Edinburgh International Film Festival to expand to Everyman and return to Cameo as 75th anniversary plans are revealed
Organizers revealed that more than 90 feature films are expected to screen during the nine-day event.
The historic anniversary edition will open with a weekend of free screenings in Place Saint-André, as well as a celebration of women in cinema and a major retrospective of the work of Japanese filmmaker Kinuyo Tanaka.
This year’s festival, the first to be held under new creative director Kristy Matheson, is expected to feature more than 125 different events.
She revealed some of her plans for the event, which will run from August 12-20, ahead of the program’s official launch next month.
A new sci-fi film starring Irish star Colin Farrell in the lead role has already been announced as the festival’s closing gala.
South Koren-born filmmaker Kogonada, who won accolades for After Yang, which follows a family upset by a defective robotic child they are raising, has agreed to host part of the festival.
Two major hubs will be created for this year’s festival, which will return to its traditional slot in August for the first time in 15 years.
One will be west of downtown, where premieres will take place at the Filmhouse, the traditional base of the event, and the Cameo, which hasn’t been used by the festival for over a decade for a dispute over the quality of its screens.
The Cameo, which dates back to 1914 when it was known as the King’s Cinema, had been a mainstay of the festival since 1949, just two years after the event began, after the venue was renamed by the new owner Jim Pool and reinvented as an art house cinema.
His celebrity guests over the past 75 years have included Quentin Tarantino, Sir Sean Connery, Orson Welles, Clint Eastwood, Cary Grant, Danny Boyle, Richard E Grant, Robert Carlyle, Charlize Theron and Ewan McGregor.
The other main hub will be east of downtown, with screenings held between the Vue Cinema in the Omni Center and the Everyman, a new luxury five-screen cinema complex on the top floor of the new district. St James.
The sprawling retail and leisure development, which opened just over a year ago, has already been confirmed as the official seat of the Fringe this year, home to a Spiegeltent venue that will be shared by the BBC and promoters Just the Tonic, and a new outdoor stage for Fringe artists and companies to promote their shows.
This year’s EIFF will present a major retrospective created to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1972 edition of the event, programmed by Lynda Myles, Laura Mulvey and Claire Johnston, which was the first event in Europe to focus on film directors by women. Following this event, Myles was appointed artistic director and became the first woman in the world to take charge of a film festival.
‘Film Fest in the City’ screenings in St Andrew Square which showcase a mix of new and classic films, and an all-day run by the festival’s young programming team, which will be dedicated to films by female-identifying filmmakers .
Ms Matheson, who was appointed to the role last June, was previously a filmmaker at Australia’s National Museum of Film Culture.
She has previously set out the main priorities for the event under her tenure, including attracting new audiences, ensuring its program is as diverse as possible, giving Edinburgh residents greater ownership of the event and highlighting its internationalism.
She said: “If we only do one thing this year I would want it to be a program that people in Edinburgh connect with. I want people to be excited and feel like they own the festival a bit. .
“We have designed a program that we are extremely proud of and can’t wait to share with the public in Edinburgh this summer.
“The Filmhouse is still our home, but it’s good to encourage people to see different parts of the city.
“The city feels very different in these two neighborhoods – they have very different vibes, even though they are an integral part of downtown. Our overall footprint is still quite small.
“We want to encourage people to walk around the city center and maybe get a bit lost along the way.
“I really like the idea that the festival doesn’t feel like it has a sprawling schedule, but is manageable. You won’t be able to see everything, but I don’t want people looking at our site web and immediately feel overwhelmed.
“I also like the idea of people walking out of the Filmhouse and walking down the street to see someone at the book festival, or see a big dance show, or walk into a bar and see a comedian from a party. distant from the world. I want them to encounter different ideas and feel recharged.
“I really wanted to have the St Andrew Square screenings during the festival itself rather than before.
“We’ll have a full day in the square themed for the year of Scottish stories and we’ll also be flipping the screen for a full day for our team of young programmers.”
Sambrooke Scott, audience development manager at government agency Screen Scotland, one of the festival’s main funders, said: “We are proud to support the 75th anniversary edition of EIFF – the first edition which reflects the new creative leadership and vision of Kristy Matheson.
“With the event fully back in person, in August, with an expanded footprint across the city and a fantastic range of local and international film talent on offer, it promises to be an exciting return and bold renewal.
“Congratulations to Kirsty and the EIFF team for this program which truly illustrates the renewed ambition of the festival. Nick Peel, Chief Executive of St James, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival is an integral part of events in the city. calendar and St James Quarter is delighted to be part of it this year. “Everyman Edinburgh is the perfect addition to the festival and we look forward to welcoming local, national and international visitors to the most iconic of festivals this summer.”