Edinburgh, Scotland – 6 May 2009 – At a press conference at Filmhouse in Edinburgh this morning, Artistic Director Hannah McGill announced the full programme details for the 63rd edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 17 – 28 June, will host twenty-three World premieres, and sixteen International premieres including the previously announced Opening Night Gala, Sam Mendes’ AWAY WE GO. The Closing Night Gala will be the International premiere of ADAM, a romantic drama by Max Mayer starring Hugh Dancy (CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC), Rose Byrne (KNOWING), and Peter Gallagher (THE O.C). The EIFF also looks forward to welcoming back three of its four Patrons, Sir Sean Connery, Tilda Swinton and the recently appointed Seamus McGarvey, in the Year of Homecoming.
The Festival will showcase one hundred and thirty five features from thirty three countries, including seven European premieres and sixty UK premieres in addition to the World and International premieres. Highlights include: Adam Elliot’s feature animation MARY AND MAX; David Mackenzie’s SPREAD and RJ Cutler’s THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE both in the Gala section; Claire Denis’ 35 SHOTS OF RUM, Steven Soderbergh’s THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and Kathryn Bigelow’s THE HURT LOCKER in the Directors’ Showcase, and THE LAST HEROES OF THE PENINSULA by José Manuel Cravioto in the Document section.
British Galas competing for the UK Film Council-sponsored Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature include seven World premieres: Duncan Ward’s BOOGIE WOOGIE; Brian Percival’s A BOY CALLED DAD; THE CALLING by Jan Dunn; Justin Molotnikov’s CRYING WITH LAUGHTER; Lindy Heymann’s KICKS; MAD, SAD AND BAD by Avie Luthra, and Dale Corlett’s RUNNING IN TRAFFIC. British Galas also compete for the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film, which also includes: FISH TANK by Andrea Arnold; Duncan Jones’ MOON, Julian Kemp’s MY LAST FIVE GIRLFRIENDS and UNMADE BEDS by Alexis Dos Santos.
Galas will also include: Carlos Cuarón’s RUDO Y CURSI; Rebecca Miller’s THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE; Martin Provost’s SÉRAPHINE; Peter Hewitt’s THE MAIDEN HEIST; documentary THE CRIMSON WING by Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward; THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by Rémi Bezançon; Rowan Woods’ FRAGMENTS; the double bill of MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT and MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY NO.1 by Jean-Francois Richet, and Family Gala THE SECRET OF KELLS by Tomm Moore. 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.
Mary Sweeney’s BARABOO, Tom Hall’s WIDE OPEN SPACES and Mark Devenport’s BIG THINGS are three of the seven World premieres in Rosebud, the showcase of films by first and second time directors which embody the EIFF’s spirit of discovery. Additional World premieres in Rosebud are: ATLETU (THE ATHLETE) by Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew; Irfan Kamal’s THANKS MAA, and WASTED by Caroline Paterson and Stuart Davids. THE MAID by Sebastian Silva, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s SIN NOMBRE, Yang Ik June’s BREATHLESS and POMEGRANATES AND MYRRH by Najwa Najjar are also amongst the twenty-six Rosebud titles. All Rosebud films are eligible for the Skillset New Directors Award.
All features originating outside of the UK , receiving their World or International premieres at the EIFF will be eligible for the previously announced inaugural Best New International Feature Award.
Eligible films include: Jonathan auf der Heide’s VAN DIEMEN’S LAND, Noah Buschel’s THE MISSING PERSON, Sarah Watt’s MY YEAR WITHOUT SEX, Per Hanefjord’s ELKLAND, and from the experimental Black Box section, the World premiere of NAKBA by Max Francos.
The Director’s Showcase, presenting work from the established auteurs of our time, includes Lynn Shelton’s HUMPDAY, Christian Petzold’s JERICHOW, Tali Shalom Ezer’s SURROGATE, Alexey German Jnr’s PAPER SOLDIER and STELLA by Sylvie Verheyde.
