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EIFF 2008 Programme Launch


By Robert Alstead - Posted on 27 May 2008

The annual Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced the full programme of films for its new 10-day slot in June. Scottish and British filmmakers should be out in force with many of the cast and crew from the two British films that are bookending this year's fest expected to make it to Edinburgh.

Faintheart, Vito Rocco's romantic comedy that was developed by users of MySpace and stars Eddie Marsan, Jessica Hynes, and Ewan Bremner, will close the festival. The opening film is the previously announced Dylan Thomas pic The Edge of Love. EIFF patrons, Sir Sean Connery and Tilda Swinton, are expected to attend the Festival too.

Artistic director Hannah McGill announced that, between 18 and 29 June, the EIFF will showcase 142 feature-length films from 29 countries, including 113 new features of which 15 are world premieres, 14 are international premieres, 6 are european premieres and 72 are UK premieres. Tickets for the festival go on sale on Friday 10 May.

Galas

Highlights include the new Pixar title Wall.E screening as the Family Gala, and in the British Gala section, Shane Meadows' Somers Town and Duane Hopkins' Better Things; Brad Anderson's Transsiberian and Isabel Coixet's Elegy; a special preview of Terence Davies' Of Time and City and previously announced documentaries by Werner Herzog, James Marsh, and Errol Morris (see EIFF documentaries).

Galas will include the world premiere of Mark Doherty's A Film With Me In It, José Padilha's Elite Squad (Tropa D'Elite), Ira Sachs' Married Life, Bharat Nalluiri's Miss Petigrew Lives For A Day and Jonathan Levine's The Wackness.

British Galas competing for the UK Film Council-sponsored Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature include Oliver Blackburn's Donkey Punch which will have its UK premiere, and the world premieres of Charles Martin Smith's Stone of Destiny, Kenny Glenaan's Summer, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor's Helen and Matthew Thompson's Dummy. UK titles will also compete for Best Performance in a British Film, sponsored by Premier Property Group (PPG). All films in the Gala and British Gala sections, as well as the Opening and Closing Galas, are eligible for the Standard Life Audience Award.

"I think this is a Festival that reflects an active, vibrant world film culture - and suits the diverse and daring tastes of our audience," said McGill.

It's a festival that caters to many tastes, with the latest mainstream Pixar animation Wall.E playing alongside edgier fare from new strand Under The Radar, which looks "to awaken the spirit of cult cinema"; or, popular classics such as Back to the Future and Local Hero screening at the free Film Festival Under the Stars, alongside black-and-white, French arthouse classics in the retrospectives section (see Jeanne Moreau retrospective and Shirley Clarke retrospective).

Spotlight on the Cinematographers

The ever-popular In Person events, where guests taking part in onstage talks will include world renowned award-winning cinematographers Brian Tufano (Trainspotting) and Roger Deakins (No Country For Old Men) who will be interviewed by Seamus McGarvey (Atonement).

Directors Shane Meadows and Errol Morris, special effects master Ray Harryhausen (Clash of the Titans) and hugely versatile, Dundonian actor Brian Cox will also feature in the In Person events.

World Premieres & Special Events

World premieres include Bernard Rose's The Kreutzer Sonata in Directors' Showcase, Steven Sheil's Mum & Dad screening in the late-night section Night Moves, and Gideon Koppel's documentary sleep furiously. Trouble Sleeping, a feature from Edinburgh's Theatre Workshop, and The New Ten Commandments, a series of short films marking the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights directed by an impressive lineup of filmmakers including Irvine Welsh, Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton.

Mirrorball & Experimenta

Mirrorball, the pop 'n' promo Mirrorball section, has already announced a couple of events. The strand also includes five feature documentaries including Bananaz, shot over seven years following the Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn, the people behind the band Gorillaz. The Black Box strand represents cutting edge experimental filmmaking, including Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, a five part film by celebrated artist Yang Fadong.

Animation

McGill is clearly pleased that EIFF audiences will get the first look at Pixar's new trash-can star Wall.E, and there is more animation in the form of the "sweetly creepy" Peur(s) Du Noir - "Fear(s) Of the Dark" - by comic book artist Charles Burns, the cartoon-noir Idiots and Angels by Bill Plympton and an eclectic line-up of animated shorts. For budding animators, there is a series of workshops during the festival.

Shorts

In addition to the documentary and animation shorts at the Festival, the EIFF continues to showcase the best of Scottish, UK and international shorts in a series of programmes which include Daniel Mulloy's Son featuring Natalie Press, and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor's directorial debut Slapper with Iain Glen.

From Scotland, Matt Palmer's The Island was shot on the titular island in the Firth of Forth, while the international section showcases, among others, films from Mexico, Oscar® nominated Icelander Runar Runarsson's return to the EIFF with Little Birds, and Sick Sex from Justin Nowell, wryly portraying a man trying to persuade his ill girlfriend to have sex.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs 18-29 June.

Originally published on EdinburghGuide.com

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