaps a way of avoiding responsibility for what has happened, is happening, in time.’ I hope that SHADOW WORLD somewhat is able to point at how we can actually rewrite that reality. And it’s so wonderful that EIFF honours the effort of so many people, not in the least Andrew Feinstein, the writer of The Shadow World, but also the whole team that was able to get this different story out there. A big tanx, truly!!!”


 The award for Best Short Film went to BEFORE LOVE, directed by Igor Kovalyov, with Gavin Scott Whitfield’s MURDEROUS INJUSTICE receiving a special mention from the jurors. The jury was comprised of short film producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson, film development executive Hilary Davis and filmmaker Ashley Horner.

 The Short Film Jury said: “The film stood out to the jury because the director gave us a unique cinematic experience. Beautiful and stylish animation explored a bizarre love triangle with a fascinating female lead.”


 Voted for by the Festival audience, the McLaren Award for Best British Animation, supported by the British Council, this year goes to SIMON’S CAT – OFF TO THE VET by director Simon Tofield. 

 The winner of the Festival’s Audience Award will be announced at the Closing Night ceremony.



Edinburgh International Film Festival welcomes a galaxy of stars

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced special guests who will be attending this year.

Jury Panels

Kim Cattrall, Spanish filmmaker and actress Icíar Bollaín and  Clancy Brown are on the Michael Powell Jury.

Angus Macfadyen, Sadie Frost and Matt Mueller, editor of Screen International are the International Jury.

Producer Steve Abbott, Dougray Scott, and Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman will sit on the Documentary Jury.

Short film producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson, film development executive Hilary Davis and filmmaker Ashley Horner will be judging the Short titles in competition.

In Person Events

Cult indie auteur Kevin Smith will be talking through a career that includes the likes of Clerks, Dogma and Red State. The filmmaker, a previous winner of the Audience Award at Edinburgh, will be joined on-stage by his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, rising star of his latest comedy YOGA HOSERS. Smith will also attend both screenings of YOGA HOSERS with his daughter, chilling horror anthology HOLIDAYS, and BATMAN: THE MOVIE. In addition to the aforementioned Golden Globe-winning Kim Cattrall, audiences will also have the opportunity to hear from the prolific Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, whose MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE screens at the festival and Outlander star and iconic on-screen figurehead of the Cinéma du look movement Dominique Pinon, who will also be attending the screening of the film that made his name, the seminal kaleidoscopic thriller DIVA, introducing the film alongside its iconic director Jean-Jacques Beineix, whose BETTY BLUE is also set to screen over the course of the festival.

Notable Guests

Hollywood legend Meg Ryan will be in attendance at the Festival with the directorial debut of her elegant and moving period film ITHACA, which features a cameo from her Sleepless in Seattle co-star Tom Hanks; Golden Globe-nominated Dundee native Brian Cox has two films premiering at the Festival, and will be in Edinburgh for both THE CARER and THE FORSAKEN while indie darling Robert Sheehan will return with the cast of hedonistic thriller JET TRASH. Other notable guests gracing the Festival this month include Will Poulter, Sebastian de Souza, Preston Thompson, Alma Jodorowsky and director Chris Foggin all in attendance for the screening of coming-of-age drama KIDS IN LOVE, which stars Cara Delevigne; director Rebecca Miller, in town to present love triangle comedy MAGGIE’S PLAN, starring Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke; Brady Corbet, director of feature debut psychodrama THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER; filmmaker Jean-Paul Rappeneau for the UK Premiere of French drama FAMILIES; Hans Petter Moland, director of A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH and much-loved Golden Globe-nominated star of dystopian thriller THE WHITE KING, Jonathan Pryce. EIFF patron James Cosmo will also join Clancy Brown at the HIGHLANDER screening; director Nick Love will be in attendance of the screening of AMERICAN HERO; and the legendary filmmaker Lizzie Borden attend a screening of her film REGROUPING, which has only been screened to the public four times, once in 1976 when it premiered at the EIFF. Michael Smiley will be in attendance supporting the screening of MY NAME IS EMILY and Joanne Froggatt and Tom Riley will attend the World Premiere of STARFISH. 

