The world’s largest film festival for young people will launch in the Capital with a special message from Benedict Cumberbatch.
The action will start at the Cameo on November 7 with an exclusive pupil premiere of The Grinch, due for UK release two days later, with the main Christmas-hating character voiced by the award-winning Sherlock Holmes actor.
The Into Film Festival is expected to attract over 4,000 with 258 screenings including refugee crisis documentary, Human Flow followed by a workshop by Oxfam at The Filmhouse and teen drama Love, Simon with an accompanying talk by LGBT Youth Scotland.
Famed for her portrayal as the warrior Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and the First Order stormtrooper Captain Phasma in Star Wars actor Gwendoline Christie supports the festival. She said: “Into Film is a really brilliant initiative. Anything that facilitates the arts in our current climate, particularly with regards to younger people, is really vital as we see increasing cuts and less funding in schools.”
The festival is hosted by film education charity, Into Film, supported by the UK film industry through Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery funding.
The festival is free to all students, supporting education through a programme of films and events for schools with topical themes, resources, debates, special events and careers activity.
Programme delivery officer at Into Film, Flip Kulakiewicz, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many educators and young people to our festival screenings this year.
“Young people from across Edinburgh and beyond will have the opportunity to engage with film in many different ways, from special screenings with industry guests to unique careers events and workshops.
“Film is a powerful tool to enhance learning and the festival is a great platform for all young people to develop their skills and creativity.”
The Into Film Festival welcomed 40,000 young people from all backgrounds in Scotland last year and engages youngsters in aspects of filmmaking from the popular review writing competition, which encourages literacy and critical thinking, to learning about careers in the film industry.
Industry experts will also be on hand to lift the lid on a vast range of topics including directing, screenwriting and prop making.
Education ambassador Alison Üstün, said: “The film festival gives pupils the opportunity to watch films they wouldn’t normally see – and in a time of budget cuts, free film showings are a real life line for schools.
“Much of the programming is linked to curriculum areas, so teachers can find films to support work covered by their classes.
“All pupils love going to the cinema with their friends – it’s a treat to relax and escape from the stresses of school life.
“Of course, while they’re watching they’re also developing empathy and learning about other cultures and developing their understanding and film literacy.
“It’s a win-win for everyone and we can’t wait for this year’s trip.”