EIFF announces 2016 programme

Edinburgh International Film Festival has unveiled the programme for its upcoming 70th edition from 15-26 June, featuring an eclectic selection of films from around the world and guest appearances from a host of stars and filmmakers

Feature by News Team | 25 May 2016

As we’ve previously announced, this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival will open and closed with two world premieres of home grown films – respectively the Peter Mullan-starring Tommy’s Honour and the star-studded remake of Whisky Galore! – and is peppered throughout with films with a Scottish connection, from a gala screening of Trainspotting to Lost in France, a doc on legendary record label Chemikal Underground

Stars heading to EIFF

Perhaps the biggest name heading to EIFF this year is indie director Kevin Smith, who brings Yoga Hosers, the second in his planned True North trilogy, following Tusk. A born raconteur, he’ll also be regaling an audience with an “In Person” talk.

In general there’s a lively and eclectic lineup of these extended onstage talks this year. Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall will be in town to discuss her screen and stage work. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s favourite actor, Dominique Pinon, will also attend to discuss his career – don’t miss him in Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Diva, the film that made him a star, which is showing as part of retrospective Look Again: A Celebration of Cinéma Du Look.

Another In Person not to be missed is with Jeremy Thomas, one of the world’s great movie producers, who’s work with all your favourite directors, from Nicolas Roeg to David Cronenberg to Bernardo Bertolucci to Ben Wheatley.

Best of British Film at EIFF 2016

As ever, there’s a wide-ranging lineup of British titles in the programme, 12 of which will fight it out for the coveted Michael Powell award. Highlights look to be Brakes, a romantic indie starring a who’s who of British comedy (think Julian Barratt, Julia Davis, Noel Fielding, Steve Oram); Away, which pairs sadsack Timothy Spall with livewire Juno Temple; hedonistic backpack thriller Jet Trash, with EIFF fave Robert Sheehan; and Kid in Love starring Will Poulter, and Cara Delevingne, which is described as a dreamy, sumptuous British coming-of-age drama.

We’re also intrigued by off-beat Welsh-language thriller The Library Suicides, a bloody revenge movie set in a library – surely a first – as well as Ben Sharrock’s Pikadero, a absurdist comedy romance set in the Basque country, and The White King, a dystopian future tale starring Agyness Deyn and Jonathan Pryce.

Rebecca Miller's new film Maggie's Plan screens at EIFF 2016

Great American indies

EIFF can always be called upon to give a great snapshot of the best of American indie cinema in its American Dreams strand, and this year is no exception. Don’t miss oddball family drama Little Sister, from Zack Clark, whose Modern Love Is Automatic was an EIFF hit back in 2009. Mexican border drama The Hollow Point, starring Patrick Wilson, Lynn Collins and Ian Mcshane, looks promising, as does Mr. Right, which stars Sam Rockwell as a dancing assassin – you want to see that, right?

Elsewhere in the American Dreams strand, Greta Gerwig looks to cement her reputation as the queen of urbane New York-set comedies with Maggie’s Plan from director Rebecca Miller; its great cast also includes Ethan Hawke, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Julianne Moore.

Ray Liotta and Game of Throne’s Rose Leslie are father and daughter in bittersweet drama Sticky Notes, while Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts go on a road trip in The Fundamentals of Caring. We’ll also be seeking out Slash, a coming-of-age story set in the strange world of slash fiction, and Spa Night, a coming-out story set within LA’s spa world.

Big name directors at EIFF

Within the Director’s Showcase strand you’ll find a wealth of talent. Don’t miss Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the new film from great New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows). Another must see is Ira Sach’s charming study in teenage friendship, Little Men.

Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg returns with dark comedy The Commune, while his Norwegian neighbour Hans Petter Moland’s follows up the brilliant In Order of Disappearance with A Conspiracy of Faith. There’s also Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko in Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Correspondence. We’re also keen to see animation Seoul Station, Yeon Sang-ho’s vision of zombie apocalypse.

Animation at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Talking of great animation, EIFF continues to be a favourite festival for Pixar, as Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory screens in its UK premiere. If you prefer your animation home-grown and tactile, there’s also the unmissable retrospective Five Years of Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, the ace duo who brought us Monkey Love Experiments and The Making of Longbird.

Pixar's latest Finding Dory gets its UK premiere at EIFF

Documentaries at EIFF 2016

Documentary lovers are also well served this year. Titles include Andreas Johnsen’s challenging and thought-provoking documentary for foodies and environmentalists alike, Bugs; Alexandru Belc’s love letter to the big screen, Cinema, Mon Amour; portrait of electro-music star Gary Numan, Gary Numan Android in La La Land; Shadow World, Johan Grimonprez’s journey into the international arms industry; and Niam Itani’s timely reflection on the place of refugees in the modern world, Twice Upon a Time. Football fans won’t want to miss Becoming Zlatan, a study of uber-talented but unpredictable footballing star Zlatan Ibrahimović.

And much, much more...

Other highlights include a Focus on Finland strand celebrating Finnish cinema, and a Black Box programme that nods to EIFF’s radical history with a retrospective screening of Lizzie Borden’s rarely-screened Regrouping, with the legendary filmmaker in attendance.

And we’ve not even had a chance to mention pioneering comicbook movie retrospective Pow!! Live Comic Strip Adaptations, 70mm strand 70-70, Mark Cousins' cinema experiment Bigger Than The Shining, or the brilliant collection of shorts.

Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, 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."

In short, it’s a packed festival. Dive in.

EIFF runs 15-26 Jun. Keep an eye of theskinny.co.uk/film for more coverage