New director of Edinburgh film festival seeks broad revival

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New director of Edinburgh film festival seeks broad revival

EDINBURGH - The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), the world’s oldest continuous film festival started in 1947, is looking for a rebirth under new management this year after teetering on the verge of extinction in 2011.

The festival, which runs from June 20 to July 1, announced its program on Wednesday with a global spread of 121 productions from 52 countries which will include 19 world premieres.

The festival’s new artistic director, noted American critic, author and lecturer Chris Fujiwara, only took the reins four months ago, but is determined to make the EIFF a showcase to attract the best and the brightest in the movie industry.

“We have built a program that is committed to an artistic cinema, to a world cinema, a program that is full with a broad range of artistic styles, a broad range of themes and a broadrange of national origins, of languages, but which are all knitted together by a spirit of adventure, a spirit of questioning,” he told Reuters.

The festival opens with the U.S. production “Killer Joe,” William Friedkin’s new comedy thriller which “is not for the fainthearted.”

The closing night features the U.S. Disney-Pixar production “Brave,” set in the Scottish Highlands with the voices of such stars as Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane.

The noted Chinese documentary maker Wang Bing will discuss his film career, while the festival will also spotlight a retrospective on cult Japanese filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto. The massively exuberant Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which runs in parallel with the city’s film festival in August, has become a global market for new artistic talent. Fujiwara has a similar ambition for the film festival.

“Part of what a festival does is to make friends .?.?. We are friends with some very brilliant filmmakers whose work we will be showing this year, and as they become more successful, more famous and their works become more successful in a commercial sense, we will have this tie with them, and hopefully entice them [back] again and again to Edinburgh.” Reuters
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