AFTER 60 years being an integral part of the Edinburgh Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is, from next year, going to have a slot in the calendar all to itself.
From next year, the EIFF is to be a June rather than August event.
The move has been partly prompted by the intense competition for venues, hotel space and media coverage provided by the Edinburgh International, Fringe and Book festivals also taking place.
A June festival means less clashing – and easier programming – with other film festivals around the world, including London.
Says EIFF managing director, Ginnie Atkinson: “In recent market research, an overwhelming majority of our audience said they would attend the film festival even if it was the only festival on at the time. This gives us the confidence that June will be a success on all fronts. The June move also makes it more affordable and practical for film-goers, from both home and abroad, to visit and stay in the city at that time.”
The EIFF is the world’s longest continually-running film festival. Added Atkinson: “”Sixty years ago, festival organisers fought hard for film to be accepted as part of Edinburgh’s cultural celebration in August. In that time, we have grown to become one of the world’s leading film events, with audiences continuing to grow, year-on-year.
“Any move has not been agreed without long consideration of the success we have enjoyed as being an integral part of the August arts’ celebration. But we have to look to the longer-term, and now is the right time. The move to June will be a major help in sustaining growth.”
Continues artistic director, Hannah McGill: “Everyone we have spoken to – from our contacts within the film industry to partners across the city of Edinburgh – agreed that the move to June makes artistic and commercial sense.”