Diane Henderson, EIFF Deputy Artistic Director said: “In this special year we’re proud to welcome so many exciting and talented guests from all over the world. Some we’re lucky enough to welcome back and others are here for the very first time. If you’d like the chance to rub shoulders with your favourite actor, director, animator or producer, or the opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow, then EIFF has it all. Join us at a screening, a Youth Hub event, or pop into EIFF HQ at Filmhouse, where guests and audiences will mingle until late every night of the Festival.”

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) takes place from the 15th to 26th June 2016.

Edinburgh International Film Festival announces 70th Anniversary line up

Artistic Director Mark Adams has unveiled details of the programme for the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).

Now in its landmark 70th edition, the Festival will showcase a total of 161 features from 46 countries including: 22 World Premieres, 5 International Premieres, 17 European Premieres and 85 UK Premieres.

 Highlights include the UK Premiere of the highly-anticipated Disney-Pixar animation FINDING DORY, In-Person events featuring the likes of Kevin Smith and Kim Cattrall, and the Opening and Closing Gala World Premieres of the previously announced TOMMY’S HONOUR and WHISKY GALORE!. Old classics will be re-imagined with the UK Premiere of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, with John Williams’ iconic score performed live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and the World Premiere of the newly-restored 4K version of the Scottish classic HIGHLANDER, celebrating its 30th anniversary with star Clancy Brown in attendance.

Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “It is a real thrill to unveil this year’s programme and I am looking forward to showcasing so many great films and welcoming so many talented filmmakers to our 70th edition. As always we like to offer an incredibly broad range of work to ensure there is always something for everyone from mesmeric retrospectives through to absorbing new short films, to 130 new features from 46 countries, rest assured this year’s EIFF will challenge, provoke and entertain audiences in equal measure.”

This year’s BEST OF BRITISH strand includes David Blair’s drama AWAY, starring Timothy Spall and Juno Temple as two lost souls seeking solace under the lights of Blackpool; Rita Osei’s debut BLISS!, following a teenage girl on a rite of passage journey of discovery across Scandinavia; Mercedes Grower’s offbeat debut BRAKES led by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding; János Edelényi’s  THE CARER starring Brian Cox, who will be in attendance at this year’s Festival; and Charles Henri Belleville’s hedonistic backpack thriller JET TRASH.

Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne lead a  British ensemble cast in the  coming-of-age drama KIDS IN LOVE from Chris Foggin; Philip John takes audiences on an anarchic road-trip in MOON DOGS and twin librarians plan revenge in the quiet section in Euros Lyn’s Welsh-language THE LIBRARY SUICIDES (Y LLYFRGELL)

There are also brooding Icelandic noirs PALE STAR and A REYKJAVĺK PORNO from Scot Graeme Maley; acclaimed artist Henry Coombes’ SEAT IN SHADOW, a study into the symbiotic relationship between an eccentric, part-time Jung-obsessed psychotherapist and his patient/muse; Joanne Froggatt starring as a woman attempting to keep her family together as her husband endures unimaginable pain in Bill Clark’s STARFISH; Ibiza-set crime thriller WHITE ISLAND from Benjamin Turner; and the Agyness Deyn-led complex dystopian thriller THE WHITE KING from Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel.

Taking part in the series of In Person talks will be DOMINIQUE PINON of Alien: Resurrection, Amélie, and Outlander fame, whose renowned star turn in DIVA will feature in this year’s A Celebration of the Films of Cinéma du Look retrospective; legendary filmmaker JEREMY THOMAS, the prolific producer of over fifty films, including 1983’s MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE, starring the late, great David Bowie and screening at this year’s Festival; KIM CATTRALL who will discuss a career that has seen her leave an indelible mark across both the screen and the stage; and indie auteur KEVIN SMITH, creator of cult classics Clerks and Dogma will also be taking to the stage alongside the star of his latest comedy YOGA HOSERS, Harley Quinn Smith.

This year, AMERICAN DREAMS audiences can enjoy a host of fresh features including: a rom-com treat from Rebecca Miller in the form of MAGGIE’S PLAN, with Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore each delivering pitch-perfect performances; Meg Ryan’s directorial debut ITHACA, an elegant and moving story of a teenager delivering telegrams in World War II; the European Premiere of Rob Burnett’s THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, a charming comedy-drama that pairs Paul Rudd and rising British star Craig Roberts as caregiver and dependent; Paco Cabezas’ MR. RIGHT starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell as an oddball assassin; the International Premiere of fan fiction marvel SLASH; and World Premieres of Amanda Sharp’s STICKY NOTES, starring Rose Leslie, and Steven Lewis Simpson’s road trip through Lakota country NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG.

