Back To The Future to be shown with live orchestra

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The Edinburgh International Film Festival is set to join forces with Scotland’s national performing companies for a series of major events in future, organisers have revealed.

Collaborations with Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland could be on the cards under an initiative introduced by new artistic director Mark Adams, who was appointed in December.

The tie-up will be launched this summer with a 30th anniversary gala screening of the Robert Zemeckis time-travel classic Back to the Future, accompanied by a live performance of its iconic soundtrack by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The event at the 1900-capacity Festival Theatre is the first major screening to be confirmed for this year’s festival. The film’s composer, Alan Silvestri, has added an additional 15 minutes to his original score for Back to the Future, which had its UK premiere at the festival in 1985.

The gala is believed to be part of a new strategy to “reach out to wider audiences” by the festival, which has struggled to match the numbers it used to attract before it moved from its historic August slot to mid-June in 2008.

However Mr Adams, the former chief film critic of industry magazine Screen International, said the event on June 27 will mark the start of “a new set of relationships” with Scotland’s national performing companies.

He added: “This live event will delight and enthral in equal measure.”

A spokeswoman added: “This special screening will mark the start of a programme to celebrate EIFF’s heritage and legacy over the past 70 years.”

Kenneth Osborne, chief executive of the RSNO, said: “To be involved in the 30th anniversary celebrations of this iconic film is quite an honour.

“Back to the Future is a modern classic, and Alan Silvestri’s dramatic score will be a joy for our orchestra to play. It promises to be a very special night.”

Mr Adams, from Leicestershire, takes over from US writer and critic Chris Fujiwara, who stepped down in September after less than three years. The new artistic director was previously head of programming at the National Film Theatre and director of cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

The EIFF, which moved its dates to avoid competition with rival events, has since missed out on a number of major Scottish films, including We Need To Talk About Kevin, Filth, Sunshine on Leith, Under The Skin and What We Did On Our Holiday.