Scottish filmmaking celebrated at the 70th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to unveil an exciting selection of Scottish titles as part of the 2016 Festival programme. Featuring an eclectic mix of features, shorts, documentaries, animations, and exclusive events, EIFF will celebrate its landmark 70th Edition by showcasing the very best in filmmaking and talent from across the country.

As previously announced, two homegrown films will bookend the festival, with a raft of acclaimed titles screened between them. The Opening Night Gala is the World Premiere of Jason Connery’s enthralling drama TOMMY’S HONOUR, starring Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Jack Lowden (War and Peace) as the pioneering father and son duo Old Tom and Young Tommy Morris, while the World Premiere of Gillies Mackinnon’s WHISKY GALORE!, featuring Gregor Fisher (Love Actually), James Cosmo (Braveheart), Kevin Guthrie (Sunset Song), Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), and Eddie Izzard (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) will close the Festival.

Artistic Director Mark Adams said: “We are delighted to once again cast the spotlight on great Scottish talent at this year’s festival. It speaks so much about the breadth and variety of filmmakers, craftspeople and performers that our selection of projects featuring local talent shines so brightly.

”Natalie Usher, Director of Film & Media at Creative Scotland, said "EIFF is a key event in Scotland's cultural calendar, offering audiences inspirational, world class cinema. With debut features like Graham Maley's thriller PALE STAR and Mike Day's breathtaking documentary THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, screening alongside Jason Connery's powerfully moving TOMMY’S HONOUR and wickedly entertaining animation from the duo Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, EIFF is recognising and celebrating the wealth and depth of home-grown filmmaking talent supported by Creative Scotland."

EIFF audiences can look forward to MOON DOGS, the feature film debut from renowned television director Philip John (Downton Abbey, Outlander). Produced by Kathy Spiers, a former EIFF Talent Lab participant, the stylish coming-of-age tale follows the misadventures of two teenage boys (charismatic youngsters Jack Perry-Jones and Christy O’Donnell) on a road trip with Caitlin (Tara Lee) and features a wealth of Scottish talent and locations. Meanwhile, Steven Lewis Simpson’s NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG will also take audiences on a journey - this time down the winding roads of Native American country, anchored by a startling performance by 97-year-old Lakota elder Chief Dave Bald Eagle.

Scottish actor Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) shines in the comic family drama STICKY NOTES alongside Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez and Hollywood heavyweight Ray Liotta as a struggling dancer striving to hit the big time in Los Angeles. Fellow Scot Angus Macfadyen, best known for taking on the role of Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, will bring his directorial debut MACBETH UNHINGED to the Festival. The pulsating black and white modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy brings a fresh perspective to the timeless classic.

Emmy Award-winning Dundee native Brian Cox will be in attendance for acclaimed comedy THE CARER, in which he stars alongside Anna Chancellor and Emilia Fox, and for brooding western FORSAKEN with Donald and Kiefer Sutherland. Ayrshire-born director Graeme Maley will also be taking two brand new features to the festival, with screenings of his Nordic film noir A REYKJAVIK PORNO, and the hypnotic Icelandic thriller PALE STAR. Scottish star Dougray Scott appears in the apocalyptic thriller THE REZORT, the latest feature from director Steve Barker who’s previous films, Outpost and Outpost: The Black Sun, were filmed in Scotland.

Animation fans can enjoy Five Animated Years of Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, as the Festival presents the first major retrospective of the inventive, wickedly entertaining work of the world-renowned pair of Scottish animators. Notable for collaborating on the likes of The Making of Longbird and Monkey Love Experiments; their work has been recognised at festivals across the globe, each garnering an EIFF McLaren Award for Best British Animation in recent years.

EIFF Talent Lab alumni will be making their mark on this year’s Festival as producer Irene Gurtubai and Edinburgh-based filmmaker Ben Sharrock bring the director’s deadpan delight PIKADERO to local audiences. Feted throughout the world, the absurdist comedy romance has won a string of awards to date. Additionally, fellow Edinburgh-based director and Talent Lab participant Mike Day will present his stunning documentary feature THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, which sheds a light on the impact of the modern life on the Faro Islands. The streets of Sharrock and Day’s home city are featured prominently in Giuseppe Tornatore’s profoundly moving contemplation of the nature of love and loss THE CORRESPONDENCE, while another Edinburgh based filmmaker Icíar Bollaín will bring new feature THE OLIVE TREE, written by Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty, to Festival screens.

EIFF will also play host to two bona fide modern Scottish classics, with a special screening confirmed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s instantly iconic shot of cinematic adrenaline, TRAINSPOTTING, and a World Premiere screening of the newly 4K restored HIGHLANDER, attended by the film’s star Clancy Brown.

Other highlights include the return to EIFF of renowned artist-filmmaker Henry Coombes, set to showcase debut feature SEAT IN SHADOW, an arresting study of an eccentric artist who doubles as a Jung-inspired psychotherapist, as well as a preview screenings of the first three episodes of acclaimed BBC Alba Gaelic television show BANNAN with cast and filmmakers in attendance, and the World Premiere of Niall McCann’s documentary LOST IN FRANCE that charts the rise and success of Glasgow-based independent record label, Chemical Underground. LOST IN FRANCE will also play an integral part of Sound + Vision, a two-day film and music event that will take place at Summerhall, as part of Film Fest in the City, over the first weekend of the Festival and will feature outdoor screenings alongside live sets from a collective of local bands.

This year’s Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap series will focus on the theme of Women. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch Lucie Rachel’s perceptive WHERE WE ARE NOW, Lindsay Brown’s SWAN, Wilma Smith’s THE REVIEW and Natalia Kouneli’s SILENT LAUGHS.

The Shorts Programme boasts a raft of Scottish titles, including STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA by Tracey Fearnehough and Holger Mohaupt; TRANSIT ZONE by Frederik Subei; and eight shorts from the Scottish Film Talent Network – a consortium made up of the festival’s parent body, Centre for the Moving Image, Hopscotch Films and DigiCult. Shorts screening as part of the Festival include: CROWMAN by Duncan Nicoll, DAVE by Garry J Marshall and Chris Watson, GRIMM STREET by Siri Rodnes, NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Cat Bruce, SPORES by Richard and Frances Poet, THE RAT KING by Pavel Shepan, MEET ME BY THE WATER by Raisah Ahmed, and David Cairns’ THE NORTHLEACH HORROR. Finally, Scottish titles in the animation section include Ross Hogg and Duncan Cowles’ ISABELLA; and a trio of titles from Edinburgh College of Art students: ILLUSIONS by Dominica Harrison, THE LAST DAY from Muqing Shu, and Robert Duncan’s RECORD/RECORD.

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