Festival's 73rd outing includes a focus on American and Spanish cinema, new culinary adventures and Toy Story 4
Every year, the Edinburgh International Film Festival hits silver screens across the city, delivering to our doorstep a veritable feast of cinematic wealth from across the world. From the highbrow art house to your summer feel-good blockbuster, the EIFF remains one of the world's longest-running celebrations of the form. Today details of the festival's 73rd edition has been released, which boasts 121 new features from 42 countries, including 18 feature film world premieres and 78 UK premieres.
The annual Best of British strand showcases the diversity of style and subject matter in British filmmaking today, including director Emily Harris' Gothic coming-of-age tale Carmilla; Mark Jenkin's depiction of rising tensions in a Cornish village in Bait; Masters of Love's sardonic spin on the classic British rom-com; and Danny Boyle's irresistible Beatles homage Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon.
Scottish stories also feature prominently in the programme, with previously announced Opening Gala flick Boyz in the Wood sitting alongside Schemers, set in Dundee circa 1979 and featuring local colour aplenty, based on writer-producer David McLean's early years in the music industry. Glasgow also gets its moment in the limelight with Jamie Adams' Balance, Not Symmetry, which follows an American student who starts to re-evaluate her life choices after the unexpected death of her father. The strand 4 Views of Scotland will also be screening Channel 4 and Film4 classics The Acid House, Wedding Belles, and a double serving of Ken Loach in Carla's Song and My Name is Joe.
With the B-word looming large everywhere you look, this year's European Perspectives studies the great debt cinema owes to the continent's influence, including an appearance from everyone's favourite cartoon Gaul in Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion. The festival will also feature the international premiere of A Girl from Mogadishu, which tells the inspiring true story of Somali refugee and activist Ifrah Ahmed; road movie End of Sentence, which follows an estranged father and son in their travels through Ireland; Rudolph Herzog's hilarious farce How to Fake A War; and sweeping sci-fi saga Aniara.
American and Spanish filmmaking also receive a closer look, as the strand American Dreams highlights a provocative selection of cinema from across the pond, including Jim Jarmusch's zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die; a tense look inside a hard-line Appalachian religious sect in Them That Follow, starring Olivia Colman; a quiet, intimate look at the lives of four queer and trans New Yorkers in So Pretty; and Skin, which sees Jamie Bell play neo-Nazi Bryon Widner in this true story. Meanwhile, the retrospective strand Once Upon A Time in Spain pays homage to the cult hits of Spanish cinema and the work of iconic writer, actor and filmmaker, Icíar Bollaín, while the strand Focus on Spain highlights the inheritors of the country's rich filmic history, including new releases such as Salvador Simó's Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles and Manolo Munguía's thriller h0us3.
The EIFF will also be taking the taste buds on a cinematic journey in their inaugural Cinecuisine strand, which will be screening documentaries on Scottish cuisine, special tasting sessions hosted by renowned cookery school Edinburgh School of Food & Wine, lectures on the depiction of food in film, alongside a menu of bespoke Johnnie Walker cocktails on offer at the Festival HQ.
Other highlights of this year's programme includes a dedicated retrospective on the trailblazing work of inimitable director Agnes Varda; the pulpy Nic Cage love letter Cage-A-Rama, which will feature 3D screenings of his cult hits like Drive Angry and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; a pre-festival screening of the fourth instalment to the Toy Story series, which looks just about guaranteed to bring a tear to the eyes of young and old; and in person visitations from Danny Boyle, actor Jack Lowden and Pollyanna McIntosh. Thus with a programme full to bursting with unique voices and cinematic colour, the magic of the movies at the EIFF has never felt quite so real. Our popcorn is at the ready.
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.