The programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival was launched yesterday.
A new artistic director, Mark Adams, who gave a very entertaining speech at the launch, has taken over for this the 69th edition of the festival, which will run from 17-28 June. The event will showcase 164 features from 36 countries, including 24 world premieres, 8 International premieres, 16 European Premieres, 84 UK premieres and 2 Scottish premieres.
My impression at this stage is that the festival has become more commercial this year, with fewer obscure films and more mainstream features. Certainly I feel there are fewer 'must-see' films for me. I know that my tastes are eclectic and odd and that moving towards the mainstream makes sound economic sense, but in a world where even the arthouse cinemas seem to be becoming ever more mainstream, I have always valued Edinburgh International Film Festival as somewhere I could guarantee my fix of obscure films.
Having said that there are a number of films I hope to catch and review here, including:
Black Island Poets in which two sisters on the run pretend to be poets to find refuge in a poetry weekend;
Blood Cells in which the UK foot and mouth epidemic of 2001 impacts on a young farmer
Scottish Mussel a romantic comedy focussing on conservation issues about the endangered Scottish pearl mussel
Out of Nature in which a Norwegian man goes back to nature
Nearby Sky which focuses on the first woman to enter her camels into the UAE's camel beauty pageant
and When Elephants Fight which focusses on Britain's ties with the illicit trade in Congo's conflict minerals.
You can download the full programme here or pick up a paper copy at the Filmhouse or many other venues around Edinburgh.