New Colin Farrell sci-fi drama to close Edinburgh International Film Festival

A new science fiction movie featuring Irish star Colin Farrell in the lead role is the first major premiere to be announced for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, organisers have revealed.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:55 am
Colin Farrell's new film ‘After Yang’ will be closing this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Picture: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for ETAF
Colin Farrell's new film ‘After Yang’ will be closing this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Picture: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for ETAF

After Yang, which follows a family’s attempts to repair a malfunctioning robotic child, will close the 75th anniversary edition of the event in August.

South Koren-born filmmaker Kogonada, who also wrote the screenplay, adapted a short story by American writer Alexander Weinstein into his latest feature.

The latest work from Kogonada, who is best known for the 2017 has already won plaudits when it was screened at the Cannes and Sundance festivals, winning one of the major awards at the latter event.

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Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja and Justin H. Min in the new film 'After Yang.'

Set in the future, After Yang sees Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith play a couple raising their adoptive daughter with the help of a robot.

Farrell’s character Jake sets off on a mission to repair Yang, who is played by Justin H. Min, but finds himself reconnecting with his wife Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja).

The closing night gala in Edinburgh has been announced ahead of the official EIFF programme launch early next month

This year’s event will be the first with Kristy Matheson, the festival’s creative director, at the helm.

She said: “As a huge fan of Kogonada’s previous film ‘Columbus’ I could not be happier to be closing the Edinburgh International Film Festival with the director’s latest offering.

"After Yang is an exquisite jewel of a film, boasting

knockout performances from some of the finest acting talents from Ireland and the UK.

"I’m sure audiences will share my enthusiasm for this thought provoking and deeply moving film.”

Kogonada said “I’m honored and thrilled that our film has been picked to close the 75th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

"I hope my schedule allows me to attend in person so that I can present the film on the big screen to the engaged festival audience there.”

Farrell, who made his screen debut in the BBC series Ballykissangel and went on to star in the films The War Zone, Phone Booth, The Recruit, Minority Report, Daredevil, Saving Mr Banks, In Bruges and The Lobster.

He also starred opposite Robert Pattinson in the latest Batman blockbuster as The Penguin, which was released earlier this year.

Speaking when the film was launched at Sundance earlier this year, Farrell said: “There was nowhere to hide in the script.

"It’s not a script that has any pointed moments, any super emotional moments or any scenes that felt like they were loud.

"And yet, all the important themes that I certainly have dealt with and will deal with in the future — loss, grief, family, belonging, the ostracisation we can feel sometimes from ourselves and those we love, parenting — all of that stuff was what the film fundamentally was about.

"And so I read the script and was haunted by it and just really, really wanted to be a part of it.”

The EIFF is being staged in August for the first time in 15 years after a decision to bring it back into line with the city’s other major cultural events, including the Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Tattoo.