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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: Surprise Movie candidates

The EIFF Surprise Movie is a closely guarded secret - here's what we think could be showing

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: Surprise Movie candidates

Filth

Filth

The James McAvoy-starring Irvine Welsh adaptation is a bit of a long shot, considering it isn't scheduled for general release until October. That said, the news broke recently that Filth was coming out in Scotland a week before anywhere else in the UK, so they're obviously keen to get a Scottish audience's reaction to it. Where better than in Welsh's home town?
Odds: 2/1

Snowpiercer

This claustrophobic sci-fi from Korean director Joon-ho Bong (The Host) stars Tilda Swinton, historically a great friend of the Festival. Even more significant is the Fest's focus on Korean cinema this year, and the fact that their International Jury is headed by... oh, er, Joon-ho Bong. Maybe a bit cheeky to sneak one of his own films into the programme then?
Odds: 3/1

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Kind of a longshot, this one: no UK release date (not even out in the States til August), and quite thematically similar to last year's Surprise Movie Lawless (both deal with American outlaws in a period setting). It did pick up a lot of buzz at Sundance though, so if EIFF organisers manage to pull the right strings, it's a possibility.
Odds: 7/2

Only God Forgives

The second team-up between Ryan Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance got a mixed reception at Cannes, but their previous collaboration on Drive (as well as Gosling being a considerable draw on his own) make it a film that'll satisfy those who bought their tickets blindfolded.
Odds: 9/2

Blackfish

We suspect the EIFF will want to stay away from films that have already appeared at other UK film festivals, but this much talked about killer whale doc will have only just appeared at the Sheffield Doc Fest, and could turn out to be this year's Imposter.
Odds: 9/1

The World's End

Edgar Wright's Cornetto trilogy closer would be surefire crowd-pleaser, and potentially easy for the Fest to get hold of considering the reasonably close general release date (Fri 19 Jul). It's a London-set fanboy film with a lot of goodwill behind it though, so there's every chance they'd want to debut it at a big Leicester Square premiere instead.
Odds: 15/1

Alpha Papa

Could Alan Patridge's big screen debut be in the running? It's a UK production, which might make things easier, and the release date fits (Fri 7 Aug)... And yet, we can't help but think this is going to be another of those regional fan-friendly screenings rather than a secret film festival selection. It'll probably premiere in Norfolk.
Odds: 15/1

The Frozen Ground

This one's a contender mainly for its close release date (Fri 19 Jul again) and for a recently indie-friendly cast: John Cusack showed us his nasty side in Cannes 2012 provocateur The Paperboy, while Vanessa Hudgens recently stepped away from her Disney roots with Spring Breakers (coincidentally the Glasgow Film Fest surprise film this year).
Odds: 20/1

Kick-Ass 2

We're getting into pipe-dream country here, but come on, how cool would it be? In the midst of all the indie-arthouse gubbins, an uber-violent comic book adap with a villain called The Motherfucker? Plus, Mark Millar treated Glasgow to a special screening of the original Kick-Ass - maybe Edinburgh's due some love?
Odds: 50/1

Elysium

This one only made the cut because Gareth Edwards' outstanding Monsters screened at EIFF 2010, and was lauded many times over as 'this year's District 9', which means it's only logical (in our heads) that Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi follow-up is a contender for the Surprise Movie slot. Except it's very obviously not.
Odds: 100/1

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The oldest continually running film festival in the world, the EIFF draws on its prestige to consistently present abundant programmes of new features, documentaries, retrospectives, shorts, panel discussions and educational workshops, with a few high profile premieres thrown in for good measure.

Various venues, Edinburgh

Wed 18 Jun

Times & prices vary. / 0131 228 4051

Thu 19 Jun

Times & prices vary. / 0131 228 4051

Fri 20 Jun

Times & prices vary. / 0131 228 4051

…and 9 more dates until 29 Jun

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 90 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Declan Lowney
  • Cast: Steve Coogan, Tim Key
  • UK release: 7 August 2013

Sidestepping the usual curse that blights TV projects when they reach the big screen, this is a tremendously fun outing for Partridge as he unwittingly becomes a hostage negotiator at his digital radio station.

Elysium

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 109 min
  • Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
  • UK release: 21 August 2013

Blomkamp's eagerly awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed District 9 features Damon and Foster on another planet in the distant future.

Surprise Movie

  • 120 min

It could be literally anything, in any format, any language, any genre. As you may have seen from this year's programme, our taste is varied and unpredictable. The most tightly guarded secret at EIFF – even if you think you know what the Surprise Movie is, you're wrong. What we guarantee is that it’s something that we're…

The World's End

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 109 min
  • Directed by: Edgar Wright
  • Written by: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
  • Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman
  • UK release: 19 July 2013

Gary (Pegg), a middle-aged man emotionally stuck in his late teens, persuades old mates (Frost, Freeman, Considine, Marsan) to recreate an epic pub crawl – only to face alien invasion. Not quite as funny or charming as predecessors Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, it'll still keep you laughing until they call time.

Blackfish

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 90 min
  • Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  • Written by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Eli B. Despres
  • UK release: 26 July 2013

The story of Tilikum, a killer whale kept in captivity known for, well, killing (people, that is).

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