Film Retrospectives, Strands and More

Film - cinema crowd

This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival will return to in-person screenings and events indoors across the city centre at Filmhouse Cinema, Cameo Picturehouse, Everyman Edinburgh at the St James Quarter and Vue Edinburgh Omni and outdoors with Film Fest in the City in St Andrew Square, in a rich programme celebrating the collective cinema experience. 

The programme of 90 new feature films is structured across 5 strands with 10 films in competition as part of the new Powell and Pressburger Award. In 2022, EIFF reimagines its major award, The Michael Powell Award for Best British feature with a renewed commitment to internationalism by presenting The Powell & Pressburger Award for Best Feature Film. This competition of ten films is shared equally between UK and international talents and honours imagination and creativity in filmmaking.

EIFF 2022 Festival Theme

In 1972, the Edinburgh International Film Festival presented the first global film event entirely dedicated to the cinematic achievements of female directors, curated by Claire Johnston, Lynda Myles, and Laura Mulvey.  Honouring the spirit of this original programme provocation, EIFF’s 2022 Theme will acknowledge the multiplicity and variety of feminisms in contemporary society across our entire programme with a focus on: contemporary directorial works, two large-scale retrospectives, training, and targeted professional programmes.

EIFF 2022 Film Strands

Each strand in the festival programme will have a headline film which addresses the strand’s main theme and as well as its own retrospective title. This year’s strands and taglines are:

  • The Conversation: Cinema to get you talking 

  • The Chamber: Quality arthouse for the culturally curious 

  • Heartbreakers: Friends, family, lovers, and cheaters 

  • Night Moves: Cult, music, late night thrills 

  • Postcards From the Edge: Bold visions to expand horizons 

A soon-to-be-announced Opening Gala and a Central Gala will join Closing Night Gala of filmmaker Kogonada’s After Yang starring Colin Farrell to bookend the festival. Kogonada has also curated Carte Blanche, a beautiful selection of films, offering audiences a special insight into some of the films that have inspired After Yang.


  • Exploring this year’s festival theme is a major retrospective of the work of performer and film director Kinuyo Tanaka (1909 - 1977) who played an essential role in the history of Japanese cinema. Moving gracefully across genres, these six new 4K restorations of films from Tanaka as a director offer a unique perspective on a nation grappling with the aftermath of war, social upheaval, and modernisation: all seen through the lives of its female citizens. First conceived by Lili Hinstin and presented at the Lumière Festival in 2021, this retrospective Social Studies: Six Films by Tanaka Kinyou is programmed with notes by Kristy Matheson and presented here in partnership with the BFI Southbank, Glasgow Film Theatre, Bristol Watershed and Janus Films.
  • Reframing the Gaze: Experiments in Women’s Filmmaking, 1972 to Now is a retrospective programme which responds to the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Women’s Event held at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is also inspired by the broader landscape of the festival during the 1970s, particularly in its attention to feminist film theory and avant-garde.

Film Fest in the City 

Returns to St Andrew Square Gardens from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August with a free programme of new and classic cinematic favourites which reflect the wider EIFF themes, delivered in partnership with Essential Edinburgh and supported by Innis & Gunn, EIFF’s Official Beer Partner, our travel partners LNER and supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Stories 2022. 

Industry Events

This year’s industry events will take place in-person from 16th to 19th August with a programme designed to engage and energise by creating meaningful unexpected bridgeways across cultural platforms and practitioners. Press screenings and events will take place throughout the festival with accreditation opening next week via the film festival website. Please check EIFF social media channels for more information. 

Kristy Matheson, Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, said: 

I would like to thank all my programming and festival production colleagues for their smarts, dedication and generosity in preparing our 2022 edition.  To the filmmakers who’ve trusted us with their stories, and our many collaborators for their time and creative input into the festival, a very big thanks. We’ve crafted a programme that we’re enormously proud of and we can’t wait to share it with audiences this summer in Edinburgh.

The full festival programme will be announced on Wednesday 20th July with tickets on sale to Filmhouse Members and Screen Saver Passholders from 12pm on the 20th and on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday 22nd July.  

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