Event set to drop its competition

The Edinburgh Film Festival is set to nix its competition and move away from the traditional fest model.

On Tuesday Gavin Miller, CEO of the newly formed Center for the Moving Image, the fest’s parent company, unveiled what he called a “radical new approach to the image and structure” of Edinburgh.

He has hired James Mullighan to produce the event and work on a blueprint for change from the creative team, which includes Mark Cousins and Tilda Swinton.

In the new role, Mullighan and his team will be taking over the role of artistic director, but in a different structure. There will be no position called artistic director at the fest going forward.

Mullighan is creative director at Shooting People, a network of indie filmmakers in Blighty and the U.S. that has 38,000 members. Cousins has developed a concept with the theme of “All That Heaven Allows,” which may see the fest drop prizes and competitions and focus on inviting teams of guest curators to program their own selection of pics or contribute to special themed days.

“We live in a very fragmented and competitive space and so it becomes much more important to continually refresh, revitalize and reinvent,” Miller said in a statement. “I’m both confident and excited with this blueprint that Mark Cousins has shaped, which will deliver a unique and distinctive festival.”

EFF has been under scrutiny as of recent to appoint someone in charge of the artistic director functions as the 65th edition is skedded to kick off June 15.

Previous a.d. Hannah McGill stepped down in late August after three years, while the fest’s chairman, producer Iain Smith, ankled in October.

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