Pixar premiere for Edinburgh at 70

Cox, Cattrall and Smith join the celebration.

by Richard Mowe

The eagerly awaited Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 launch
The eagerly awaited Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 launch Photo: Richard Mowe

The grande dame of global filmfests, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (15 - 26 June), which for uninterrupted longevity beats both Cannes and Venice, unveiled its bumper 70th edition programme today with more than 160 titles embracing 46 different countries and including a UK bow for Pixar’s Finding Dory.

Mark Adams, the event’s artistic director, assured that “although the brochure is now out there, we are still working away furiously behind the scenes, finalising guests and confirming details.”

Edinburgh International Film Festival director Mark Adams announcing the 2016 line-up.
Edinburgh International Film Festival director Mark Adams announcing the 2016 line-up. Photo: Richard Mowe

He was, however, prepared to drop few names in to the mix: actress Kim Cattrall, who was in Edinburgh in 2011 for Meet Monica Velour, will return for an In Person session while indie director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) will also appear on stage with his daughter Harley Quinn whom he directs in his new film Yoga Hosers, an action-adventure based around a pair of teen yoga fanatics (Johnny Depp also stars alongside his child Lily-Rose). The organisers hope to reunite Trainspotting alumni Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner on the red carpet for a 20th anniversary screening. The actors currently are shooting the sequel.

Brian Cox will be in attendance in two wildly different guises - as an ageing and cantankerous actor in The Carer and as a land-grabbing villain in the Western Forsaken, with Kiefer and Donald Sutherland as well as Demi Moore. Cox is presently shooting a new film about Winston Churchill in the city.

A restored version of Highlander (marking the film’s 30th anniversary) will have actor Clancy Brown in tow while one of France’s most memorable character actors Dominique Pinon will be around for the Cinema Du Look season of French films that redefined the face of le cinéma français in the Eighties with the likes of Jean-Jacques Beineix (expected to appear), Léos Carax, and Luc Besson and retro titles including Subway, Nikita, Betty Blue and Diva.

There will be a high profile premiere ahead of its release at the Festival Theatre for Finding Dory, the Pixar follow-up to Finding Nemo with Ellen DeGeneres back as the absent-minded fish.

All ready for the Edinburgh International Film Festival 70th edition - Filmhouse, scene of today’s programme launch
All ready for the Edinburgh International Film Festival 70th edition - Filmhouse, scene of today’s programme launch Photo: Richard Mowe

Although mindful of showing favouritism by mentioning too many titles in passing Adams could not resist pointing up Moon Dogs, a Scottish coming of age drama by Phillip John which “I highly recommend” with Denis Lawson and Scots director Graeme Maley with two Icelandic “noirs” Pale Star and A Reykavik Porno.

Citing a strong American presence Adams highlighted The Fundamentals Of Caring, a comedy-drama with Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts which closed the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year and Rebecca Miller’s New York-based comedy Maggie’s Plan. Gérard Depardieu like Brian Cox has two faces on show in The End and Saint Amour.

Earning a mention for oddity value was The Lure (from Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska), described by Adams as “a unique genre hybrid being a lesbian horror mermaid musical.” For those with a penchant for zombies Adams suggests The Rezort with Dougray Scott while soccer fans can indulge with a documentary Becoming Zlatan, a study of soccer icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic´which ties in with the European Championship.

With the already announced opening and closing gala world premieres of Tommy’s Honour and Whisky Galore as well as the special show of E.T. with John Williams’ score played live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Festival Theatre, and a sprinkling of super heroes such as Batman and Flash Gordon, the grande dame seems to have spring in her step. There is even a special birthday cake and a new tartan to mark the decades.

“The brochure is a real melange of movies and there is a lot to take in - you can go through it time and again and still find new things. And the joy of a festival like this is that you can try so many different things over a short period’” said Adams.

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