The Edinburgh International Film Festival should have been gearing up to the mid-June opening of its 74th edition. However after the 2020 cancellation they decided on the next best thing. In partnership with Curzon Home Cinema (CHC) the team announced an online festival - #EdFilmFestAtHome - of the best new cinema for people to enjoy at home.
They scoured the future film release schedules and handpicked a selection of some of the best upcoming films, all likely to figure in the programmes of the best cinemas in the land come the glorious day they are all able to open once more – and hope that this sneak preview would generate excitement and anticipation for their eventual cinema releases.
A brand-new film was presented each day of the 12 day festival, with films playing for between 2 and 12 days. This special, ambitious programme featured such award-winning, inspiring names as Jennifer Baichwal, Marco Bellocchio, Ron Howard, the Dardenne brothers, Tilda Swinton, Alicia Vikander and Maxine Peake. Alongside the films were live Q&As with special guests, hosted on the Festival’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels.
Highlights of the festival programme were:
- Capital in the Twenty First Century [UK premiere], adapted one of the most ground-breaking and powerful books of our time and was an eye-opening journey through wealth and power – and a film festival interview with the director Justin Pemberton can be found here.
- Rebuilding Paradise [UK premiere], was the moving documentary, by Hollywood director Ron Howard, that chronicled the post-fire lives of the residents of Paradise, California, which was 95% razed to the ground by the so-called ‘Camp Fire’ of November 2018 – and the post screening Q&A with Ron Howard can be viewed here.
- A White, White Day, was an Icelandic drama which saw a recently retired policeman becoming obsessed that his recently-deceased wife was having an affair – and the post screening Q&A with director Hlynur Palmason can be viewed here.
- Young Ahmed, from the Belgian filmmaking duo Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne who have the distinction of having won the Palme d'Or twice, was about a Belgian teenager who hatches a plan to kill his teacher after taking to heart an extremist interpretation of the Qu’ran – and their masterclass after the screening can be found here.
- Fanny Lye Deliver’d, directed by Thomas Clay and starring Maxine Peake, was a folk horror/thriller concerning a young woman living a remote, rural, puritan existence with her older husband and young son, until the arrival of a young couple on the run who introduce Fanny Lye to a world of possibilities – and the post screening Q&A with director and cast can be found here.