LONDON — Bookended by two high-profile Cannes movies — Todd Haynes’ “Velvet Goldmine” and French sleeper hit “The Dreamlife of Angels” — the 52nd Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival (Aug. 16-30) features a strong selection of new British Cinema, plus world and international preems among its galas and sidebars.
In her sophomore outing as EIFF director, former critic Lizzie Francke has marshaled 12 new Brit pics to platform at the Scottish event, building on the fest’s rep last year for launching local product.
World preems include David Yates’ “Martin Guerre”-like costumer, “The Tichborne Claimant”; Guy Ritchie’s cockney crimer, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”; Simon Shore’s teen comedy, “Get Real”; Genevieve Jolliffe’s transcendental drama, “An Urban Ghost Story”; and U.S. helmer Rose Troche’s London-set relationships comedy, “Bedrooms and Hallways.”
Paul McGuigan’s “The Acid House” trilogy, from stories by Irvine Welsh (“Trainspotting”) will also unpool.
Recut ‘Woop Woop’ leads Gala
The EIFF’s Gala section will be headlined by the first showing of the recut, 97-minute version of Stephan Elliott’s Aussie extravaganza “Welcome to Woop Woop,” first shown at Cannes last year in a version nine minutes longer and immediately with-drawn by distrib Goldwyn.
Other Gala films include Whit Stillman’s “The Last Days of Disco,” Peter Chelsom’s “The Mighty,” David Mamet’s “The Spanish Prisoner,” Des McAnuff’s “Cousin Bette” and German black comedy “The Pharmacist.”
Fest’s 18-title Rosebud strand, devoted to innovative first and second works, balances Yank indies such as “Pi,” “Slam,” “High Art” and “Boyz,” against international fare like Sweden’s “Tic Tac,” Portugal’s “Dribbling Fate,” the Czech “Buttoners,” Denmark’s “Festen,” France’s “Seul contre tous” and Aussie duo “Head On” and “Terra Nova,” the latter a world preem.
“Velvet Goldmine” director Haynes will attend for a Scene By Scene onstage lecture (as well as getting a retro of his work), along with producer Christine Vachon and helmers Terry Gilliam and Atom Egoyan. Subject of the fest’s official retro is TV director Alan Clarke (“Scum”), who died in 1990.
Though still underfunded, with no support from central government sources, Francke adds she’s received major goodwill from the industry, with Fox Searchlight and British distrib/franchise holder Pathe climbing on board as sponsors.
As in previous years, the EIFF will also host the British film market NBX (New British Expo), running Aug. 25-30.