Edinburgh film fest announces programme

ANOTHER Edinburgh-shot movie has made it on to roster of the city’s international film festival, which yesterday announced its programme.

After last year’s screening of Hallam Foe, this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival has included Trouble Sleeping in its programme, which launches and ends with two British world premieres.

Now a June event – as opposed to its former berth of August – the festival kicks off with The Edge of Love, by John Maybury. It finishes, eleven days later, with Faintheart, by Vito Rocco.

The festival will showcase 142 feature-length films from 29 countries, including 113 new features, of which 15 are world premieres, 14 are international premieres, six are European premieres and 72 are UK premieres.

Highlights include: the new Pixar title, WALL-E, Shane Meadows’ Somers Town and Duane Hopkins’ Better Things, along with Brad Anderson’s Transsiberian and Isabel Coixet’s Elegy, plus a special preview of Terence Davies’ Of Time and City.

There’s also a strong documentaries line up, such as Encounters at the End of the World, by Werner Herzog, James Marsh’s Man on Wire and Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure.

Trouble Sleeping tells the story of refugees living in Edinburgh. It is co-produced by the city’s Theatre Workshop and Makar Productions, which co-produced True North, about Scottish fishermen smuggling Chinese immigrants into Scotland.

It is artistic director, Robert Rae’s first feature film. He also wrote it, along with long-time collaborator, Ghazi Hussein, and various other writers.

Says Rae: “I worked with a team of writers, all first-time to film but all who had personal experience of the stories we told. We gathered stories from Edinburgh’s Refugee community and engaged them directly in the creation of the film. The great majority of the principal cast are first-time actors. Whilst remaining true to the refugees’ experience, I have fictionalised their stories to serve the drama and to protect the identities of the story tellers.”

It stars Gary Lewis, Nabil Shaban and Alison Peebles, along with Lebanese actress, Alia Alzuogbi, whose performance has been described as a “tour de force”.

Its producer is Eddie Dick.

Other British films in the programme include Oliver Blackburn’s Donkey Punch, which will have its UK premiere, and the world premieres of Charles Martin Smith’s Stone of Destiny, Kenny Glenaan’s Summer, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor’s Helen and Matthew Thompson’s Dummy.

Says EIFF artistic director, Hannah McGill: “We have a terrifically exciting programme this year, which is the happy result of a very enthusiastic response from distributors and filmmakers. From powerful artistic and political statements to works of pure, escapist entertainment, I think this is a festival that reflects an active, vibrant world film culture – and suits the diverse and daring tastes of our audience.

“I want to thank all the programmers who worked with me on putting this programme together, and I look forward to sharing it with audiences in June.”