Kevin Bacon and Oliver Stone to appear at Edinburgh film festival

Hollywood favourite Kevin Bacon and Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone are to lead the 70th birthday celebrations of the Edinburgh International Film Festival this summer, organisers have revealed.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 10:59 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:50 pm
Kevin Bacon will be appearing in his wife Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut at this year's Edinburgh film festival.
Kevin Bacon will be appearing in his wife Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut at this year's Edinburgh film festival.

Withnail & I star Richard E Grant, The Hunger Games favourite Stanley Tucci and Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill will also be making special appearances at the event’s landmark anniversary.

Organisers hope Orlando Bloom will join a roll call of British film talent lined up for the event to unveil his latest film, Romans, which will be getting a world premiere in Edinburgh.

The festival has also secured one of the final on-screen appearances by the veteran actor Sir John Hurt before he died last year. He will be playing a screenwriter battling a terminal illness in That Good Night.

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Festival director Mark Adams launching the 70th anniversary programme at the Filmhouse today.

Also confirmed on the red carpet are Trudie Styler, the actress wife of rock star Sting, and James Bond composer David Arnold, who has also worked on the TV shows Sherlock and Little Britain.

Bacon, who made his name in films like Footloose, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13 and Flaliners, will be launching his new film, coming-of-drama drama Story of a Girl, which is directed by his wife, Kyra Sedgwick.

The pair, who will take part in an “in conversation” event at the festival, will also be introducing The Woodsman, the film about a paedophile’s attempt to adapt to life after prison, which they starred in together.

Final Portrait, the new film by Spotlight, The Lovely Bones and Beauty and the Beast star Tucci, has been awarded the festival’s first ever “people’s gala”, with all tickets for the Festival Theatre screening pegged at £5.

Festival director Mark Adams launching the 70th anniversary programme at the Filmhouse today.

Another big-name American guest, Danny Huston, whose films include The Aviator and The Constant Gardener, will be starring in and directing The Last Photograph, a drama partly inspired by the Lockerbie disaster.

Award-winning British stage and screen star Juliet Stevenson will be on the red carpet for the European premiere of her new film Let Me Go, about a young woman who travels to Vienna to see her ailing mother.

Grant, who launched Withnail & I at the festival in 1987, will be returning for a special 30th anniversary screening, as well as to introduce another of his best-known films, How To Get Ahead In Advertising, while Oliver Stone will be honoured with a 30th anniversary screening of 1980s classic Wall Street.

Tucci, Grant, Hill, Arnold will also be taking part in special “in person” events, with author Ian Rankin also due to take part in a talk after a rare screening of the TV drama Reichanbach Falls, which was based on one of his short stories.

Documentaries about the Glasgow music scene in the 1980s and 1990s, Hollywood icon Cary Grant, the Voyager 1 space probe launched 40 years ago and the siege of Aleppo will also be launched at the festival.

Festival director Mark Adams said: “As always, we’re still trying to pin actors down, but it’s great that we’re able to confirm so many guests for special events.

“Some of them like Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Stanley Tucci have films in the festivals but there are others who we’ve been speaking to for some time who say the would love to come in future when they have time.

“We’re trying to get Orlando Bloom to come over for the world premiere of his film. He’s filming in Louisiana at the moment, so it will depend on his schedule.

“This is the first time we’ve done a people’s gala, which Stanley Tucci will be introducing at the Festival Theatre.

“We wanted to put on an event in a lovely venue at a price that is really accessible to anybody. A lot of people might think they can’t afford to go to a gala screening or don’t normally go to the Festival Theatre.

“We’ve already sold out our family gala, a UK premiere of Cars 3, as well as a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Usher Hall, which the RSNO will be performing at.”

The festival will be using the Vue cinema at Omni Centre for the first time expanding to new venues in Leith and Morningside during its landmark anniversary, as well as staging a special event at an Edinburgh University wave research facility.

The 70th birthday celebrations get underway today with an outdoor exhibition of classic and rarely-seen images from the event’s archives in Festival Square, St Andrew Square and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad.

Outdoor screenings of films like Mammia Mia!, Dirty Dancing, Cars, Singin’ in the Rain and The Jungle Book will be staged in St Andrew Square in the run-up to the festival, which is being held from 21 June till 2 July.

Natalie Usher, director of screen at national arts agency Creative Scotland, said: “This year’s landmark 70th anniversary edition is packed with an impressive array of the very best films from around the world, certain to appeal to local and international audiences.

“With an amazing film line up, great audience and industry events, creative debate and discussion, and a rich retrospective, EIFF 2017 is set to entertain and enthral us all.”