Edinburgh Film Festival 2021: What's on, when does it start and how can I get tickets?

The latest instalment of the world famous Edinburgh International Film Festival got underway in venues across Scotland’s capital this week. Here’s what is screening and how to get tickets.

After a testing 18 months for the industry, Edinburgh film fans were finally able to sink their teeth into a solid week of cinema as the 74th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) got underway with a mouthwatering screening programme in the Capital.

Like many events, the coronavirus pandemic had forced the ever popular festival to go digital last year, with EIFF choosing to opt for a ‘watch from home’ set of events.

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However, with restrictions now eased, the festival has reverted to its more familiar format and is celebrating the long-awaited return to cinema with a host of special events, free outdoor screenings and international premieres.

The EIFF got underway this week. Photo credit: EIFF

At long last, cinephiles can get ready to grab that popcorn, gather friends and wait in anticipation for that red velvet curtain to open up once again, as we welcome back the EIFF for the 74th time.

When is the Edinburgh Film Festival taking place?

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The Film Festival started on Wednesday August 18, though it runs until Wednesday August 25 in venues across the Capital.

Popular Edinburgh cinema the Filmhouse – home of the EIFF – will take in the majority of festival screenings with the Opening Gala and Special Preview at Festival Theatre.

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However, the EIFF is more expansive than ever this year, with close to 30 classic films screening for FREE at St Andrew Square as part of ‘Film Fest in the City’, which will see film goers able to bring along a deckchair and watch cult classics under the Edinburgh skyline.

And for those who enjoyed the ‘at home’ digital set up of last year, Filmhouse at Home will be continuing, with a section of screenings able to be streamed from the comfort of your couch.

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What films will be screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival?

The special programme of in-person and digital screenings includes 31 new features and 73 shorts – with 18 marking their world and 3 international premieres at the festival.

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The opening night saw the premiere of new Nicolas Cage drama 'Pig', written by Michael Sarnoski.

Reviewers have said it “defies the hogwash of expectations with a beautiful odyssey of loss and love anchored by Cage's affectingly raw performance”, with popular film rating site, ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ rating it at 98%.

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Meanwhile Here Today, starring comedy icon Billy Crystal, is equally as impressive as the festival’s closing film, with the EIFF giving the comedy-drama its UK premiere.

‘Film Fest in the City’ will also be offering countless classics, which will appeal to long time EIFF fans and newcomers alike.

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Goonies, Ferris Buellers Day’s Off, Mamma Mia! plus an 11am Grease singalong are just a smattering of the cult classics being shown for free in St. Andrew Square.

Two Scottish films exploring island life receive their World Premieres at EIFF too.

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A documentary, Prince of Muck, follows the continuing battles of elderly patriarch Lawrence MacEwen and Hebridean feature drama The Road Dance based on a best-selling book by STV News presenter John MacKay, who also stars in the film.

How do I get tickets for the Edinburgh Film Festival?

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Tickets are available directly from the EIFF website here.

The Film Festival offers a Digital Brochure, alongside a downloadable PDF which showcases the full schedule of screenings taking place at the EIFF.

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