Andrew Macdonald named as chair of EIFF

Last King Of Scotland producer to take festival forward

by Amber Wilkinson

Andrew Macdonald
Andrew Macdonald Photo: NFTS
The Last King Of Scotland producer Andrew Macdonald has been named as the chair of Edinburgh International Film Festival from 2024.

The Glasgow-born producer, who heads DNA Films with Allon Reich, will take the festival forward, recruiting an executive team and hopefully breathing new life into the event, which has had a rocky year after its parent charity the Centre for the Moving Image went into administration after last year's edition. When Screen Scotland announced it was looking for a chair to spearhead the festival’s revival it noted that the role would be initially a voluntary one.

Macondald's connection to the festival stretches back as far as at least 1992 when he made a video diary while working at EIFF about raising finance to produce his first feature film Shallow Grave. It as made the following year and had its world premiere at EIFF in 1994.

In addition to having produced films like The Last King Of Scotland, directed by his brother Kevin, he has also had a long and fruitful relationship with Danny Boyle, with whom he produced Shallow Grave and went on to make everything from Trainspotting to 28 Days Later.

Macdonald, who is the grandson of writer, director and producer Emeric Pressburger, has a CV that is threaded through with Scots-inflected films, including Sunshine On Leith and documentary Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In.

Screen Scotland’s Executive Director, Isabel Davis said: “That Andrew has agreed to be the Chair of the new Edinburgh International Film Festival is a clear indication of the ambition we all share for the festival’s future.  He was one of the first to offer support when the previous organisation collapsed and with his customary vigour, Andrew has already been instrumental in bringing people together to build an exciting new vision for what EIFF can become.

“Andrew’s internationally acclaimed body of work speaks for itself, and his long-standing relationship with Edinburgh and EIFF, his entrepreneurial mindset and producer’s can-do attitude makes him ideal for this role.  We’re grateful that he’s prepared to give his time and energy to this exciting, if huge, project, and look forward to working with him as he builds the team that will take on the direct running of the Festival for 2024 onwards.”

This year's edition of the festival has been taken under the wing of Edinburgh International Festival and will run in shortened form from August 18 to 23.

Macdonald said: “EIFF played a huge part in my own early producing career; it’s held dear by film makers and audiences and admired by so many around the world.

“Working together with fellow film makers, funders and festival experts on a proposition for the future of EIFF from 2024 has been altogether compelling and in this new role, I’m looking forward to helping to build long-term success for EIFF in the years to come.”

When we spoke to Macdonald ahead of the release of Sunshine in 2007, he told us: "With film-making, the more collaborations there are, the easier it is" and noted, "You just have to keep pedalling", after the year that EIFF has had, that's just the sort of attitude it needs.

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