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Hopes rise for film festival after rights secured

Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle at the 2019 event (pic: Terry Murden)

Screen Scotland, the national body behind the Scottish movie and TV industry, has raised hopes that the Edinburgh Film Festival will be revived after acquiring the intellectual property rights to the event.

It announced the deal with the administrators to the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity that previously ran the festival and which collapsed under a weight of rising costs in October.

The rights, including the festival’s domain name and brand assets, will be provided “as appropriate to a future operator of the festival”, Screen Scotland confirmed.

In a statement it said that “an options appraisal” for a film festival in Edinburgh in 2023 is underway.

This is being led by Kristy Matheson, who was creative director of the EIFF, and her colleagues.

The work is being funded with an award of up to £97,647 from Creative Scotland, which is being drawn from the 2022/23 Regular Funding Awards originally allocated to the CMI.

Screen Scotland said it anticipated that the options appraisal will be completed by the end of January, 2023, and further announcements will be made in due course.

Commenting on the sale of the rights, Chad Griffin, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory, said: “Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is well-placed to take forward the development of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is a crucial part of Edinburgh’s cultural programming.

“We are also pleased to announce that following an extensive marketing process for the Filmhouse building on Lothian Road in Edinburgh a closing date for offers has now been set for 7 December.”

The CMI fell into administration as a result of sharply rising costs and declining audiences. The announcement – which included closure of the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen – came just months after the CMI unveiled plans to raise £60jm for an ambitious nine-story £60m film complex in Festival Square.

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