Caledonia dreaming: Scottish works take centre stage at EIFF

Caledonia dreaming: Scottish works take centre stage at EIFF

Anna and the Apocalypse

Nikki Baughan picks through the best of Scottish screen work at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival

While the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has built a reputation as an essential showcase for the best in world cinema, the support of Scottish films and filmmakers has always been central to its remit. In this forthcoming 72nd edition, homegrown talent will once again take centre stage, starting with opening film, Puzzle, which features acclaimed Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald in the lead role of a woman whose newfound passion for jigsaws changes her life in ways she could never have imagined.

From there, the country is broadly represented across the programme. In the feature lineup, Matt Palmer's debut Calibre, a Highlands-set thriller which stars Scottish actor Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) and Martin McCann ('71) as two friends on an ill-fated hunting trip, joins John McPhail's anticipated zombie horror / musical Anna and the Apocalypse. Kenny Glenaan's Dirt Road to Lafayette, which follows a father and son as they travel from Scotland to North Alabama, will receive its world premiere here.

Elsewhere, Shauna Macdonald will be seen in Paul Raschid's horror White Chamber, while Tommy Flanagan appears in Michael Noer's updating of Papillon, and James Cosmo stars in Anthony Byrne's crime thriller In Darkness.

Caledonia Dreaming

Natalie Dormer, In Darkness

Scottish documentaries are also in abundance. Travis frontman Fran Healy's Almost Fashionable: A Film About Travis will debut, as will Meeting Jim, Ece Ger's film about Traverse Theatre founder and Edinburgh Festival Fringe champion Jim Haynes. Additionally, award-winning Edinburgh-based documentary filmmaker and EIFF honorary patron Mark Cousins will introduce his latest projects, The Eyes of Orson Welles and Storm in My Heart.

Scotland will be well represented across the animation strand, too, including screenings of Dorte Bengtson's family film Vitello and an early look at Red Kite's animated feature Princess Emmy which includes the voice talents of John Hannah and Franke Potente. The extensive lineup of homegrown shorts includes Charlotte Wells' Blue Christmas and Anna Stoltzmann's My Head on the Mountain along with work from the Scottish Film Talent Network. Looking towards the small screen, EIFF audiences will be treated to a preview of the first three episodes of Skye-set TV show Bannan's fourth series, which follows a young woman returning to the island home she left when she was 18.

The festival will also celebrate Scotland's eclectic film and television history by screening Maurice Satton's industry satire Long Shot, which was filmed during the 1977 EIFF, and director Bill Forsyth will be in attendance to introduce a screening of his classic 1983 film Local Hero.

'Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema, and Scottish talent has always been at the heart of that,' said EIFF artistic director Mark Adams. 'The festival's programme always helps shine the light on to Scottish themes, performances and filmmakers, and I'm thrilled that once again we can celebrate this high level of craftsmanship in past and present Scottish work.'

Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from Wed 20 Jun–Sun 1 Jul.

**Correction 19/6: Rachel Maclean's Make Me Up is no longer screening at the festival.

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.