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Edinburgh International Film Festival unveils 2012 programme
Early reactions suggested that the event’s new director, the American film writer and critic Chris Fujiwara, was riding a wave of goodwill with a programme of 121 new feature films from 52 countries, backed with an extra £250,000 funding from the British Film Institute.
The line-up swings from the mainstream appeal of the European opening of the Scottish-based Pixar animation Brave, to appearances by Chinese, Japanese and Russian directors with a strong focus on international film and documentaries.
The 19 world premieres and 76 UK premieres promised “all the premieres one could wish,” Mr Fujiwara said yesterday, with a line-up that captured the state of world cinema.
Highlights run from a keynote interview with Scots actor Robert Carlyle, to Shadow Dancer, the new film from director James Marsh, whose Man on Wire became an international hit after its Edinburgh premiere.
Others include Lovely Molly, from the Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez, as well as a restored 50th anniversary showing of Lawrence of Arabia.
The line-up will see ten films compete for the festival’s Michael Powell Award for British Film, which has been reinstated after last year’s absence.
Award contenders will feature documentary films for the first time, including the only Scottish hopeful, Future My Love, described as a “poetic road trip” through the current financial collapse. The other Scottish feature film is Shell, starring Joseph Mawle and Chloe Pirrie as a father and daughter who live and work at a small petrol station in the remote Scottish Highlands.
Earlier reactions suggested Mr Fujiwara has put the festival – which runs from 20 June to 1 July – back on track and will hopefully bring Edinburgh’s demanding audiences with them.
The film-maker and writer Mark Cousins said Edinburgh was staking its claim to be more than just another “circuit” festival. “I haven’t for years read a programme where I haven’t heard of the directors, and that’s very, very good,” he said.
Sir Sean Connery, the festival’s long-time patron, will not be visiting Edinburgh this year, as the actor is cutting down on his travel, Mr Fujiwara confirmed.
But actors Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd will be in Edinburgh for the Brave premiere, along with Pixar animators.
<span class="file pdf"><a href="/downloads/1338457435-Film%20Festival%20brochure.pdf">Download the full brochure<span> <nobr>[PDF - 18MB]</nobr></span></a></span>