Edinburgh 2019: Programme highlights

The full programme for this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival has been revealed, bolstering 18 world premieres and 72 UK premieres of films brought to the Scottish capital from countries all over. Now in its 73rd year, the world’s longest continuously running film festival is back and ready to take film lovers on a voyage of discovery.

Kicking off with Film Fest in the City and two previews (one for Brightburn and the other for Toy Story 4, further cementing EIFF’s relationship with Disney), the festival will start proper on 19 June with the European premiere of Boyz in the Wood, a horror-comedy that picked up decent reviews at the SXSW festival in March. The festival will then run for 10 days, with a mix of new, old and experimental cinema to keep people of all tastes intrigued.

Highlights include the UK premiere of Uglydolls, an animated family film that takes this place as this year’s Family Gala; Dundee-set film Schemers; Balance, Not Symmetry, featuring the music of Biffy Clyro; The Art of Self Defense, starring Jessie Eisenberg and Imogen Poots; Danny Boyle’s Beatles film Yesterday; The Dead Don’t Die, fresh from opening the Cannes Film Festival; and a special free screening event of all six episodes of Amazon’s new series Good Omens.

The strands synonymous with the festival are all back, particularly Night Moves, American Dreams and European Perspectives, which is no more important than in the current political climate with the uncertainty regarding the implications of Brexit and our ties with Europe. Documentaries will also be celebrated, with Memory: The Origins of Alien and This Changes Everything, featuring interviews with prominent actresses discussing female filmmaking, the two stand-outs.

Things will then wrap up on 30 June with the world premiere of Mrs Lowry & Son, starring Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave as L.S. Lowry and his mother respectively. With its tempestuous years now in the rearview mirror, and its focus firmly on the new and daring, the Edinburgh International Film Festival has re-established itself with stable footing – and pleasingly so.

The full EIFF programme can be viewed at edfilmfest.org.uk.

Jamie Neish | @JamieNeish