Hannah McGill steps down from EIFF

Artistic director moves on after four editions at the helm.

by Amber Wilkinson

Hannah MdGill on the opening night red carpet in 2009
Hannah on the opening night red carpet in 2009

Edinburgh International Film Festival has today announced that Hannah McGill will be leaving her role as artistic director.

Journalist McGill was involved with programming the festival for several years before beginning her artistic directorship in 2006, curating her first festival edition in 2007.

She has helmed the festival through a busy period, shepherding it from its old slot in August, when it ran alongside the rest of Edinburgh Festival to a new stand-alone slot in June. It's a period which has also seen the introduction of the Under The Radar section to celebrate raw, cutting-edge movie making and a raft of new awards. This year saw another achievement, as the city's Festival Theatre was added to the Festival's venues, playing host to the opening night red carpet screening of The Illusionist.

Hannah McGill said: "I love EIFF and have been privileged to be a part of it. I'm very proud of what the team achieved during my time as Artistic Director, and I take away a great many happy memories. I wish the Festival the very best for its next phase - and I look forward to being in the audience."

Speaking to Eye For Film just before this year's edition [full interview here], we asked her what she hoped her legacy to the festival would be, when she did eventually decide to move on.

She said: "What I always wanted was that the festival would feel approachable and friendly. I think there's something really negative about that separation of culture. That people go, there's the fancy people over here and then there's us that go to see Transformers. I really wanted to bring those audiences together and I feel that's happening more."

Today, EIFF chairman Iain Smith said: “We are immensely sad to see Hannah go, but wish her the very best for her future career. She has been a huge asset to the Festival and we thank her for all her hard work over what has been a significant four years for the Festival.”

Faith Liddell Festivals Edinburgh said: “We are very sorry to see Hannah go. She has been a wonderful festival colleague with a strong individual vision and a great collaborative spirit. We wish her all the best with her next endeavours.”

Hannah will provide support for the Festival until later in the year. Recruitment for her successor will begin soon.

Everyone at Eye For Film would like to wish her well in her future endeavours.

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