 THE DIRECTORS’ SHOWCASE strand shines a light on the latest work from some of the world’s most highly-respected auteurs, each film offering an insight into perspectives and stories from across the globe. Screening over the course of the Festival are: BLEAK STREET, Arturo Ripstein’s black and white tale of a pair of murderous Mexican lucha wrestlers; dark Danish comedy THE COMMUNE from Thomas Vinterberg; Hans Petter Moland’s  police thriller A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH; Giuseppe Tornatore’s THE CORRESPONDENCE, starring Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko; Isabel Coixet’s period drama ENDLESS NIGHT; Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s  FAMILIES; Kurdish docu-drama A FLAG WITHOUT A COUNTRY from Bahman Ghobadi; Taika Waititi’s  HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, following Sam Neill and newcomer Julian Dennison into the New Zealand bush; Ira Sachs’ observational comedy LITTLE MEN; Yeon Sang-ho’s vision of zombie apocalypse SEOUL STATION; Paddy Breathnach’s VIVA, set amongst the colourful world of Havana’s drag clubs; and YOGA HOSERS, the latest madcap adventure from Kevin Smith.

 This year’s EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES strand features a number of much anticipated films from the continent making their UK debuts. Notable features include: Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi’s emotive BLACK, a story of forbidden love set on the streets of Brussels driven by a mesmerizing performance from newcomer Martha Canga Antonio; Florian Gallenberger’s ‘70s-set melodrama THE COLONY with Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl; Gérard Depardieu stars in THE END from Guillaume Nicloux and SAINT AMOUR by Benoȋt Delépine and Gustave Kerven; Jihane Chouaib’s  GO HOME;  Icelandic incest comedy THE HOMECOMING by Björn Hlynur Haraldsson;  legal drama KALINKA by Vincent Garenq; Kadri Köusaar’s pitch-black Estonian MOTHER; and  coming-of-age drama SPARROWS by Rúnar Rúnarsson. The strand also boasts a World Premiere of Balazs Juszt’s supernatural thriller THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY.

 Delving further afield, the WORLD PERSPECTIVES strand delivers a global array of works from emerging and established filmmaking talents. Highlights include the European Premieres of Laos-set thriller RIVER from Canadian Jamie M Dagg; India’s leading indie director Q’s  coming-of-age comedy BRAHMAN NAMAN, exclusive to Netflix; provocative Indian female buddy-comedy ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES from Pan Nalin; Jon Cassar’s stoic western FORSAKEN, starring father and son Donald and Kiefer Sutherland; Assad Fouladkar’s study of romance in a sharia setting HALAL LOVE (AND SEX); Kim Sang-chan’s darkly eccentric KARAOKE CRAZIES; Indie-Japanese crime drama KEN AND KAZU by Hiroshi Shoji; Diego Luna’s hog farmer comedy drama MR. PIG with Danny Glover and Maya Rudolph; Leena Yadav’s portrait of Gujurat PARCHED; and Oliver Schmitz’s courtroom conflict SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS featuring Andrea Riseborough and Steve Coogan.

 EIFF offers the best in DOCUMENTARIES, as the genre continues to go from strength to strength. Titles include: Andreas Johnsen’s challenging and thought-provoking documentary for foodies and environmentalists alike BUGS; Alexandru Belc’s love letter to the big screen CINEMA, MON AMOUR; portrait of electro-music star GARY NUMAN: ANDROID IN LA LA LAND by Steve Read and Rob Alexander; Mike Day’s ode to the Faroe Islands THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES; Ross Adam and Robert Cannan’s mind-bending look at two of South Korean cinemas biggest stars THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT; Johan Grimonprez’s journey into the international arms industry SHADOW WORLD; and Niam Itani’s timely reflection on the place of refugees in the modern world TWICE UPON A TIME. Also screening are the World Premieres of Niall McCann’s LOST IN FRANCE and Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer’s SANTOALLA; while sports fans won’t want to miss Fredrik and Magnus Gertten’s BECOMING ZLATAN, the study of the gloriously complex football icon Zlatan Ibrahimović.

