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Stars attract bigger audiences

Film Festival figures hit seven-year high

Karen GillanEdinburgh International Film Festival has enjoyed its highest attendances for seven years as more than 50,000 movie-goers contributed to a 9% increase in box office figures.

The 69th festival closed on Sunday night having screened 134 new features over the 12-day event.

Fans were treated to more films and to appearances by big names such as Ewan McGregor, Karen Gillan (pictured) and Robert Carlyle who used the event to showcase his directorial debut.
Special events such as a sold-out gala screening of 1980s classic Back to the Future helped raise its profile and draw bigger audiences.
The success of this year’s programme may also end the lingering doubts over the wisdom of moving the event in 2008 from August to June.
Attendances rose above 50,000 for the first time since the change of date, even though ticket sales remain below their level of a decade ago.
An additional 14,600 attended two weekends of outdoor screenings, as part of Film in the City.

Ken Hay, EIFF chief executive, said there had been some “truly memorable moments”, including the opening night and Ewan McGregor’s sold-out in-person event at the Lyceum Theatre.

“Our audiences have obviously responded to our rich and diverse programme, and we are thrilled to see the increase in admissions,” he said.

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