×

Edinburgh fest goes free-form

Its 65th edition allows guest curators to experiment

The organizers of the Edinburgh Film Festival stopped by Berlin to reveal their radical plans for the 65th-anniversary edition in June.

Rather than a single artistic director, guest curators will be given free rein to arrange screenings, music, art events and other happenings. Among the curators are Isabella Rossellini, Gus Van Sant, Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, as well as “Black Swan” composer Clint Mansell, composer Greil Marcus, author Alan Warner and musician Mike Skinner.

Edinburgh, billed as the world’s longest continually running film fest, is sweeping away all its established sections and prizes for a one-off celebration challenging preconceptions about what fests should be.

It will still showcase original and innovative new filmmaking but, in an effort to focus on quality rather than quantity, there will be fewer premieres than in recent years.

This follows a shake-up in management and a significant cut in the fest’s budget after the end of its three-year funding deal with the now-defunct U.K. Film Council.

The fest is primarily funded by Creative Scotland, formed last year from the merger of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council. Creative Scotland co-hosted a Berlinale reception Monday.

Former artistic director Hannah McGill, who ankled after last year’s event, has not been replaced. Instead, James Mullighan, who previously ran the indie filmmaker network Shooting People, will produce the event, following a blueprint drawn up by artistic advisers Mark Cousins, Tilda Swinton and Lynda Myles.

According to Cousins, “the crammed, gridlocked, moribund world of film festivals” needs updating, with a less formal, more playful approach, and less emphasis on sponsorship, industry events and red carpets.

To indicate their ambition to experiment, the organizers are naming the fest’s transformation after Douglas Sirk’s 1955 melodrama about challenging conventions and breaking taboos, “All That Heaven Allows.”

Fest will move from August to June 15-26, freeing up a number of unconventional venues around Edinburgh.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

  • 'Weathering With You' Heads for $100

    'Weathering With You' Heads for $100 Million Box Office Haul

    Makoto Shinkai’s animated romantic drama “Weathering with You” passed the JPY10 billion ($94 million) mark in Japan on Wednesday, according to an announcement by distributor Toho. This makes it the tenth-highest earning Japanese film of all time. Since its release on July 19 on 448 screens in 359 complexes, the film has racked up 7.52 million admissions. The [...]

  • Burn review

    Film Review: 'Burn'

    There’s more smoke than fire in “Burn,” a reasonably promising single-location thriller that never quite settles on what it wants to be — a straight-up suspense piece, twisty black comedy, oddball character study, etc. “All the above” would be a tall but not impossible order to pull off. The problem is that writer-director Mike Gan’s [...]

  • Rounds

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'Rounds'

    Five features (plus a scattering of documentaries) into his career, leading Bulgarian writer-director Stephan Komandarev has resisted cultivating a clear thematic or stylistic throughline to his oeuvre. Yet his latest, the overnight police patchwork “Rounds,” feels surprisingly close to quintessential, pulling as it does plot points, structural models and tonal switches from his previous films [...]

  • Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Overcomer

    Film Review: 'Overcomer'

    No matter the setting or circumstances, the solution to every dilemma found in Christian Evangelical films is getting closer to God. That certainly holds true with regards to “Overcomer,” the latest bit of bigscreen proselytizing by writer-director-star Alex Kendrick (“War Room,” “Courageous”). The story of a high school basketball coach who’s forced to take over [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Inside the Spider-Man Split: Finger-Pointing and Executive Endgames

    Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, will go [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content