 As the sun sets, attention turns to NIGHT MOVES, EIFF’s annual look at the chilling, bloody side of cinema. Audiences can enjoy late night showings of a mixture of scream-inducing horror, fantasy adventure, and unashamedly brash genre-fare; with screenings that include: the World Premiere of Nirpal Bhogal’s homegrown horror FIRST BORN; European Premiere of horror anthology HOLIDAYS, featuring offerings from some of the genre’s finest minds, including In Person participant Kevin Smith; UK-first showings of swords and skis epic THE LAST KING from Nils Gaup; Anna Biller’s sexploitation tribute THE LOVE WITCH; Wu Ershan’s Chinese blockbuster MOJIN: THE LOST LEGEND; Steve Barker’s trip to a Zombie Safari Park THE REZORT; Sion Sono’s Japanese sex-comedy THE VIRGIN PSYCHICS and a hypnotic screening of the rarely-seen 1973 Japanese cult anime BELLADONNA OF SADNESS from Eiichi Yamamoto, co-presented by EIFF and Scotland Loves Anime.

This year, EIFF will host FIVE ANIMATED YEARS OF WILL ANDERSON AND AINSLIE HENDERSON, featuring Scotland’s most dynamic animation double act. The event is the first major retrospective of the duo’s work, as the pair reflect on their rapid rise and a career that has drawn critical acclaim and awards recognition in equal measure. The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation returns once again with two varied programmes showcasing the best new short animations from the UK; while EIFF once again delivers compelling INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION highlighting celebrated short work from across the globe.

Attendees will be able to attend a raft of SPECIAL EVENTS throughout the festival. A special screening of TRAINSPOTTING will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s seminal Edinburgh-set shot of cinematic adrenaline. Also screening will be BIGGER THAN THE SHINING, a provocative new work from Mark Cousins; the first three episodes of Gaelic language drama BANNAN; and SHOOTING THE REVEL: RE-DISCOVERING EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART’S REVEL FILMS OF THE 1930S AND 1940S. The Festival will host two illustrated lectures from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning, and will gather a panel of novelists, screenwriters, and researchers together to ask WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM? Youngsters can get involved with the EDINBURGH SCHOOLS FILM COMPETITION, with winning entries screened at Filmhouse, and benefit from expert advice on GETTING STARTED IN FILM CRITICISM.

 This year’s EIFF SHORT FILM strand delivers a stunning selection of shorts from the UK and overseas. This year’s short programmes include: SIGN LANGUAGE; FRAGMENTS OF THE CITY; FLAMING CREATURES; OTHER PLANES; RADICAL TRANSMISSIONS; and VOICES FROM THE WILDERNESS. OUT OF BOUNDS offers a special programme of the newest works from UK film academies; SCOTTISH SHORTS presents a collection of shorts commissioned through the Scottish Film Talent Network’s new talent programme; while THE YOUNG AND THE WILD SHORTS promise an eclectic mix of quick-fire cinema targeted at a young adult audience. The annual edition of the Scottish Documentary Institute’s latest BRIDGING THE GAP collection will return, focusing this year on works by female directors such as Wilma Smith (THE REVIEW); Natalia Kouneli (SILENT LAUGHS); Lindsay Brown (SWAN); and Lucie Rachel (WHERE WE ARE NOW).

 As the country continues to undergo a cultural renaissance, the Festival will put its FOCUS ON FINLAND, showcasing the best features and shorts that the nation has to offer. Finland’s filmmakers are producing challenging, expectation-defying work, and audiences are responding; domestic audiences for Finnish cinema alone are one of the highest in Europe. Screening at EIFF will be: Mikko Kuparinen’s 2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING; Christy Garland’s CHEER UP; Juan Reina’s DIVING INTO THE UNKNOWN; Teppo Airaksinen’s LAPLAND ODYSSEY 2; Aleksi Salmenperä’s environmental thriller THE MINE; psychological study WAR AND PEACE OF MIND from Ari Matikainen; and a series of fiction and documentary shorts from the thriving country.

