Eddie Izzard, James Franco and Kristen Wiig among the stars of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

Eddie Izzard, James Franco and Kristen Wiig among the stars of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in Joe

The EIFF programme also features Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul

New films featuring Robert Duvall, Eddie Izzard, Nicolas Cage and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul are among the highlights of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014, the programme for which was unveiled today. Projects featuring input from James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Elijah Wood and Eli Roth are also included among the 156 film programme, which features a marked increase in recognisable names in comparison to recent years.

There’s a strong Hollywood contingent, headed up by old-school veterans like Robert Duvall (in neo-western A Night in Old Mexico), Sam Shepard and Don Johnson (both in crime thriller Cold in July). From the younger camp, James Franco features in both Palo Alto (adapted from his own short story collection) and documentary A Fuller Life about director Sam Fuller (alongside Joe Dante, William Friedkin, Mark Hamill and Tim Roth). Southern drama Joe features Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life, Mud) and Nicolas Cage; zombie dramedy Life After Beth stars Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chronicle), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air) and Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation, Safety Not Guaranteed); and espionage thriller A Most Wanted Man features one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances, alongside Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe.

There’s also a wealth of big name British talent. Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, This is England) stars in police thriller Hyena, the festival’s opening film; Eddie Izzard and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) headline WWII radar drama Castles in the Sky; and while Elijah Wood is the top name in Dylan Thomas drama Set Fire to the Stars, he’s supported by Britishers Kelly Reilly, Kevin Eldon and Shirley Henderson.

Notable non-English language highlights include Nordic action-comedy In Order of Disappearance, featuring Stellan Skarsgård and Bruno Ganz; and roadtrip drama Liar’s Dice, featuring Indian character actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui (The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur). The festival is also dedicating two strands apiece to German and Iranian cinema, with the latter selection including Life May Be, a collaborative epistolary project between Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari.

As ever, there will also be a host of special events surrounding the festival, including live interviews with Don Johnson, Elijah Wood, Noel Clarke and The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg (director of closing film We'll Never Have Paris), plus the return of the Edinburgh Game Symposium and a talk on how the film industry would look in an independent Scotland. There are also a series of Film in the City events planned throughout June in the run up to the festival, including ‘dance-along’ screenings of Top Hat, Strictly Ballroom and Grease in the Grassmarket; a programme of workshops and activities for the next generation of filmmakers in Festival Square; and the return of the popular free, open air screenings at St Andrew Square, this year including Gregory’s Girl, How To Train Your Dragon, Local Hero, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Giorgio Moroder’s famed restoration of Metropolis.

Film in the City, various venues, Edinburgh, Sun 8–Sun 22 Jun. Edinburgh International Film Festival, various venues, Wed 18–Sun 29 Jun.

EIFF 2014 Promo Sting

EIFF 2014 Preview Reel

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.