Putting the Edinburgh back into EIFF

What a year it's been for us at the Scottish Documentary Institute, premiering three features internationally, starting with Maja Borg's Future My Love (93') world premiere at last year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) which set it off on a great journey around the world, to more than ten countries so far, and counting.

Then we launched Pablo's Winter (76') by Screen Academy's graduate Chico Pereira (shot by Julian Schwanitz) in Leipzig, Amsterdam and Glasgow before opening MoMA's Documentary Fortnight  (Museum of Modern Art, NY) in February this year. It has continued on its international journey, picking up multiple awards in the process.

Since November 2012, I Am Breathing (73') by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon has been making the rounds in over 14 countries after its IDFA competition world premiere and is now launching at EIFF on 20 June, on the eve of our big Global Screening Day in aid of MND awareness. You can book tickets here or arrange home or community screenings (outside of Edinburgh) here.

But that's not everything by a long mile at this year's EIFF. Edinburgh filmmakers are on fire! EIFF will also host the UK premieres of these fine films (click on the titles for ticket links):

The ever prolific cosmopolitan/Edinburgher Mark Cousins will present his new film: A Story Of Children and Film (104' ), recently premiered at Cannes to rave reviews; it examines the way films have viewed children, drawing from 53 films from around the world.

David Cairns' first feature Natan (66'), co-directed & produced by Paul Duane, also screens at EIFF – a film about Bernard Natan (1886-1942) a forgotten giant of French cinema, once owner of the Pathe studios. 

Matt Hulse's  Dummy Jim (87') is in the Michael Powell Competition this year. A ten-year project and labour of love which came to conclusion this year, with a world premiere at Rotterdam FF no less. The film is inspired by deaf cyclist James Duthie's account of a three month journey in 1951 called "I cycled into the Arctic Circle" and  is part documentary, part fiction, part "visual poetry" – some people might want to call it a "documentary hybrid". (Matt left Edinburgh last year, but we decided to count him in this tally anyway.) 

Furthermore, EIFF will present The Great Hip Hop Hoax (88') by Jeanie Finlay. She hails from Nottingham but assures me her Dad's family is from Edinburgh.  I remember the pitch at The Edinburgh Pitch in 2009 well. A truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story about two "Californian" rappers called Silibil n'Brains from Dundee. This is a project whose genesis we have watched closely, and which also features the work of two excellent BAFTA award-winning animation talents from Edinburgh, Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson. Will's new short Sweetie and Sunshine, produced by Noe Mendelle, is also in the programme. Yes, it features the eponymous Mr and Mrs Panda from The Edinburgh Zoo. 

Another film had the support of yet another alumna of the Edinburgh College of Art, Vicky Mohieddeen who has been working in Beijing for a number of years, curating many film screenings under the Electric Shadows banner. It is the first Western-North Korean fiction film: Comrade Kim goes Flying "realised with the support of a bottle of whisky, humour, tolerance and girl power", as it says in the credits. The film is making waves at many festivals worldwide and I personally can't wait to see this. 

I could just stop there, but I would be remiss not to mention our annual Bridging the Gap showcase, celebrating ten years this year. We all can't believe it's been that long! We're proud to feature four new films by Genevieve Bicknell about the power of food, Maurice O'Brien about a buffalo farmer in Aberdeenshire, Valerie Mellon about an inorganic scientist, and Felipe Bustos Sierra about an act of Scottish defiance during the coup of Chile. Tickets for the public screening on 22 June are sold out but there is an industry screening on Wednesday, 19 June.
We hope you come and celebrate documentary in Edinburgh this June. We'll be there, starting with The Edinburgh Pitch on 18 June and finishing with a conversation between Alan Berliner and Victor Kossakovsky on 24 June, followed by a master class with Victor on 25 June.