The Edinburgh International Film Festival returns for its landmark 70th edition between June 15th-26th. Showcasing some of the best films in international cinema, this year’s event will include: 22 World Premieres, 5 International Premieres, 17 European Premieres, and 85 UK Premieres.
On top of that, retrospectives and old classics will also be shown, making it a must-attend event for fans of films past and present. Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director is very excited about the event. He said: “It is a real thrill to unveil this year’s programme and I am looking forward to showcasing so many great films and welcoming so many talented filmmakers to our 70th edition.
“As always we like to offer an incredibly broad range of work to ensure there is always something for everyone – from mesmeric retrospectives through to absorbing new short films, to 130 new features from 46 countries, rest assured this year’s EIFF will challenge, provoke and entertain audiences in equal measure.”
The hotly-anticipated Disney-Pixar animation Finding Dory is one for the whole family that’s not to be missed. The long-awaited sequel to the classic Finding Nemo has been a long time in the making, and it arrives in Edinburgh for its UK Premiere with open arms. If it’s anything like its predecessor, this will be a fun film for all age groups, and it’s bound to be another sure-fire winner in the highly impressive canon of Disney-Pixar.
Another hotly-anticipated film is Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers, starring Johnny Depp, which marks the second feature in his True North trilogy – a trio of horror comedies set in Canada. Smith has been enjoying a creative career resurgence since going back to his independent roots, and Yoga Hosers looks set to be in vein with his last film Tusk, as it even includes the same characters. In addition, Smith will also be in attendance.
Opening the gala will be the world premiere of Tommy’s Honor, a golfing drama starring Jurassic Park’s Sam Neil. Closing the gala will be the romantic comedy Whisky Galore, starring the superstar cross-dressing comic Eddie Izzard.
In addition to world premieres, old classics can be seen like you’ve never seen them before; Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial will be played with John William’s classic score performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Furthermore, the brand new 4k restoration of Highlander will have its world premiere to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beloved fantasy epic. Superhero movies are all the rage
these days, but they’ve been around for decades, and POW!!! Live Action Comic Strip Adaptations: The First Generation will offer 2016 festival-goers the chance to explore the cinematic roots of the genre. This retrospective journey of caped crusaders will explore the evolution of live-action comic strip adaptations in cinema.
The retrospective will focus on the best of the genre’s classics, from explosive martial arts to chic ‘60s espionage thrillers, classic Blaxploitation gems and imaginative science fiction. Keep an eye out for the 1966 Batman for some sheer comedy gold. You won’t be disappointed. However, this fascinating journey chronicling the evolution of comic book movies will be a treat for all aficionados of the current wave of Marvel and DC cinematic titans.
This year’s Best of British strand includes David Blair’s emotional drama Away, starring Timothy Spall and Juno Temple as two lost souls seeking companionship; Rita Osei’s debut coming of age drama Bliss, following a girl travelling across Scandinavia; Mercedes Grower’s offbeat debut Brakes led by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh fame promises to be strange and hilarious; János Edelényi’s The Carer starring Brian Cox, who will be in attendance at this year’s Festival, will also be shown; and, lastly, Charles Henri Belleville’s thriller Jet Trash is another that comes hotly-anticipated. Furthermore, The Revenant’s Will Poulter’s new film Kids In Love will also be showing.
However, Britain isn’t the only country receiving the spotlight. The very best in new American independent cinema will also be featured. This year, American Dreams audiences
can enjoy an array of cinematic gems including: Rebecca Miller’s romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan, with Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore each delivering critically acclaimed performances; Meg Ryan’s directorial debut Ithaca, described as an emotionally driven story of a teenager in World War II; the European Premiere of Rob Burnett’s The Fundamentals of Caring, a dramedy starring Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts as caregiver and dependent; Paco Cabezas’ Mr. Right, starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell as assassins; the International Premiere of fan film Slash; and World Premieres of Amanda Sharp’s Sticky Notes, starring Rose Leslie, and Steven Lewis Simpson’s road adventure Neither Wolf Nor Dog.
For fans of the esoteric and horrific, Anna Biller’s psychosexual occult drama The Love Witch is a must see. Judging by the trailer, it looks set to be the sexiest, strangest and most original film of 2016 – if anything it’ll be the kinkiest. It rides into the capital on the back of a wave of critical acclaim.
However, if you like your horror with a little more bite, then Yeon Sang-ho’s zombie thriller Seoul Station sounds scrumptious. And to top it all off, Japanese auteur Shion Sono’s new comedy The Virgin Psychics will also be playing. If you’re familiar with the director’s oeuvre, then you’ll know the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.
While he might be set for Hollywood directorial superstardom with the upcoming Thor sequel, Taika Waititi’s hilarious Hunt for the Wilderpeople – which follows the search for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who get lost in the wild – will also be showing. Waititi has earned himself a reputation for his cracking comedic output in recent years, especially after 2014’s mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. This is sure to be another fantastic entry to his impressive filmography.
All of these – and much more – are in store at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. This annual event is a cultural cinematic cornerstone, and you owe it to yourself to pop up and see a few great films, while immersing yourself in the cracking atmosphere that comes with it.
With top notch special guests, unique retrospectives and spotlights shining on cinematic regions from across the globe, there’s bound to be something for all tastes to enjoy.