A glance ahead at the 72nd Edinburgh Film Festival programme
by Kaleem Aftab
- The latest edition of the festival, taking place from 20 June to 1 July, puts a strong focus on new British films
The Edinburgh International Film Festival is, in its own words, the world’s longest continually-running film festival. A real “festival of discovery”, this 72nd edition (20 June – 1 July) is set to continue its great tradition of showcasing new British films and will close with the UK premier of Swimming with Men [+see also:
film profile], a film directed by Oliver Parker following the ups and downs of a male synchronised swimming team, starring the ever-popular Rob Brydon.
Central to the festival is the Best of British strand, boasting a number of world premieres. Eaten by Lions [+see also:
film profile] by Jason Wingard is an affectionate cross-cultural comedy that sees two half-brothers head off to Blackpool to find Omar’s real father. Toby Macdonald’s debut film, Old Boys [+see also:
film profile], is a reworked Cyrano de Begerac set in a British boarding school, with End of the F**king World star Alex Lawther as the poet who plays cupid to the school sports star. Andrew Hulme’s first film, Snow in Paradise [+see also:
interview: Andrew Hulme
film profile], was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, so there is much anticipation surrounding his sophomore effort, The Devil Outside [+see also:
film profile], which is billed as a coming-of-age film about religion, madness and sexual repression. Matt Palmer’s Calibre [+see also:
film profile], meanwhile,sees two Edinburgh pals set off on a hunting trip to the Scottish Highlands, where things go tragically wrong, while Samantha Morton and Daniel Mays star in Two For Joy, Tom Beard’s moving drama about two youngsters having to care for their troubled mother.
Director Adam Morse is certified blind, which makes the feat of making Lucid [+see also:
film profile] all the more remarkable. The film stars Billy Zane, Cristian Solimeno and Laurie Calvert and follows the journey of an introvert transformed by “lucid dreaming”, an experimental form of dream therapy. Director Kenny Glenaan’s Dirt Road to Lafayette, meanwhile,is a musical journey from the Scottish Highlands to the Southern US, scripted by Scottish author James Kelman. Steel Country, directed by Simon Fellows, is an edge-of-your-seat thriller set in Trump’s America and starring Andrew Scott as autistic sanitation truck driver Donald, and Winterlong [+see also:
film profile], by David Jackson, follows the life of a poacher living on the margins of society who must change his ways or risk losing his son forever.
Director Jamie Adams has clearly been a busy man as he has two films on at the festival. There’s the world premiere of Songbird, starring Cobie Smulders as the once lead singer of an indie pop band who accidentally enrols at a university, and the European premiere of Wild Honey Pie! starring Girls star Jemima Kirke as an ambitious would-be stage writer and director, whose marriage is on the rocks.
Featuring in the Documentaries Strand is the world premiere of Ece Ger’s Meeting Jim, the captivating story of Jim Haynes, a champion networker renowned for his open Sunday dinners in Paris. Michal Sulima’s Piano to Zanskar was the winning film at last year’s EIFF Work in Progress and this charming documentary debut has now landed at Edinburgh. It follows 65-year-old London-based piano tuner, Desmond O’Keeffe, who takes a 100-year-old upright piano to a primary school in the Indian Himalayas.
And, last but not least, in the Night Moves strand is Possum by Matthew Holness, which stars Sean Harris as a disgraced children’s puppeteer who returns to his childhood home ready to confront the dark events that have tortured him the full length of his lifetime.
The festival will also screen a wide array of recent films in its various strands, besides hosting several special events for the festivalgoers and professionals. Click here to find more about the whole programme of this 72nd edition.
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