Upholding the EIFF’s documentary heritage, this year’s Document section presents the World premieres of ISOLATION by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull, and NO GREATER LOVE by Michael Whyte, both from the UK . José Padhila (TROPA DE ELITE) returns to the EIFF with GARAPA, and other documentaries include Ibolya Bálint’s TINY JOYS, NOLLYWOOD BABYLON by Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal while ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES by Jonathan Caouette will include special guest performances as part of a unique 360° musical event. Documentary shorts will feature throughout the EIFF, as stand alone programmes and before main feature documentaries.
Previously announced late-night sections, Night Moves and Under the Radar boast a collective five World premieres, while Special Screenings throughout the EIFF also include the World premieres of Shane Meadow’s latest, LE DONK (followed by an extended Q&A with the director) and Matt Hulse’s FOLLOW THE MASTER.
Screening in new digitally restored prints are Danny Boyle’s SHALLOW GRAVE, remastered for its 15th anniversary; Bill Forsyth’s little-seen COMRADES; and Powell and Pressburger’s THE RED SHOES, which will provide the backdrop for a Special Event on DIGITAL RESTORATION: PANEL DISCUSSION. Other Special Events include 3D EXPLAINED; film and panel event FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM, and Mirrorball’s PLAYING WITH THE PAST, an event combining live music with archive footage. Examining the opportunities and challenges in the transition to a digital world, the EIFF presents LORD DAVID PUTTNAM KEYNOTE ADDRESS; this is complemented by Street Opera's music based digital installation MY SECRET HEART which runs for a week in the Dovecot exhibition space in Edinburgh, while Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode will host RADIO 5 LIVE’S WITTERTAINMENT AT ITS MOST WITTERTAINING from Edinburg in front of a live audience.
Other industry greats will take to the stage for the EIFF’s In-Person interviews, including directors Sam Mendes (AMERICAN BEAUTY), Darren Aronofsky (THE WRESTLER), Joe Dante (GREMLINS) and Bill Forsyth (LOCAL HERO). Brenda Blethyn is the subject of this year’s BAFTA Interview, and Meera Syal is the Skillset In Person interviewee, along with previously announced In Person subjects Indian cinema screen legend Sharmila Tagore and Academy Award® winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle.
Another In Person interviewee, Roger Corman, is also the subject of this year’s Retrospective. The Retrospective will showcase the work of the maverick cult godfather, including: THE ST VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE; THE HOUSE OF USHER, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE TOMB OF LIGEIA and THE INTRUDER.
Celebrating influential Scottish filmmakers in Scotland ’s Year of Homecoming, the EIFF presents a FOCUS: PETER MCDOUGALL & JOHN MACKENZIE with screenings of classic Scottish TV drama including THE ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD and A SENSE OF FREEDOM. Previously announced CINEMATIC TELEVISION will also bring the small screen to the big screen.
AN EVENING WITH DON HERTZFELDT heads up this year’s Animation section, with International and McLaren Animation programmes, and which is complemented by an Introduction To Animation Workshop. Other workshops will focus on Screen Makeup, Slapstick and Sound FX, while the FESTIVAL CONVERSATIONS will draw together a selection of the year’s brightest attending talent to discuss themes and topics such as Cinematic Documentary and Laughter In The Dark, while BEHIND THE SCENES brings craftspeople at the top of their game to discuss their work.
In addition to the documentary and animation shorts at the Festival, EIFF continues to showcase the best of Scottish, UK and international shorts in a series of programmes which include Turner nominated artist Phil Collins’ ZASTO NE GOVORIM SRPSKI (NA SRPSKOM), Spike Jonze’s HEAVEN (FULLY FLARED INTRO VIDEO REMIX), and Channel 4’s COMING UP shorts.
EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill commented: “I’m thrilled about this programme, and really looking forward to showing these films to our audience, as well as welcoming this wide array of exciting guests. We've been really privileged to see a tremendous range of very varied work from all over the world this year, and the programming team have done incredible work in selecting the best and most innovative films. The British section is especially diverse; and it's also great in the year of Homecoming to be celebrating Scottish talent with both our McDougall/Mackenzie focus and our new Scottish feature films. Of course as well as the screenings, we'll be rounding out the Festival experience with our live music events, discussion panels, workshops and interviews.”