Edinburgh International Film Festival returns for week-long event

It comes months after the charity behind the annual arts festival called in administrators putting its future in doubt.

Edinburgh International Film Festival returns for week-long event this summer after administrators called in STV News

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will make its return this year with a scaled down event.

It comes months after the charity behind the annual arts festival called in administrators putting its future in doubt.

In October the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) appointed administrators in a move blamed on a “perfect storm” of “sharply increasing costs”, reduced audiences following the pandemic and the rising cost of living.

The 2023 edition, which will mark the festival’s 76th edition, will be a week-long event as part of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

Organisers, Screen Scotland, EIF, and EIFF, said that this year’s festival will take place between August 18 and 23 as a one off event which will feature “a compact selection of films” featuring “the work of exceptional local and global filmmakers”.

The 2023 programme will be led by EIFF’s new programme director Kate Taylor, with full programme details for the EIFF 2023 to be released in June 2023.

Kristy Matheson, who will leave her role as EIFF’s creative director will shortly take up her new position as BFI Festivals Director at London Film Festival.

Ms Taylor said: “Attending first as audience member, then as film worker, my experience of EIFF has always been of a place that sparks inspiring conversations about film, and over the past few months it has been nourishing to hear the stories of many people – filmmakers, audience and industry who hold this festival dear. 

“I’m excited to deliver the ideas that the team and I have been working on over the past few months and be a custodian for this year’s programme, ensuring the flame of EIFF burns bright, and I can’t wait to welcome audiences to enjoy the curated selection of films we’ll be presenting in August.”

A total 102 members of staff across CMI, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Belmont Filmhouse and EIFF were made redundant in October with immediate effect after administrations were called in.

A campaign was launched shortly after in a bid to save the festival and Filmhouse cinemas.

Screen Scotland, which will be the 2023 festival’s primary public funder, is set to consult a working group of industry experts on setting up a stand-alone event to be held annually from August 2024.

Isabel Davis, executive director of Screen Scotland said: “From the opening night screening of Aftersun, the 2022 edition of EIFF had a great energy and was welcomed by audiences and industry.  

“We are glad to be working again with Kate, the programme team and our colleagues in the International Festival to build on that success. 

“Huge thanks to the EIF board and the amazing International festival team for their proactive and positive work in delivering the EIFF as part of their world-renowned festival with Kate in post as programme director. 

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Kristy for her work towards the 2023 edition and wish her every success in her new role.”

Francesca Hegyi, chief executive of EIF added: “We are pleased to be able to support its return. Over the last few months the EIFF programming team have been developing a plan for an ambitious film programme to add to the international festival’s world-class dance, theatre, music and opera programme, ensuring that the film festival has a bright future. We look forward to working further with Kate and her team as we prepare for a compelling EIFF programme to be revealed in June this year.”