Edinburgh Film Festival Sneak Peak

Check out the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival

Article by Cara McGuigan | 01 May 2008

Freshly extricated from its traditional Edinburgh Festival entanglement, the Edinburgh International Film Festival has this year moved from late August to 18-29 June. Details about its contents are coming out tantalisingly slowly, but the rumours are coming - and the rumours are good.

First up is the news that A-list stars Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller are expected to join director John Maybury on the red carpet for the opening night gala and UK premiere of The Edge of Love. Based on the life of poet Dylan Thomas (played by Brothers and Sisters’ Matthew Rhys), and the two women in his life – wife Caitlin Moran (Miller) and childhood sweetheart Vera Philips (Knightley) - The Edge of Love screens on Wednesday 18 June.

Celebrating its 13th anniversary this year, the festival’s Mirrorball strand prides itself on being one of the leading talent-spotting arenas of the international film industry, showcasing the creative worlds of music, promos and advertising. This year sees the programme diversifying into live events as well as the conventional screened programme. So, hot on the heels of the opening gala is the first ever Mirrorball live event, A Trip Out with British Sea Power at The Caves, on 19 June. A Trip Out will see the band (two of whom are film school graduates) not only playing their music, but revealing the visual ideas behind it, through a screening, Q&A session and live soundtrack performance.

Saturday 21 June sees another Mirrorball live event at the Caves, the multimedia experience An Unusual Void. In the set-up of a club environment, the line-up includes digital artist Motomichi (Japan), audiovisual designers No-Domain (Spain), DJ Michael Fakesch (Germany) and animators Konx-om-Pax (UK). 2008 also sees the very first Mirrorball Award for Best British Music Video. Judged by a panel of three as yet undisclosed judges, the prize will reward “ingenuity in the sphere of promo filmmaking”.

This year’s Document section has also been announced, and includes 22 documentary features from eleven different countries. Each of the three gala screenings are expected to be attended by their directors: Chris Waitt’s A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (an account of the filmmaker’s journey to interview all of his ex-girlfriends about where it all went wrong); Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award Winner Man On Wire directed by BAFTA nominee James Marsh (about Philippe Petit, a man who in August 1974 walked a tight-rope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre); and Errol Morris’ Berlin International Film Festival Jury Grand Prix winner, Standard Operating Procedure (which examines the incidents of abuse and torture of suspected terrorists by US forces at the Abu Ghraib prison, Baghdad).

Retrospectives on French screen legend Jeanne Moreau – star of Truffaut’s new-wave classic Jules et Jim – and the late American actress and filmmaker Shirley Clarke have also been announced. Festival Director Hannah McGill says: “Jeanne Moreau and Shirley Clarke represent exactly the sort of trailblazing spirit, boldness and intelligence that we celebrate yearly at EIFF. I think +Moreau could confidently claim to have worked with more true legends of cinema than any other actress – quite apart from being a creative dynamo in her own right. Her career is fascinating. Shirley Clarke, though less well known, is an outstanding discovery: a true iconoclast, and a pioneer in so many fields. Those who know these women’s work will appreciate and share my excitement - those who don’t have everything to look forward to in June.”

The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 18 June to 29 June. The full programme will be available on Wednesday 7 May.