Scottish comedy Boyz in the Wood to open 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival

Boyz in the Wood EIFF opening night film

Anarchic comedy starring Eddie Izzard makes European debut in June

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has revealed its 2019 Opening Night Gala film to be the European premiere of Scottish social satire Boyz in the Wood. The film will open the the 73rd edition of the festival on Wed 19 Jun at the Festival Theatre, with tickets on sale now.

Written and directed by Edinburgh native Ninian Doff, Boyz in the Wood is set in the Highlands as four city kids are pursued by a mysterious huntsman played by Eddie Izzard in what's described as a 'anarchic cocktail of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings'. Which sounds like the perfect recipe for opening night good vibes.

Izzard is joined by Scottish acting luminaries such as Kate Dickie, James Cosmo and Kevin Guthrie, as well as up-and-comers Rian Gordon, Samuel Bottomley, Virah Juneja and Lewis Gribben, while the soundtrack has been supplied by Lucky Me hip-hop producer S-Type and composer Alex Menzies. Given the local flavour and the fact that this practically represents a homecoming for Izzard, we expect a full cast turnout on the red carpet.

Doff says: 'It's hard to put into words what a huge honour it is for me to have Boyz in the Wood open the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It's been an incredible journey for me and real tribute to the amazing start I got all those years ago at this very festival. I'm from Edinburgh and for my debut film I really wanted to make a film that captured a very particular Scottish joy, madness and humour; and that was also modern, political and forward looking. Everybody, both cast and crew, brought so much passion and energy to make this film and it's going to be very special for it to have its European premiere, not only in my hometown, but also at such an important festival.'

Mark Adams, Artistic Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival added: 'We are thrilled to be opening this year's festival with this vibrant, energetic and wonderfully raucous new film that showcases a wide range of Scottish talent, from rising stars to established performers. Boyz in the Wood is a blast from start to finish and will start EIFF perfectly.'

Boyz in the Wood Opening Night Gala, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 19 Jun. Tickets available at

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.

Get Duked!

  • 2 stars
  • 2019
  • UK
  • 1h 27min
  • Directed by: Ninian Doff
  • Cast: Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben, Samuel Bottomley, Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo

Four teenagers (Juneja, Bottomley, Gordon, Gribben) arrive in the Scottish Highlands to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, only to find themselves the target of mysterious hunters. Doff’s debut aspires to be funny, but it’s a poorly scripted and casually made stab at comedy horror that offers precious little…