Screen Scotland buy rights to film festival from administrators

The national body for film and TV development announced it had bought the rights for the festival and was developing options for a programme in 2023.

Screen Scotland buy rights to Edinburgh International Film Festival from administrators STV News

Screen Scotland has purchased the rights to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, sparking hope for the future of the 75-year-old cultural event.

The organisation, the national body for development in film and TV, say they are also in discussions for cultural cinema programmes in both Edinburgh and Aberdeen, including the potential for a festival in the capital city in 2023.

The work to consider all options for a new 2023 festival has received funding from Creative Scotland of up to £97,647, with updated plans set to be announced early next year.

It comes after the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), incorporating the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, announced it was going into administration in October this year.

Industry professionals and film fans alike expressed their widespread disappointment at the news, with a campaign launched to save the filmhouses from being sold.

Screen Scotland says it is taking part in ongoing discussions with Administrators and issued the update on Thursday.

The organisation confirmed it had purchased the intellectual property of the international film festival from administrators FRP Advisory.

The purchase includes the domain name and brand assets which can be provided to future operators of a festival.

An “options appraisal” is also underway to determine the possibilities for a festival in Edinburgh in 2023.

The appraisal is being led by Kirsty Matheson, the creative director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2022 and is being supported by Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

This Creative Scotland funding is drawn from the 2022/23 Regular Funding Awards originally allocated to the CMI.

It is anticipated that the options appraisal will be completed by the end January 2023, and further announcements will be made at a later stage.

A crowdfunder aiming to buy the Edinburgh Filmhouse, which opened on Lothian Road in 1979, from administrators is currently sitting at £145,100 of a £2m target.

The campaign states: “Filmhouse has been at the bedrock of Edinburgh’s film culture for decades.

“It is now under grave threat. Our goal is to save the building so that a new Filmhouse can support Edinburgh’s film culture for generations to come.”

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