 The world of experimental film is uncovered in the ever-popular BLACK BOX strand. Screenings include the UK Premieres of American avant-garde icon Lewis Klahr’s SIXTY SIX and Mika Taanila’s bold camera-less TECTONIC PLATE. BLACK BOX SHORTS returns with four separate programmes of shorts and in a nod to the Festival’s 70th edition, this year’s strand will revisit the 1970s with retrospective screenings of Lizzie Borden’s seminal REGROUPING, with the legendary filmmaker in attendance at the Festival, and other rarely-screened gems from the period. REGROUPING is a special event bringing together filmmakers, critics, and curators celebrating one of the most important periods in EIFF’s history.

In another telling tribute to this year’s milestone edition, EIFF plays host to 70/70 VISION: a series of screenings of iconic films in their original widescreen 70mm format. The programme includes Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY; David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA; Jacques Tati’s PLAYTIME; and Akira Kurosawa’s Oscar-winner DERSU UZALA.

Celebrating the CINÉMA DU LOOK movement, EIFF will present a focus on the work of Jean-Jacques Beineix, Luc Besson, and Leos Carax. Films that dazzled cinemagoers throughout the 1980s and into the ‘90s will be showcased in all their poetic glory, including: Besson’s THE BIG BLUE, LA FEMME NIKITA, and SUBWAY; Carax’s LES AMANTS DU PONT-NEUF and MAUVAIS SANG; and Beineix’s BETTY BLUE and DIVA. LOOK AGAIN: A CELEBRATION OF CINEMA DU LOOK will feature several special guests in attendance.

 Audiences will also be invited to trace the lively cinematic roots of the current wave of superhero blockbusters, POW!!! LIVE ACTION COMIC STRIP ADAPTATIONS: THE FIRST GENERATION presents a colourful retrospective journey through various genres, tracing the evolution of the live comic strip adaptation in cinema. Bringing together cult titles from across the world, films include: Roger Vadim’s BARBARELLA; Leslie H Martinson’s BATMAN: THE MOVIE; Mario Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK; Robert Altman’s POPEYE; and two rarely screened Japanese classics based on world famous Manga comic strips, Kenji Misumi’s LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE and Junya Sato’s GOLGO 13.

 Other highlights include the launch of Filmhouse presents ADAPTING MISS HIGHSMITH, a journey into the work of one of the most adapted-for-cinema authors of all-time, a project that will roll out across the UK post-Festival. The programme will feature an illustrated talk by Highsmith’s acclaimed biographer Joan Schenkar.

 Alongside the UK Premiere of FINDING DORY, FILM FEST JUNIOR transports younger viewers around the world with age-appropriate UK Premieres THE CANTERVILLE GHOST from Yann Samuell and Kenneth Kainz’s fantasy epic THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER

And finally, film fans of all ages can look forward to a host of cinematic treats in the form of free St Andrew Square Garden screenings for Film Fest in the City. No ticket is required to enjoy a range of hit movies, including the likes of: THE MUPPETS; THE BREAKFAST CLUB; MINIONS; MAD MAX – FURY ROAD; FINDING NEMO; PITCH PERFECT; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS and a special dance-along screening of cult classic GREASE.

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) takes place from the 15th and 26th of June 2016.

