Scotland Hosts the World’s Longest Running Film Festival

Film buffs will head for Scotland in August for the Edinburgh International Film Festival – the world’s oldest continuously running film festival. This is the sixtieth year of the festival and its patron and legendary Scottish film actor Sir Sean Connery will host the sixtieth birthday party. Other top Hollywood stars who have committed to attending the EIFF are Charlize Theron and Sigourney Weaver.

Slated to run from August14th to 27th, the countdown for the EIFF has begun.Tickets have just gone on sale online and this years line-up seems very exciting. The opening film will be Scotland’s ‘Flying Scotsman’ a film that has been ten years in the making. It is based on the extraordinary real-life story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree who broke multiple world records to become world champion on a bike he built in his garage using parts from a washing machine. The film also poignantly depicts Obree’s battle with depression.

EIFF first started in 1947 and has grown in stature over the past sixty years. Some of the notable films screened in the last few years: Mrs Brown, The Full Monty, La Vie Revée des Anges, Seul Contre Tous, Love is the Devil, Ratcatcher, East is East, Run Lola Run, Billy Elliot, Amores Perros, Amelie, 16 Years of Alcohol, Young Adam, Infernal Affairs, American Splendor, Motorcycle Diaries, Old Boy, Hero, The Beat that My Heart Skipped, Green Street, Tsotsi, Thumbsucker, Serenity and Wah-Wah. This year’s closing night film is the classic Odd Man Out, starring James Mason, and dating back to the first festival in 1947.

The current director of the festival Shane Danielsen is very excited and believes this year has the best program in his five year tenure. He had been responsible for screening international gems in the past and organizing landmark retrospectives; in 2002, Kon Ichikawa, in 2003, Henri Georges Cluzot; in 2004 Valerio Zurlini and in 2005 Michael Powell.

In addition, there will be educational screenings for primary and secondary school teachers and students of films that feature in the main festival programme with added curriculum focused seminars, special guest appearances, interviews and workshops.This is a festival few film lovers from all over the world can afford to miss.