Deal agreed

Film Festival to go ahead in summer as part of EIF

Kelly Macdonald is among the stars to appear at the EIFF (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh’s film festival will go ahead in a truncated form this year after being salvaged from the closure of the charity behind cinemas in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The 76th edition will take place from 18 to 23 August as part of the wider Edinburgh International Festival. 

The Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity that previously ran the festival, collapsed under a weight of rising costs in October.

Since December, new programme director Kate Taylor and Kristy Matheson, have been researching and developing plans for the event. 

With the support of the Edinburgh International Festival, a compact selection of films will be presented under the EIFF banner. 

Screen Scotland, the national body behind the Scottish movie and TV industry raised hopes before Christmas that the Film Festival would be revived after acquiring the intellectual property rights to the event. There is still no word on saving the Edinburgh Filmhouse or Aberdeen Belmont.

Ms Taylor said: “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.”

Isabel Davis, executive director, Screen Scotland said: “We are glad to be working again with Kate, the programme team and our colleagues in the International Festival.

“Huge thanks to the Edinburgh International Festival 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.”

Edinburgh Filmhouse
The filmhouse closed last October

With the EIFF artistic programme devised and delivered by the Film Festival team, the supporting infrastructure including box office, HR and promotion of the 2023 Film Festival is being provided by the Edinburgh International Festival, which has also been working with Screen Scotland to support the continuation of the Film Festival across the last five months.

Francesca Hegyi, chief executive, Edinburgh International Festival, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival is an important cultural touchstone in our festival city, and 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.”

Scottish Government Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “The Scottish Government is a strong supporter of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and I’m delighted that there will be a 76th edition this summer.

“Film Festivals play an important part in Scotland’s screen industry success story by promoting domestic productions, supporting talent development, showcasing high-quality international films and encouraging more people to go to the cinema.

“We have vibrant creative and screen industries in Scotland and our film festivals provide a fantastic opportunity to highlight this abundance of talent to audiences at home and abroad.”

Screen Scotland remains in place as the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s primary public funder. In parallel with the delivery of the 76th Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, Screen Scotland will work across the summer with a working group of industry experts to deliver a long-term future for a stand-alone Film Festival, which will be presented annually from August 2024. 

Full programme details for the film selection will be released in June 2023.

Ms Matheson will shortly take up her new position as BFI Festivals Director at London Film Festival.

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