Edinburgh International Film Festival: 75th anniversary line-up revealed
The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will screen new movies from award-winning actresses Charlotte Rampling, Demi Moore, Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg as part of a 75th-anniversary line-up with a major focus on women in front of and behind the camera.
Nearly 90 new features will premiere in the first EIFF to be staged under new creative director Kristy Matheson, whose debut programme will mark the 50th anniversary of a ground-breaking edition of the event focused entirely on female filmmakers.
Flight of the Conchords comic Jemaine Clement, Call My Agent star Laure Calamy and Sex Education actor Asa Butterfield will also have their latest films premiered when the event returns next month.
Iconic singer-songwriters Sinead O’Connor and Leonard Cohen and American indie-rocker Courtney Barnett will all be the focus of new documentaries.
Highlights include a documentary exploring the legacy of the classic 1980s comedy-drama 9 to 5, which sees Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin recall how the film bolstered the fight for women’s rights in the workplace, Please Baby Please, which sees Moore appear alongside Andrea Riseborough in a drama about a newlywed bohemian couple who undergo a sexual awakening, and Second World War-set Lola, about two sisters, played by Emma Appleton and Stefanie Martini, who build a machine that can intercept radio and TV broadcasts from the future.
The festival, which runs from August 12-20, will open with Aftersun, the debut film from Scottish director Charlotte Wells, and close with After Yang, a drama focusing on a malfunctioning family robot, which stars Colin Farrell.
Rampling will portray a hard-drinking grandmother whose teenage grandson is forced to look after her when he is thrown out of boarding school and she is immobilised by an accident.
Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain lead the the star-studded cast of The Forgiven, director John Michael McDonagh’s latest film, which explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of both the local Muslims and western visitors to a house party in a grand Moroccan mountain villa.
Clement will play a sexual healing guru in Nude Tuesday, a New Zealand comedy in which a married couple head to a retreat to try to rekindle their spark, while Butterfield will star in Flux Gourmet, a black comedy focusing on a dysfunctional sonic art collective.
Other international films include South Korean action film Special Delivery, which sees Parasite star Park So-Dam play a black-market cab driver who suddenly finds herself having to protect the son of a fugitive from crooked cops and vicious gangsters, Calendar Girls, a “coming-of-golden-age” documentary about a Florida dance troupe made up of women over 60, and Anonymous Club, which follows Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett as she grapples with the demands of going on tour.
Other music-related films in the line-up include an exploration of the life of Cohen, which will feature previously unseen archival material, a newly-restored version of Martin Scorsese’s concert movie capturing The Band’s “farewell concert” in San Francisco in 1976, and Nothing Compares, which charts the dramatic rise of O’Connor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The festival has previously announced a line-up of Scottish films and filmmakers in the programme.
They include Dùthchas | Home, by director Andy MacKinnon, which explores the changes which have unfolded on the Hebridean island of Berneray and The Ballad of a Great Disordered Heart, which looks at the impact of lockdown on the surviving communities in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
The festival will also be hosting a special 20th-anniversary screening of Morvern Callar, Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed second feature, which was adapted from Oban writer Alan Warner’s novel.
The EIFF will also mark 100 years of the German Expressionist silent horror classic Nosferatu, which was based on the 1897 novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker.
Becky Hutner’s documentary Fashion Reimagined, which examines the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, follows British designer Amy Powney’s dream to create the first ever clothing collection that is ethical and sustainable at every level.
Special events include a masterclass on the fantasy drama series His Dark Materials, which will feature stars Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson, along with the makers of the show, and a family gala showcasing new animated fantasy comedy Luck, which features the voices of Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Fonda and Goldberg.
The first full-scale film festival since 2019 will see a number of changes from three years ago, with the event expanding to the Everyman cinema at the new St James Quarter and returning to the historic Cameo cinema for the first time in a decade.
The landmark anniversary edition will open with a weekend of free screenings in St Andrew Square, with The Illusionist, Wall-E, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Paddington, Shrek and Big all due to be screened.
Ms Matheson said: “For our 75th anniversary, we’ve embraced the very essence of cinema – from its production to its exhibition, it’s a truly collective pursuit.
"Working alongside a talented team of programmers and festival producers to craft our 2022 programme has been joyous.”
Isabel Davis, executive director at government agency Screen Scotland, said: "Kristy’s exciting programme of international and Scotland made cinema, the refocusing of the festival’s major award, and a great set of special events brings clarity and vision to the festival in its 75th year.”
Scottish culture minister Neil Gray said: “We are fortunate to have a wealth of talented people based in or hailing from Scotland.
"It’s fantastic to see such a strong line-up of films highlighting the full breadth and diversity of this incredible talent, alongside the inspiring locations we have across Scotland.
"I’m looking forward to getting the chance to see such an exciting and varied line-up of Scottish stories and voices.”