Scottish filmmaking Celebrated at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has unveiled a selection
of Scottish titles as part of the 2016 Festival programme. Featuring a mixture of features, shorts, documentaries, animations and exclusive events.
These films also include MOON DOGS, the feature film debut from renowned television director Philip John (Downton Abbey, Outlander). A stylish coming-of-age tale follows the misadventures of two teenage boys (charismatic youngsters Jack Perry-Jones and Christy O’Donnell) on a road trip with Caitlin (Tara Lee) and features a wealth of Scottish talent and locations.
Steven Lewis Simpson’s NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG will also take audiences on a journey – this time down the winding roads of Native American country, anchored by a startling performance by 97-year-old Lakota elder Chief Dave Bald Eagle.
Scottish actor Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) stars in the comic family drama STICKY NOTES alongside Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez and Hollywood heavyweight Ray Liotta as a struggling dancer striving to hit the big time in Los Angeles.
Angus Macfadyen, best known for taking on the role of Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, will bring his directorial debut MACBETH UNHINGED to the Festival. A black and white modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy.
Emmy Award-winning Brian Cox will be in attendance for acclaimed comedy THE CARER, in which he stars alongside Anna Chancellor and Emilia Fox and western FORSAKEN with Donald and Kiefer Sutherland.
Ayrshire-born director Graeme Maley will also be taking two brand new features to the festival, with screenings of his Nordic film noir A REYKJAVIK PORNO, and the hypnotic Icelandic thriller PALE STAR.
Dougray Scott appears in the apocalyptic thriller THE REZORT, the latest feature from director Steve Barker who’s previous films, Outpost and Outpost: The Black Sun, were filmed in Scotland.
Animation fans can enjoy Five Animated Years of Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, as the Festival presents the first major retrospective of the inventive, wickedly entertaining work of the world-renowned pair of Scottish animators. Notable for collaborating on the likes of The Making of Longbird and Monkey Love Experiments. Their work has been recognised at festivals across the globe, each garnering an EIFF McLaren Award for Best British Animation in recent years.
EIFF Talent Lab alumni will be making their mark on this year’s Festival as producer Irene Gurtubai and Edinburgh-based filmmaker Ben Sharrock bring the director’s deadpan delight PIKADERO to local audiences.
Edinburgh-based director and Talent Lab participant Mike Day will present his stunning documentary feature THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, which sheds a light on the impact of the modern life on the Faro Islands.
Giuseppe Tornatore’s contemplation of the nature of love and loss THE CORRESPONDENCE. While Edinburgh based filmmaker Icíar Bollaín will bring new feature THE OLIVE TREE, written by Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty, to Festival screens.
EIFF will also play host to a special screening to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s TRAINSPOTTING. It will also show the World Premiere of the newly 4K restored HIGHLANDER, attended by the film’s star Clancy Brown.
Other highlights include Henry Coombes’ debut feature SEAT IN SHADOW, a study of an eccentric artist who doubles as a Jung-inspired psychotherapist.
Preview screenings of the first three episodes of acclaimed BBC Alba Gaelic television show BANNAN with cast and filmmakers in attendance.
The World Premiere of Niall McCann’s documentary LOST IN FRANCE that charts the rise and success of Glasgow-based independent record label, Chemical Underground. The film will also play an integral part of Sound + Vision, a two-day film and music event that will take place at Summerhall, as part of Film Fest in the City.
This year’s Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap series will focus on the theme of Women. Lucie Rachel’s perceptive WHERE WE ARE NOW, Lindsay Brown’s SWAN, Wilma Smith’s THE REVIEW and Natalia Kouneli’s SILENT LAUGHS.
The Shorts Programme will in STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA by Tracey Fearnehough and Holger Mohaupt, TRANSIT ZONE by Frederik Subei and eight shorts from the Scottish Film Talent Network. These shorts include CROWMAN by Duncan Nicoll, DAVE by Garry J Marshall and Chris Watson, GRIMM STREET by Siri Rodnes, NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Cat Bruce, SPORES by Richard and Frances Poet, THE RAT KING by Pavel Shepan, MEET ME BY THE WATER by Raisah Ahmed, and David Cairns’ THE NORTHLEACH HORROR.
Finally, Scottish titles in the animation section include Ross Hogg and Duncan Cowles’ ISABELLA; and a trio of titles from Edinburgh College of Art students: ILLUSIONS by Dominica Harrison, THE LAST DAY from Muqing Shu, and Robert Duncan’s RECORD/RECORD.
Artistic Director Mark Adams said: “We are delighted to once again cast the spotlight on great Scottish talent at this year’s festival. It speaks so much about the breadth and variety of filmmakers, craftspeople and performers that our selection of projects featuring local talent shines so brightly.”
Natalie Usher, Director of Film & Media at Creative Scotland, said “EIFF is a key event in Scotland’s cultural calendar, offering audiences inspirational, world class cinema. With debut features like Graham Maley’s thriller PALE STAR and Mike Day’s breathtaking documentary THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, screening alongside Jason Connery’s powerfully moving TOMMY’S HONOUR and wickedly entertaining animation from the duo Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, EIFF is recognising and celebrating the wealth and depth of home-grown filmmaking talent supported by Creative Scotland.”
The 70th edition of EIFF runs from 15-26 June 2016

Edinburgh International Film Festival to screen Highlander for 30th Anniversary

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that a special 30th anniversary screening of the newly 4K restored HIGHLANDER, with special guests in attendance, will take place on Saturday 18th June 2016. 

