By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 6, 2009 at 4:56AM
At a press conference at Filmhouse in Edinburgh this morning, Artistic Director Hannah McGill announced the full program for the 63rd edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 17 - 28 June, will host twenty-three World premieres, and sixteen International premieres including the previously announced Opening Night Gala, Sam Mendes' "Away We Go."
"I'm thrilled about this programme, and really looking forward to showing these films to our audience, as well as welcoming this wide array of exciting guests," EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill commented in a statement. "We've been really privileged to see a tremendous range of very varied work from all over the world this year, and the programming team have done incredible work in selecting the best and most innovative films. The British section is especially diverse; and it's also great in the year of Homecoming to be celebrating Scottish talent with both our McDougall/Mackenzie focus and our new Scottish feature films. Of course as well as the screenings, we'll be rounding out the Festival experience with our live music events, discussion panels, workshops and interviews."
The Closing Night Gala will be the International premiere of Max Mayer's "Adam," starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne. The fest will also welcome back three of its four Patrons, Sir Sean Connery, Tilda Swinton and the recently appointed Seamus McGarvey, in "the Year of Homecoming."
EIFF will showcase 135 features from 23 countries, including: Adam Elliot's "Mary and Max," R.J. Cutler's "The September Issue," David Mackenzie's "Spread," Claire Denis' "35 Shots of Rum," Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience," Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker," and Jose Manuel Cravioto's "The Last Heroes of the Peninsula."
British Galas competing for the UK Film Council-sponsored Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature include seven World premieres: Duncan Ward's "Boogie Woogie," Brian Percival's "A Boy Called Dad," Jan Dunn's "The Calling," Justin Molotnikov's "Crying With Laughter," Lindy Heymann's "Kicks," Avie Lythra's "Mad, Sad and Bad," and Dale Corlett's "Running in Traffic." British Galas also compete for the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film, which also includes: Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank," Duncan Jones' "Moon," Julian Kemp's "My Last Five Girlfriends," and Alexis Don Santos' "Unmade Beds."
Galas will also include: Carlos Cuaron's "Rudo y Cursi," Rebecca Miller's "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," Martin Provost's "Seraphine," Peter Hewitt's "The Maiden Heist," documentary "The Crimson Wing," by Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward, Remi Bezancon's "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," Rowan Woods' "Fragments," the double bill of "Mesrine: Killer Instinct" and "Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1," by Jean-Francois Richet, and Family Gala "The Secret of Kells" by Tomm Moore. All films in the Gala and British Gala sections, as well as the Opening and Closing Galas, are eligible for the Standard Life Audience Award.
Mary Sweeney's "Baraboo," Tom Hall's "Wide Open Spaces," and Mark Devenport's "Big Things" are three of the seven World premieres in Rosebud, the showcase of films by first and second time directors which embody the EIFF's spirit of discovery. Additional World premieres in Rosebud are: "Atetu" (The Athlete) by Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew; Irfan Kamal's "Thanks Maa," and "Waste," by Caroline Paterson and Stuart Davids. "The Maid" by Sebastian Silva, Cary Joji Fukunaga's "Sin Nombre," Yang Ik June's "Breathless," and "Pomegranates and Myrrh," by Najwa Najjar are also amongst the twenty-six Rosebud titles. All Rosebud films are eligible for the Skillset New Directors Award.
All features originating outside of the UK, receiving their World or International premieres at the EIFF will be eligible for the inaugural Best New International Feature Award. Eligible films include: Jonathan auf der Heide's "Van Diemen's Land," Noah Buschel's "The Missing Person," Sarah Watt's "My Year Without Sex," Peter Hanefjord's "Elkland," and from the experimental Black Box section, the World premiere of "Nakba," by Max Francos.
Upholding the EIFF's documentary heritage, this year's Document section presents the World premieres of "Isolation" by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull, and "No Greater Love" by Michael Whyte, both from the UK.
Roger Corman, is the subject of this year's Retrospective. The Retrospective will showcase the work of the maverick cult godfather, including: "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre," "The House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Tomb of Ligeia," and "The Intruder."
For a full list of programming, please visit the festival's website.