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Edinburgh bows Nokia Shorts Weekender

Competish will deliver $10,000 top prize

LONDON — The Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival has struck a pact with cell-phone provider Nokia, which will see the fest stage a three-day shorts event during the fest.

The Nokia Shorts Weekender, which will run June 23-25 and is set to be programmed by the EIFF team, will be Scotland’s largest short pic event.

It will launch a competish in which eight budding filmmakers will have a chance to have their work screened at the fest. Directors can submit an idea for a short at and the eight best submissions will be awarded a $5,000 budget to make a pic with one winner eventually securing a $10,000 prize.

Additionally, this year’s edition will see two training workshops delivered by BAFTA and independent film network Shooting People.

The partnership follows the appointment of Graeme Davis as head of commercial development at the Center for the Moving Image, Scotland’s national hub, which oversees EIFF, the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Film Guild.

Davis, who joins from specialist consultancy Sponsorship Consulting, will head up the team responsible for marketing, PR and communications, as well as partnership activity for the fest.

EIFF has been undergoing some radical changes over the past year, following the departure of its previous artistic director Hannah McGill in August and its chairman, producer Iain Smith, in October. The 65-year-old fest is set to nix its competition and move away from the traditional fest model.

Former music bizzer and arts journo James Mullighan is producing the event and has been working on a blueprint for change for the creative team, with the assistance of Tilda Swinton, and former directors Mark Cousins and Lynda Myles.

Last week, some Brit media outlets reported that Swinton, Cousins and Myles would no longer be involved in this year’s fest leading to speculation that the fest’s radical revamp was in turmoil.

However, all three’s involvement in the fest were not contractual or official and merely voluntary contributions that could naturally come to an end at any point.

Swinton herself has been a long-standing patron of the EIFF.

Full details of the official EIFF programme will launch in May.

This year’s fest runs from June 15-26.

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