Monday 3 June 2019


Exciting times! The 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival programme has just launched and it is packed full of amazing movies, special events, super cool guests, and fun things for film fans (full disclosure: I am totally biased, I work there, but it is great!). It's somehow my fourth (!) Film Festival, and I still kind of feel like I'm making it up as I go along, but I'm very proud of what we've got planned this year.

This year's Festival runs 19th - 30th June (with some special events and previews running 14th - 16th June too!). This year we've got 121 film premieres, including 18 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, 8 European Premieres, and 72 UK Premieres from 42 countries, not to mention a packed retrospective programme, and a whole heap of special events.

Obviously it's all great, but if you're not quite sure where to start, I've picked out 10 things to see in the Festival programme. Enjoy!

1. Film Fest in the City with Edinburgh Live
EIFF kickstarts the Festival with Film Fest in the City - a free weekend of films in St Andrew Square Garden from Friday 14th - Sunday 16th June. This year we've got films including Mamma Mia 2 and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (some of my favourite films from 2018!), Black Panther, The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody and more! Start praying for sunshine now...

2. Boyz in the Wood The Festival opens with the European Premiere of Boyz in the Wood, a Scottish comedy-horror set in the Highlands. Four teenagers are let loose in the countryside, only to get into all sorts of mishap as they lose their map, discover hallucinogens, and get hunted by Eddie Izzard (playing a very posh farmer).

3. The Dead Don't Die Fresh out of opening Cannes, this is a zombie-comedy with a killer cast. Three police offers (Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloe Sevigny) and a samurai-sword-wielding mortician (Tilda Swinton) have to battle a zombie horde when the dead start to rise from their graves.

4. CineCuisine Food and film go hand in hand, and this year EIFF is presenting its first strand of culinary cinema. There's documentaries exploring whisky, olive oil, and Scotland's ace produce, and special events including Food for Thought - a night of Scottish tales and tastings (and spoiler - this event is a steal at £5!).

5. EIFF Youth Man, I wish they had stuff like this when I was a teenager! EIFF Youth is our ace programme of events, workshops and screenings for 15-25 year olds, for people who are interested in finding out more about the film industry, or are just cine-curious! There's acting and audition workshops, a talk with Game of Thrones and Outlander's costume designer, and workshops on screen combat, screenwriting, SFX make up, sound effects and more! Plus, it only costs £5 for a EIFF Youth pass which gets you entry to all events for free!

6. Bludgeon You can always count on EIFF for a great documentary! I am excited for Bludgeon, a film following a group of medieval re-enactment enthusiasts from small-town New Zealand, who are trying to make it to an international competition in Europe.

7. In Person: Jack Lowden Scottish actor Jack Lowden is a bit of an EIFF favourite, and this year he's here to chat about his career - from starting out in Scottish Youth Theatre, then getting roles in War & Peace, Dunkirk, EIFF award-winner Calibre, and Mary Queen of Scots.

8. The Littlest Big Farm This just looks so DELIGHTFUL! This documentary follows a Los Angeles couple who give up city life, buy a farm, and follow their dream of growing every ingredient they might want to cook with.

9. The Wind I've said before, but I'm a sucker for a creepy sci-fi tale. This feminist western follows Lizzy, a tough, resourceful frontierswoman in the remote American frontier. Isolated from civilisation in a wilderness where the wind never stops howling, she begins to sense a sinister presence that seems to belong to the land itself... (aaaah!).

10. Cage-a-rama Scotland's first Nicolas Cage film festival, Cage-a-rama takes over EIFF for a special Nicholas Cage 3D extravaganza! What more could you possibly want on a Saturday night?!

Tickets for Edinburgh International Film Festival are on sale now, and you can view the whole programme here.

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