Last month saw the release of the full lineup for the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival. In his second year as artistic director, Chris Fujiwara will be hoping to build on the success of 2012’s resurgent incarnation of the festival. Whilst boasting eye-catching heavyweights such as opening night drama Breathe In, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and the long-awaiting sequel to Monster Inc., Monsters University, the festival has always prided itself on nurturing new talent and this year’s selection looks no different. The Michael Powell Award, dedicated to promoting and celebrating British cinema, is back once again and looking stronger than ever. Out of the eleven films in competition, two initially stand out.
The first is Sundance hit Leviathan, a striking, ambitious documentary about an Atlantic fishing trawler that’s been described as an enthralling visual journey that’s both hallucinatory and disorientating, yet gorgeously abstract. Joining Leviathan as an early front runner for the award is Paul Wright’s For Those in Peril. Having already received praise following its limited ‘invite only’ screenings at Cannes, Wright’s folkloric film about love and loss in a small Scottish fishing community should be a hot ticket at this year’s event. Acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho was recently announced as the head of the jury for this year’s International Feature Film prize, and it looks like he’ll have his work cut out for him.
Amongst an intriguing line-up of films is Alexey Fedorchenko’s The Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari – his follow-up to the critically revered Silent Souls – Elias Giannakakis’ Greek tragedy about maternal affections, Joy, and Mohammad Shirvani’s Iranian head-scratcher Fat Shaker. However, the recent stellar output of Romanian cinema over the last ten years makes Tudor Giurgiu’s Of Snails and Men one of the most promising prospects in a truly titillating line-up. Regular CineVue readers will already be familiar with certain films featuring at this year’s festival with Upstream Color (review), Frances Ha (review) and Stories We Tell already garnishing passionate reviews from there appearances at other major international film festivals.
With 146 films from 53 countries (including 14 world premières, 6 International premiers and 10 European premiers) and fascinating programme strands such as ‘Films on Film’ (featuring Mark Cousins’ well-received documentary The Story of Children and Film and Sophie Huber’s Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction), ‘Night Movies’ (a regular slot of late night cult movies) and focuses on both Korean and Swedish cinema, there’s certainly plenty to whet the appetite of this year’s audiences.
The 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place from 19-30 June, 2013. For more of our EIFF 2013 coverage, simply follow this link.