Edinburgh Film News May 2007

The Poland Through Animation programme has something for all art and film lovers.

Feature by Neil Whiting | 11 May 2007

If you're after something a bit more cosmopolitan while you're waiting for the release of Spiderman 3 this month, the French Film Festival UK is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Under its honorary patron Sylvain Chome (the award-winning director of Belleville Rendezvous), more than ever the FFF UK is maintaining its aim of widening the choice of French cinema available to the British public. This year's festival also features some of cinema's starriest names, including Monica Bellucci, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Gerard Depardieu. Having been established in Edinburgh all those years ago, the FFF returns to the Filmhouse (19 April – 3 May), once again showcasing a wide range of movies, from mainstream successes to cutting-edge discoveries. Films to look out for include The Axe (showing 1 May) and Costa-Gavras' The Children (3 May).

Also at the Filmhouse this month is the Poland Through Animation programme (8 – 29 May). For more than five decades, Polish filmmakers have drawn on their nation's rich tradition of graphic art, avant-garde theatre and puppetry to create some of the most technically sophisticated and darkly disturbing animation in the world. From Jan Lenica's surrealist collages to Tomek Baginski's Oscar-nominated short, Cathedral, the Poland Through Animation programme has something for all art and film lovers, from computer animation to award-winning short films.

On a more educational front, the Filmhouse is also hosting the Sheffield International Documentary Festival on Tour (18 – 24 May). Opening with the critically acclaimed documentary, The Last Days of Yasser Arafat, the one to catch is Basil Gelpke's A Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash (showing 19 May). This frightening documentary focuses on why Western economies are bound inextricably to the rapidly diminishing global oil supply and why this has led to dependence on some of the world's nastier regimes. So when will the crash come and what will the result be? This well researched documentary supplies the answers – but don't expect them to cheer you up.

For all information on festivals and films showing at the Filmhouse this month check out the website at www.filmhousecinema.com/ or call 0131 228 2688.