Clancy Brown who played The Kurgan will be one of the guests in attendance.

Brown commented: “It’s taken a while, but I swore to myself that I would return again to Scotland after filming ‘Highlander’ 30 years ago where I first learned of Robert the Bruce, James Macpherson, The Fortingall Yew and, most blissfully, single-malt scotch whisky.”

 Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director said: “We are truly delighted to be screening this cult classic on its 30th anniversary. It is a vibrant, fun and thrilling film and just as entertaining as it was all of those years ago. Plus it features some magnificent Scottish locations. This will be a great celebratory event for the 70th edition of EIFF.”

Restored by Deluxe London, the restoration of ‘Highlander’ is based on a 4K scan of the original camera negative, followed by a full 4K workflow, with the approval of director Russell Mulcahy. The film will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 11th July complete with brand new bonus material.

Tickets priced £8/£6 will be on sale at 12noon on Monday 9th May and can be purchased here:

Edinburgh International Film Festival set to open with the World Premiere of Tommy’s Honour

The 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival will open with the drama ‘Tommy’s Honour‘ on 15th June 2016.
‘Tommy’s Honour’ tells the story of Tom Morris’ (Peter Mullan – ‘Trainspottng’) relationship with his son Tommy (Jack Lowden – ‘War & Peace’) who showed a remarkable talent of his own and matched his father’s sporting achievements. However, despite their shared passion, father and son clash over the unwritten rules of social class, culminating in Tommy’s marriage to a woman of lower standing who hides a shameful secret in her past. Tommy must choose between family loyalty and his dreams of forging his own path with the woman he loves beside him. Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) also stars as Alexander Boothby. 

Director Jason Connery commented: “It’s so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, ‘Tommy’s Honour‘ might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That’s fantastic!”

Producer Bob Last adds: “It’s an honour to be back at EIFF for an Opening Gala, it means a lot to have Mark Adams and his team’s support for Jason Connery and our fantastic cast’s telling of an iconic Scottish story. We look forward to introducing our film to Scotland and to the Gala being the first step in taking ‘Tommy’s Honour’ to an international audience.”

 Producer Keith Banks also said: “Our film is a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes including father/son relationships, class struggle, deep romantic love, family love and love of a game and a culture. We are thrilled to be able to first showcase ‘Tommy’s Honour ‘to a live audience at such a respected international gathering via our world premiere at EIFF.”

 Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are proud to be staging the world premiere of ‘Tommy’s Honour’. It is a beautifully made film packed with memorable moments and terrific performances and reflects perfectly our intention to keep on bringing great Scottish projects to our audience.”

 Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 27th April.

Whisky Galore! Remake will close the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to announce that the much anticipated remake of the iconic Scottish comedy Whisky Galore! will close the 70th edition of the festival on Sunday 26th June 2016. 

Inspired by Sir Compton Mackenzie’s 1947 novel, Whisky Galore! is written by award-winning screenwriter Peter McDougall and based on the true story of a shipwreck off the coast of Eriskay of a ship sailing for America with a cargo of export-only alcohol during World War II. The Scottish islanders, in the midst of a wartime drought of whisky, are determined to take advantage of an unexpected windfall despite opposition from the local Home Guard Captain. 

 Shot on location entirely in Scotland, Whisky Galore! features an ensemble cast James Cosmo (Braveheart), Kevin Guthrie (Sunset Song), and Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and Eddie Izzard (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian).

 Director Gillies Mackinnon said: “I am delighted that Whisky Galore! will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival. This feels like the perfect and most appropriate world premiere for a film which is the remake of a Scottish film classic.” Producer Iain Maclean adds: “I remember watching the film many times, as a child growing up on the Hebrides, on television and of course in black and white. It’s wonderful to bring Sir Compton Mackenzie’s story about whisky and the islanders to a new generation of film fans through this year’s EIFF.”

 Artistic Director Mark Adams said: “We are absolutely delighted to be staging the world premiere of Whisky Galore! as closing night of this year’s festival. It is a delightful adaptation of a much-loved classic and will wrap up our 70th edition in memorable style.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Thursday 21st April 2016.