Billy Crystal 'thrilled' to close Edinburgh International Film Festival with new comedy

American comedy favourite Billy Crystal’s has said he is “thrilled” that his new movie will close this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 6:00 am
Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal star in Here Today. Picture: Cara Howe
Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal star in Here Today. Picture: Cara Howe

Organisers have revealed that Here Today, which has been directed and co-written by the star of When Harry Met Sally, will bring the curtain down on the rebooted event with a gala screening at the Filmhouse.

Crystal stars opposite Tiffany Haddish as a comedy writer who forges an unlikely friendship with a singer in the New York-set film, which will get its UK premiere at the festival ahead of its release in September.

The EIFF is to bring back audiences after a break of more than two years next month.

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Last year’s event was forced to go completely online due to the pandemic, while this year’s edition, which will feature an online programme as well as a mix of indoor and outdoor screenings, was moved back to the EIFF’s traditional August slot in the calendar to cater for bigger audiences if restrictions are eased.

Crystal, 73, who made his name on the TV shows Saturday Night Live and Soap, found name in the 1980s and 1990s in the hit movies, Running Scared, The Princess Bridge, When Harry Met Sally, Analyse This and City Slickers. He has hosted the Academy Awards nine times to day.

Crystal said: “I'm thrilled that Here Today has been selected to close the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

"To have an audience sit inside a cinema together and share the experience of this film after these unusual times makes me very happy.”

The festival will be staging most of its premieres at the Filmhouse, with outdoor screenings planned to be held at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry and in St Andrew Square Garden.

Nick Varley, lead programmer at the festival this year, said: “We’re thrilled to be closing this year’s festival with Here Today.

"Billy Crystal has created a wonderfully charming and touching film about friendship and growing old.

"The onscreen chemistry between him and Tiffany Haddish is just a joy to watch. Bring your hankies and prepare to shed tears of laughter and sadness.”