Edinburgh Film Festival launches 75th anniversary programme

The event will return fully in-person for the first time this year since the coronavirus pandemic.

Edinburgh International Film Festival launches 75th anniversary programme iStock

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has launched its programme of events for its 75th anniversary, set to take place during August.

It will also mark the 50th anniversary of the women’s film festival which recognised films made by female directors, and the first to be staged under EIFF new creative director Kristy Matheson.

This year the event will make its full in-person return for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and will run during the heart of festival season in the capital between August 12 and August 20.

In total there will be 87 new feature films, two short film programmes and two large-scale retrospectives across the festival.

Fresh from winning a Cannes Film Festival prize, the opening gala features ‘Aftersun’, a critically acclaimed debut from Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells starring Normal People’s Paul Mescal.

Aftersun will be shown at the opening gala

It tells the story of Sophie – played as a young girl by Frankie Corio and as an adult by Celia Rowlson-Hall – who reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father – played by Mescal – 20 years earlier.

Other highlights of the programme include Still Working 9 to 5 – a documentary featuring trio Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as they reunite to investigate the fight for women’s rights they kickstarted half a decade ago; and After Yang, starring Colin Farrell and Jodi Turner-Smith which will feature in the event’s closing gala.

It tells the story of a family who lose their AI helper, and the profound feelings the experience induces.

The event will also see the return of Film Fest in the City in St Andrew’s Square, which will feature film showings including classics such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shrek, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

After Yang will be shown at the festivals' closing gala

One film-maker will also be presented with the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature.

Ms Matheson, creative director of EIFF said: “For our 75th anniversary, we’ve embraced the very essence of cinema – from its production to its exhibition, it’s a truly collective pursuit. 

“Working alongside a talented team of programmers and festival producers to craft our 2022 programme has been joyous. I’m excited to share our programme with you today and look forward to welcoming audiences back to EIFF this August.” 

Culture minister Neil Gray said: “I am delighted to see such a jam-packed programme of events for this very special 75th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

“With dozens of films and a host of premieres set to be screened, and with us all able to attend venues in person, I am sure this year’s event will be a fantastic success.”

Councillor Val Walker, culture and communities convener added: “This year’s programme is exciting and to have the festival back fully in-person is a huge milestone as we emerge from the pandemic. 

“We can also look forward to welcoming participants from across Scotland who will have opportunities to participate in the film talent development programme strand. Moreover, there will be an accessible programme of workshops, classes and events for young people throughout the festival.”

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