Eager to comment on the state of contemporary cinema, while both acknowledging its colourful past and attempting to forecast its possible future, the organisers’ full line-up features one hundred and twenty-one works from fifty-two countries.
Boasting a total of seventy-six UK premières (eleven of which will also make their European début), the festival will also pay homage to a number of prolific directors from around the world, including the first complete retrospective of Japanese filmmaker Shinji Somai (Kazahana, Typhoon Club) outside of his native country; a spotlight on and masterclass workshop from Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing (The Ditch, Fengming: A Chinese Memoir); both films in steampunk legend Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo franchise; and a look back at the career of American innovator Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey, Unfinished Business).
Chris Fujiwara is by no means neglecting the U.K.’s home-grown talent, however, with the welcome news that he is to reinstate the Michael Powell award after its regrettable absence last year, with ten films appearing in competition. Continuing breaking down boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, documentaries will this year compete against narrative films for the first time since the award’s introduction in 1990.
But what of the films themselves? Well, the features set to join the festival’s previously announced opening and closing films (Killer Joe and Brave, respectively) include Dr. Suess’ The Lorax, Shadow Dancer, Brake, Californian Solo, Day of Flowers, Evelyn, The Fourth Dimension, Future My Love, Grabbers, The Imposters, Rent-a-Cat and the intriguingly titled Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal, amongst other.
Press were this morning treated to a teaser reel, showcasing footage from optioned films starring Matthew McConaughy, Emile Hirsch, Toby Jones, Stephen Dorff, Robert Carlyle, Val Kilmer and Clive Owen, alongside a number of lesser known talents just waiting to be discovered. I must admit, it does look very promising indeed.
No doubt benefiting from the BFI’s awarded £250,000 of Lottery funding (with audiences too set to benefit from the renewed participation of Cineworld), the festival appears to have to be back on track since 2011’s misstep was met with criticism – promising as it does more films, better venues and greater diversity. For a full list of EIFF films, venues and for the chance to book tickets, please visit the official website.
The 66th Annual Edinburgh Film Festival will run from June 20th to July 1st, 2012.