THE Edinburgh International Film Festival used the start of its Cannes equivalent to launch not one but two new initiatives, one in recognition of new talent coming out of the likes of Screen Academy Scotland, based at Napier University in the capital.
The EIFF will this year be offering a showcase for new film talent, plus an award for the best acting performance in a British movie.
They were announced in Cannes by the new EIFF artistic director, Hannah McGill, and managing director, Ginnie Atkinson.
Trailblazers will showcase the work of about 20 new film talents, half from a network of screen academies now set up around the UK, one in Edinburgh.
Says the EIFF, the longest continually-running film festival in the world: “The intention of the showcase is to unite the work of the Screen Academies with that of EIFF to honour their joint commitment to the generation, encouragement and promotion of new British talent; to offer Screen Academies students and graduates an introduction to the UK film industry and the festival circuit – and to celebrate the new names issuing forth from the film festival that first brought Samantha Morton, Daniel Craig, Emily Blunt, Lynne Ramsay, David Mackenzie, Shane Meadows, Asif Kapadia and Andrea Arnold to our attention.”
Said Atkinson of the performance award: “In spite of the illustrious guest list, the EIFF has never
maintained a continuous acting award. With a new artistic director on board, this is an ideal opportunity to inaugurate this prize.”
Trailblazers is sponsored by Skillset, the audio-visual industries’ training organisation; while the performance award is sponsored by commercial property development and investment company, Premier Property Group (PPG).
This year’s festival takes place between August 15 and 26. The programme will be announced on July 11.