Edinburgh Film Festival 2010: The Opening Night Gala photo showcase

The stars don their gladrags and welcome us all to the Opening Night film of the 64th EIFF

by Max Crawford and Jennie Kermode

Sir Sean Connery greets the mounting crowd outside Edinburgh's Festival Theatre

Sir Sean Connery greets the mounting crowd outside Edinburgh's Festival Theatre

May 16, and guests assemble on the red carpet for the opening of the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival. It's a sensational night with a real party atmosphere, and despite the sun still shining brightly, nothing can eclipse these stars.

As usual, the guests include the festival's celebrity patrons Tilda Swinton and Sir Sean Connery - the latter sporting a mysterious head wound. The former James Bond was this year accompanied by a Bond Girl, with Britt Ekland effortlessly charming the crowd, still looking glamorous in her red outfit.

"This is where I fell in love with movies," revealed Bob Last, producer of opening gala film The Illusionist, who was accompanied by its director Sylvain Chomet and a troupe of acrobats who lingered on the red carpet to entertain the crowd.

Probably the fans' favourite guest was Star Trek star and newly knighted Sir Patrick Stewart, with hundreds queueing to get his autograph. There was also a touch of Hollywood glamour with Ugly Betty star America Ferrara showing off a striking asymmetrical Alice + Olivia dress - and a diamond ring! She used the occasion to announce her engagement to actor Ryan Piers Williams.

All photography is by Stuart Crawford.

 Patrick Stewart proved one of the biggest hits of the night
Patrick Stewart proved one of the biggest hits of the night

America Ferrera rocking her new diamond engagement ring
America Ferrera rocking her new diamond engagement ring

Britt Ekland proves she's still got what it takes
Britt Ekland proves she's still got what it takes

The Illusionist director Sylvain Chomet
The Illusionist director Sylvain Chomet

Scots comedian Craig Hill
Scots comedian Craig Hill

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