Danny Boyle to launch new Beatles movie at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is to launch his new Beatles movie Yesterday and discuss his career at the Edinburgh International Film Festival next month.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 8:39 pm
Danny Boyle will discuss his award-winning movie-making career at the festival next month.

The director of the two Trainspotting movies and Shallow Grave will also be back in Edinburgh, where they were all filmed, to discuss his career in an special event.

Boyle, who is about to join forces with Irvine Welsh again on a movie about Scottish music industry mogul Alan McGee, the founder of Creation Records, has joined forces with writer Richard Curtis for their first film together to tell the story of a struggling songwriter who wakes up from a freak accident and discovers that the Beatles never existed.

Organisers hope another Oscar-winner, Richard Dreyfuss, star of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, will also be able to attend the event for the world premiere of his new film, Astronaut, about a lonely widower trying to win a trip to space.

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Himesh Patel stars in Yesterday as a struggling musician who decides to take the credit for the songs of the Beatles when he appears to be the only person in the world who has heard of them.

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Other special guests at the festival include "in person" events with the Leith-based actor Jack Lowden, who has shot to fame in recent years in Mary Queen of Scots, Dunkirk, Calibre and Tommy's Honour, and Scottish horror star Pollyanna McIntosh, who is best known for her role in the hit series The Walking Dead.

Other highlights of the festival line-up include The Souvenir, the first film Scots actress Tilda Swinton has made with her daughter Honor, which is set in 1980s London, as well as the Oscar winner’s new zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, and Olivia Colman’s new America-set film, Them That Follow, about a pastor’s daughter whose secret threatens to tear a community apart.

Other Scots stars in the line-up include Kate Dickie, Freya Mavor and Shauna Macdonald, who star in Balance, not Symmetry, a new Glasgow-set drama set to a soundtrack by Ayrshire rock icons Biffy Clyro, and Brian Cox, who stars in new American thriller Strange But True, and Angus Macfadyen, who will reprise his role as Robert the Bruce in Braveheart for a sequel to Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic.

Schemers, which is billed as the first full-lenth feature film set and shot in Dundee, will recall the city’s youth culture the late 1970s. Actor-director Peter Mullan and composer Craig Armstrong discuss their work together on films like Orphans, The Magdadele Sisters and Neds, while a marathon screening of new TV drama Good Omens, which has been adapted from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchell’s comedy-fantasy, could see Michael Sheen and David Tennant head down the red carpet.

Artistic director Mark Adams highlighted the strong representation of female filmmakers, who make up 42 per cent of directors of feature films and shorts, including British filmmakers Emily Harris, Joanna Hogg, Ruth Platt and Greta Bellamacina.

But he admitted there was a dearth of Scottish films available for this festival, which has lost out in Rob Roy director Michael Caton-Jones’ long-awaited adaption of Alan Warner’s best-selling novel The Sopranos, which was made in Edinburgh last year.

He said: “We have had a lot of big films like Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots filmed here recently, but there has definitely not been as many new Scottish feature films around this year. We do have films like Balance, Not Symmetry and Schemers in the programme, but The Sopranos wasn’t ready to be shown and in the market-place yet.”

Boyz in the Wood, a new Scottish comedy starring Eddie Izzard as a deranged Highlands huntsman, wil open the event officially on 19 June, while Vanessa Redgrace and Timothy Spall star in the closing gala, Mrs Lowry & Son, which explores the relationship between the artist LS Lowry and his mother.

However the event will effectively open three days earlier than normal for previews of the new Toy Story 4 blockbuster and new American superhero horror film Brightburn, while 16th century Lauriston Castle will be hosting a special “upstairs downstairs” costume-themed screening of murder mystery Gosford Park the previous night.

The EIFF’s free screenings will be returning to St Andrew Square the weekend before the official curtainraiser, with Mary Poppins Returns, The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody among the movies being shown.

Adams said: “We’ve been running outdoor screenings in St Andrew Square the weekend before the festival for several years, which have been amazingly popular when we have had good weather.

“We’ve got a really good relationship with Disney and Pixar, but it didn’t work out to screen Toy Story 4 during our official dates of the festival due to its release date. However they asked us if there was something we could try to do and we asked whether the Festival Theatre was available.

“We’re actually showing it the same day as the UK premiere in London. Since we managed to get the venue we thought we’d try to do something else in the evening and managed to get Brightburn.

“We’re not formally extending the dates of the festival, but we will have a weekend full of films before the festival properly starts. There definitely isn’t a grand masterplan to extend the festival.”


Boyz in the Wood: Edinburgh-born director Ninian Doff opens the festival with his debut feature, about a group of teenage boys being hunted down in the remote wilderness of the Highlands.

Balance, Not Symmetry: Biffy Clyro provide the soundtrack for the Glasgow-set drama, this year’s “People’s Gala,” about an art school student whose life is turned upside down when her father suddenly dies.

Toy Story 4: Woody, Buzz and the gang return with a companion, Forky, in a special festival preview just days before the Disney-Pixar film’s eagerly-awaited release.

rightburn: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Matt Jones star in the new American superhero horror about a sinister child who is raised on Earth by a couple after his spaceship crash-lands.

The Souvenir: Tilda Swinton and her daughter Honor star together in a drama focusing on a young filmmaker who falls for the wrong man in 1980s London.

Yesterday: Director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis join forces for their first film, about a struggling singer-songwriter who wakes up from an accident into a world which has never heard of the Beatles or their songs.

The Dead Don’t Die: Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Iggy Pop and Steve Buscemi play it for laughs in Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy.

Them That Follow: Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman plays the mother of a young man having doubts about his religion in a drama baseds on a true story about a extreme Appalachian Pentecostal group.

Loopers - The Caddie’s Long Walk: Caddyshack star Bill Murray narrates a documentary tracing the origins and importance of the characters who have worked with legends of the game like Jack Nicklaus.

Robert the Bruce: Angus Macfadeyn reprises his role from Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic Braveheart.

Schemers: Dundee takes centre stage in writer-director David McLean’s film based on his experiences of the city’s grass-roots music industry in the late 1970s.