Edinburgh International Film Festival

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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.

EIFF 2014 will the Festival's 68th Edition and is scheduled to run betewen 18–29 June 2014. 156 films from 47 different countries are expected to be screened, including 11 world premieres.[4]

The 2014 edition will feature activity from the McLaren 2014 Centenary Celebrations, a Scotland-wide project celebrating the centenary of the trailblazing artist, animator, musician Norman McLaren. Born in Stirling, Scotland McLaren spent much of his time in Canada where he helped to set up the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). McLaren 2014 is led by EIFF's Animation Programmer Iain Gardner and will take place at venues throughout Scotland from April 2014.

Origin and scope[edit]

The first EIFF, a programme of documentaries, was presented by the Edinburgh Film Guild alongside the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), 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. From 2008, the film festival moved from its traditional August slot to June.[5]

The EIFF 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.


Principal venues are the Edinburgh Filmhouse, EIFF's traditional and current home which hosts an impressive Café Bar space and 3 cinemas; 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[edit]

  • Gala - New international feature film productions, having a well-known actor or director
  • British Gala - New UK feature film productions, having a well-known British actor or director
  • Directors' Showcase - Highlighting films from accomplished directors
  • Night Moves - Horror and action films, either from countries whose mainstream films are given little worldwide release, or from independent film-makers
  • Document - Documentaries, whether feature-length or short
  • Retrospective - Films by an important director that many people may not have seen on the cinema screen
  • Black Box - Abstract and artistic films
  • In Person - Live on-stage interviews with important figures from the cinema industry
  • Under The Radar - Risk-taking films (introduced in 2008 in response to John Waters attending the festival)

2014 EIFF Awards[edit]

  • 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[edit]