Edinburgh looks forward to Folk Film Gathering

Musical extravaganza planned for 10th anniversary

by Jennie Kermode

Opening film As An Eilean
Opening film As An Eilean

The 10th edition of the Folk Film Gathering in Edinburgh will be held at the at Cameo Picturehouse and the Scottish Storytelling Centre from 3 to 12 May this year, opening with 1993 Gaelic language feature As An Eilean. An exploration of Scottish island life, it will be introduced with traditional songs sung by one of its stars, Wilma Kennedy, and there's a great selection of additional musical performances scheduled to support other festival screenings.

The festival will feature the UK première of Katja Gauriloff's Skolt Sámi saga Je'vida, which deals with the impact of colonialism and the struggle to reclaim identity, and will be supported by a live concert with Finnish musicians Lau Nau and Pekko Käppi. Pat Collins’ documentary Songlines, which celebrates the songs and singers of the Irish traveller community, will see Jess Smith and Joss Cameron perform some of those songs live. And Alexander Dovzhenko’s Ukrainian classic Earth will be shown with a brand new score composed by Luke Sutherland and Semay Lu.

Other highlights will include Itandehui Jansen’s science fiction fable about Mexican climate migrants in Edinburgh, Itu Ninu, which will be accompanied by a performance of Mixtec poetry; and Michel Khleifi’s Tale Of The Three Jewels, a magical, folkloric reflection on childhood in Gaza, which will be introduced by Palestinian-Scottish poet Nada Shawa.

"Our programme this year has been carefully conceived to explore how we might encourage solidarities between Scotland and the rest of the world at this point in 2024, in positioning films representing the experiences of communities in Scotland in counterpoint with those of communities elsewhere in the world," said the event's producer, Jamie Chambers. "We seek to look outwards from the local to the global, exploring how cinema can help us foster greater empathy and understanding for experiences beyond our own. Cinema has an important role to play in how we remember the past and approach the present, and in how communities in Scotland may conceive of our place and responsibilities within the world."

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