Edinburgh International Film Festival

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Edinburgh International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival logo 2015
Status Active
Genre Film festival
Date(s) Two weeks in June
Frequency Annually
Venue Edinburgh Filmhouse, Fountainpark Cineworld, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Dominion Cinema
Location(s) Edinburgh
Country Scotland
Years active 71
Inaugurated June 1, 1947 (1947-06-01)

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is an annual fortnight of cinema screenings and related events taking place each June. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival.[1][2][3] The EIFF presents both UK and international films (all titles are World, International, European or UK Premieres), in all genres and lengths.

2015 was the festival's 69th Edition and ran from 17–28 June.

In 2014, 156 films from 47 different countries were screened, including 11 world premieres.[4] The 2014 edition featured activity from the McLaren 2014 Centenary Celebrations, a Scotland-wide project celebrating the centenary of the trailblazing artist, animator, and musician Norman McLaren. Born in Stirling, Scotland, McLaren spent much of his time in Canada where he helped set up the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). McLaren 2014 was led by the festival's animation programmer Iain Gardner and took place at venues throughout Scotland starting April 2014.

Origin and scope

The first festival, a programme of documentaries, was presented by the Edinburgh Film Guild alongside the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival, which continues to take place in August each year. At the time, Cannes and Venice were the most significant annual film festivals. Over the subsequent years, the programme expanded to include fiction films and experimental work in addition to documentary. In 2008, the film festival moved from its traditional August slot to June.[5]

The film festival shows a range of feature-length films and documentaries as well as short films, animations and music videos. A jury awards The Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film while the audience can vote for the Audience Award, and a panel of judges adjudicates the Best International Feature Award. There are also several awards given for short films.

The artistic director from September 2006 to 2010 was Hannah McGill, previously a film critic and cinema columnist for The Herald newspaper.[6] Her predecessor, Shane Danielsen, served from 2002-2006.,[7] Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle and Seamus McGarvey are honorary patrons.[8] In December 2009 Hannah McGill collected the prestigious Talkback Thames New Talent Award at the Women in Film and Television Awards.[9]

Following McGill's departure a new format was announced with no artistic director and a series of guest curators led by producer James Mullighan.[10]

This experiment was deemed largely unsuccessful and the Festival returned to a more conventional format in 2012 under new artistic director Chris Fujiwara. Other staff are Ken Hay, CEO; Diane Henderson, Deputy Artistic Director; Holly Daniel, Head of Industry and Talent Development; Iain Gardner, Animation Programmer; Lydia Beilby, Shorts Programmer; Jenny Leask, Documentary Programmer; Kim Knowles, Experimental Programmer.

In September 2014 Chris Fujiwara stepped down as artistic director.


Edinburgh Filmhouse is the festival's traditional and current home. Three other cinemas are also principal venues: Fountainpark Cineworld, Edinburgh Festival Theatre and the Dominion Cinema. Some of the events in recent years have taken place in The Traverse Theatre, The Caves, and various other venues. Proposals exist for a new Filmhouse to be built, designed by architect Richard Murphy. It would be located close to the existing one and, with greater audience capacity, would become the future home of the festival.

Film categories

  • Opening and Closing Galas
  • American Dreams - Cutting-edge new works from American independent cinema
  • Animation - From the family-friendly to the deeply dark, the lo-fi to the super-sophisticated: all that's new in animation
  • Black Box - Daring experiments in the film form, from out innovators of the visual art world
  • Directors' Showcase - The latest works by the world's great auteur directors
  • Films on Film - Explore the world of filmmaking and the lives of those who made film history
  • For the Family - Films from around the world that children and adults can enjoy together
  • New Perspectives - A global array of exciting new work by emerging directors
  • No Limits - Films that challenge convention and stimulate the mind
  • Shorts - Discover the world of short films - a universe with no laws, bounded only by the imagination
  • Special Events - Exciting events, insightful discussions and chances to get up close and personal with some of cinema's greatest names
  • Special Screenings - Classics from the archives and premieres of unique importance
  • Teen Spirit - A diverse selection of films hand-picked by EIFF's Young Programmer Team
  • Wicker and Wild - Unpredictable journeys into imagination and terror

The 68th edition of the festival in 2014 also contained the following country focus and retrospective strands:

  • Border Warefare: John McGrath's Work in Television, Theatre and Film
  • Focus on Germany
  • Focus on Iran
  • Interrupted Revolution: Iranian Cinema, 1962 to 1978
  • Secret Master: Dominik Graf and the Hidden History of German Cinema

2014 EIFF Awards

  • The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film, with a £20,000 cash prize
  • The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
  • The Award for Best International Feature Film, with a £10,000 cash prize
  • The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, with a £10,000 cash prize
  • The Student Critics Jury Award
  • The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation
  • The Award for Best Short Film
  • The Award for Creative Innovation in a Short Film
  • The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Short Film
  • The Audience Award


  1. "Scotland Hosts the World's Longest Running Film Festival". Scotland.com. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  2. "WebFilmFest.com - Your Online Source for Film Festivals". WebFilmFest.com. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  3. "Filmhouse - Edinburgh International Film Festival". lastminute.com. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  4. "2014 Edinburgh Film Festival line up announced". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  5. "Edinburgh International Film Festival". Edinburgh-History.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  6. Gillian Bowdtich (2009-05-17). "Hannah McGill: The Glamour Girl of the Pictures". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  7. Shane Danielson (2006-08-10). "Five Years' Hard Labour of Love". The Times. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  8. Tim Cornwell (2009-04-28). "Oscar Nominee is Edinburgh Film Festival's Latest Patron". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  9. "EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill Wins Award at Women in Film and Television Awards". Filmhouse. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  10. Brian Ferguson (2010-12-22). "Film Festival promises big changes as new producer is announced". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 

External links