The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has cameras rolling and chins wagging with its 69th event.
Opening the festival VIPs – including Robert Carlyle and Ashley Jensen – graced the red carpet for Carlyle’s directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson.
EIFF Recruitment Coordinator Katri Vanhatalo said: “This year’s festival has had a great UK presence, and it has welcomed so many icons of the screen that I feel star-struck!”
Yet the 2015 hype wasn’t all about celebrities, as Vanhatalo explained, it emanated from audience participation.
She said: “This year’s festival is different because it is headquartered at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema; allowing pass-holders and the public a place to share the excitement.”
This interactive spirit started with Film in the City, an EIFF programme of outdoor screenings, which overlap the main festival.
Vanhatalo said: “The screenings take place over two weekends, both of which show family films in a friendly atmosphere.
“On the first weekend there was a dance-a-long show that kept the crowd warm, even in high winds. The outdoor setting brought together film-lovers who wouldn’t otherwise meet.”
This interactivity continues in the festival’s new strand: Doc of the Day; a changing daily feature that explores EIFF non- fiction films, through activities.
Vanhatalo explained: “Doc of the Day will host events like sherry tastings and a rock gig, as well as traditional Q&A discussions.”
This non -fiction focus takes the EIFF back to its 1947 roots; when it was a documentary showcase, held by the Edinburgh Film Guild.
EIFF prides itself in presenting both factual and fictional films from home and abroad.
Vanhatalo said: “Our programme is filled with films from 44 different countries. Some highlights from this year’s programme are the Mexican movie: 600 Miles from Mexico/USA, German film: Who Am I – No System Is Safe, Canadian/Kiwi horror: Turbo Kid, and the Chinese/American film: The Iron Ministry.”
She added: “We have 34 films in our programme with a Scottish connection.
“The Best of British strand shows new films from Scotland, England and Wales, including: Iona, The Pyramid Texts, The Violators, 45 Years and The Marriage of Reason & Squalor.”
These and many more films will compete in the EIFF Awards Ceremony; in Filmhouse 1, on June 26 (1pm). This event is open to the public and free.
Vanhatalo said: “EIFF has a mixture of free events, special events and events attached to film tickets. We also have special discounts, on multi- film purchases, via the EIFF brochure.”
She concluded: “EIFF has something for all ages. It has the Film Fest Junior strand and Inside Out UK premiere for families; The Young and The Wild strand for 15-19 year- olds; and films of an adult nature for others.”
For information on EIFF 2015 or on joining next year’s – 70th anniversary – celebrations visit the festival website.