Stardust memories: the Edinburgh International Film Festival is 70, and feeling nostalgic

Stardust memories: the Edinburgh International Film Festival is 70, and feeling nostalgic

Gene Kelly at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1956 / courtesy EIFF

The film festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and it wants your memories

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary year, together with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe. To mark the occasion, EIFF are launching a collaborative project, ed film fest memories – because everyone knows that lower case is more huggable. Members of the public are invited to submit to its website their memories and images of the festival from over the years, and it's opened up its own image archive to find memorable pictures of famous movie people of the last several decades, taken – in some cases – before they were famous.

Among the great and good pictured in the event are: the first ever woman director of a film festival, the EIFF's Lynda Myles, in 1973; a young, wavy-haired, frowning Werner Herzog, fresh off the horrifying ordeal that was the making of Aguirre, Wrath of God; Gene Kelly in 1956, clearly in mid-anecdote at a Festival event, surrounded by smirking men in tuxedos; the women of Joss Whedon's cult classic Serenity at Cineworld in 2005 (go Browncoats!); Jennifer Lawrence in 2010, promoting her breakthrough feature Winter's Bone and not looking awkward at all in a pair of ferociously tall heels. Most entertainingly, there's a contact sheet depicting the 1994 premiere of Shallow Grave, with Ewan McGregor sporting a highly dubious mane of shoulder-length hair, Andrew Macdonald looking like the Head Boy addressing the school, and John Hodge sporting a disastrous razor cut that makes him resemble somebody's 12-year-old nephew.

The ed film fest memories project is ongoing, and it's launched with a city-wide exhibition on Wed 31 May, showing more than 100 of the archived images. You can submit your own via an online form.

The ed film fest memories exhibition launches on Wed 31 May.

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.