Now in its 72nd instalment, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world’s longest continuously-running film festival. This year’s edition opens with the UK premiere of Marc Turtletaub’s jigsaw drama Puzzle, starring Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan. The festival later closes with the UK premiere of Swimming with Men, a British comedy from director Oliver Parker, starring Rob Brydon, Jim Carter, Daniel Mays and Adeel Akhtar.
Beyond the galas, there are many premieres, discoveries and retrospectives of note. Here are 10 highlights from the big programme, with the festival running from 20 June to 1 July…
Full feature for the BFI
This year’s Glasgow Film Festival was hit by an unprecedented series of setbacks, largely thanks to the combined efforts of Storm Emma and the cold wave dubbed the ‘Beast from the East’. Across three days in its second week, dozens of screenings and events were cancelled due to snow-related safety risks, while much of the talent scheduled to appear, as well as attendees not staying in Glasgow, were unable to reach the city…
Full feature for Sight & Sound
Running between 21 February and 4 March, the 14th annual Glasgow Film Festival opens with the UK premiere of Wes Anderson’s animation Isle of Dogs. It later closes with the world premiere of Nae Pasaran, Felipe Bustos Sierra’s documentary about Scottish factory workers’ act of solidarity with the oppressed people of Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship. In between, there are hundreds of events and screenings to choose from.
It can all be a bit overwhelming, so here are some highlights from the programme that still have tickets left…
Full feature for the BFI
The second feature from writer-director Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats concerns Brooklyn teenager Frankie, who, unbeknown to his family, his macho boardwalk-dwelling friends and a potential new girlfriend, is navigating an interest in cruising with older gay men he meets online.
It’s rare for an actor’s first feature film role to involve them being the focus of every scene, and British newcomer Harris Dickinson is a revelation as Frankie. “I thought I was ready to take on a lead role in a feature and be able to carry it on my shoulders,” he says of the project’s demands. “And I think I was, but it was inevitably still daunting with the pressure that came with that.”
Full interview for the BFI
The last few years have seen a noticeable rise in Iranian cinema’s international profile, both through relatively mainstream breakthrough success for films like the Oscar-winning A Separation and thanks to publicised restrictions on the country’s filmmakers, most notably the house arrest of director Jafar Panahi, as documented in 2011’s This Is Not a Film. With artistic expression so heavily monitored, many of the country’s best have chosen to depart and make films elsewhere, Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up, Taste of Cherry) among them, whose most recent films – Certified Copy and Like Someone in Love – have been part financed in France and shot in Italy and Japan.
Mania Akbari is another filmmaker who has chosen to leave her homeland to continue her work, in her case spurred by concerns that her cast and crew on her film, which would end up being named From Tehran to London due to the circumstances of its completion, would face arrest on the basis of what has happened to Panahi and others. Now a resident in the UK, she is perhaps still best known to audiences here as the star of Kiarostami’s acclaimed 2002 film Ten, but various sources – the BFI, writer-director Mark Cousins and the Edinburgh International Film Festival among them – are serving to raise the profile of this most exciting filmmaker…
Full interview for The Skinny