Edinburgh Film News June 2007

Festival season starts early on the east coast.

Feature by Laura Smith | 10 Jun 2007

Festival season starts early on the east coast with the Leith festival running for the first ten days in June and featuring lots of opportunities to see the work of some up and coming home-grown talent. Leith's own version of the Sundance Film Festival launches with two Film Live Saturdays from Scotland's Independent Film Network, giving an opportunity for filmmakers and audience to watch great films and participate in interactive sessions and filmmaking workshops.

The hugely successful Bicycle Film Festival returns to the Filmhouse for a second year to celebrate Bike Week from the 15th to the 24th of June. There's plenty of high-octane docs to keep the bike freaks happy, while film fans in general are treated to a special preview screening of The Flying Scotsman on the 24th featuring the cream of Scottish talent (and Jonny Lee Miller), and a showing of the wonderful Jacques Tati film Jour de f'te on the 23rd, still fresh and funny nearly 60 years on. The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival On Tour also hits Edinburgh in June; look out for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival Teddy Award winner, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, showing at the Filmhouse on the 20th.

Perhaps the greatest treat on offer this month is a chance to sample the work of the renowned Czech surrealist animator and filmmaker, Jan Svankmajer, in a short season of his films on offer at the Filmhouse. "Disney plus Buñuel equals Svankmajer," said Milos Forman, and that's as good an introduction as I can think of to this most innovative and magical of directors. Especially recommended is Svankmajer's disturbing twist on Lewis Carroll's already pretty loopy Alice – on the 27th and 28th – a particularly potent antidote to those of you who remember the bowdlerizing Disney version.

The Leith festival runs from the 1-10 June. See www.leithfestival.com for details.