EIFF plans to Play

Festival launches event cinema strand and celebrates Scottish filmmakers.

by Amber Wilkinson

Official Trailer - Donkeyote from Scottish Documentary Institute on Vimeo.

With the full programme launch next Wednesday (May 31), Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced a new event cinema strand and offered a taster of the Scottish-linked films to feature in the programme.

Describing its new strand EIFF: Play, the festival describes it as an "inaugural immersive event cinema experience". The screenings will be supported by parties and themed events, such as the opportunity to try special effects make-up after the screening of Shaun Of The Dead or hear a slam poetry reading from Loud Poets at the Hot Fuzz evening.

The organisers add: "This year’s programme will explore films from writer-director Edgar Wright, with audiences able to lose themselves in the weird and wonderful world of gamer-fantasy Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010), zombie-comedy Shaun Of The Dead (2004) and crime-action spoof Hot Fuzz (2007)."

The immersive screenings will take place at The Venue at Potterrow and Teviot Row House, The Biscuit Factory, and Church Hill Theatre.

Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director said: “We’re thrilled to launch EIFF: Play in our 70th Anniversary Year. For the first time, we’re taking the concept of Edgar Wright’s incredible catalogue of films and bringing them to life across Edinburgh, with a number of immersive cinema experiences and parties.”

The festival has also restated its commitment to Scottish filmmakers, which include Grant

McPhee's follow-up documentary to Big Gold Dream, Teenage Superstars, which examines the pre-Britpop Scottish music scene. Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser is the subject of The Groove Is Not Trivial, while the highly regarded Scottish Documentary Institute has produced Chico Pereira's Donkeyote, about a Spaniard who decides to walk the US Trail of Tears with his beloved donkey, Gorrion.

Among the fiction features with Scots connection are Robert Jan Westdijk's father and son road-trip comedy Waterboys, which is mainly set in Edinburgh, and Kevin Guthrie starrer The Dark Mile, a psychological thriller set against the backdrop of the Highlands. Other Scottish talent, includes John Hannah, who features in Justin Edgar's latest film The Marker and author Ian Rankin, who will attend a screening of John McKay's 2007 adaptation of his short story Reichenbach Falls.

An 80th anniversary screening of The Edge Of The World, Michael Powell’s first major feature, will be presented in Edinburgh University's FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility wave tank. During the event, the tank will mimic the cinematic seascapes depicted in this tale of the evacuation of a remote island community off the Scottish coast. Also screening is Oliver Pike’s short documentary St Kilda, Its People And Birds from 1908, with a new score by Alex Menzies and lighting by Florence To.

The event is part of the British Film Institute’s Britain on Film season, which is also touring a Made by the Sea programme around Scotland. Curated and introduced by Shona Thomson, the tour opens with a live screening event at Portsoy Salmon Bothy as part of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival on Sunday 25th June before travelling to another five seaside venues across Scotland during the Summer: Ullapool, Tobermory, Johnshaven, Thurso, and Castlebay on the Isle of Barra.

Internationally renowned beatboxer and sound artist Jason Singh makes a welcome return with a live soundtrack to John Grierson's seminal 1929 silent documentary Drifters to inspire new artistic interpretations of Britain’s fishing heritage and traditions. The 2017 Following The Fleet: Drifters tour will retrace the historic route down Britain’s east coast following the journey of the herring shoals and drifter fleets, commencing Leith on Saturday, August 5 before calling at UK City of Culture 2017 Hull on Thursday, August 10 and finishing at Great Yarmouth in the autumn.

For more information on the EIFF events, visit edfilmfest.org.uk. Details of Made By The Sea can be found on the official site and Following The Fleet: Drifters tickets are available from followingthefleet.com.

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