The Edinburgh International Film Festival will open and close with British films “God’s Own Country” and “England Is Mine,”and show Netflix’s “Okja,” which recently caused a stir as an official selection in Cannes.
Disney’s “Cars 3” will have its U.K. premiere amid the festival’s 151 feature films, which include titles from U.S. independents and a documentary section.
Having focused on Finland and Mexico in recent years, the international spotlight falls on Poland this year and includes the international premiere of Katarzyna Adamik’s thriller “Amok.”
There is no overriding theme to the EIFF, with the organizers preferring to include a selection that spans U.K., European, U.S., and international films and docs across all genres.
“It’s a large film festival,” said artistic director Mark Adams. “We have the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film, American independents, an international section, and doc awards. It means we can find a reason to include a wide range of films.”
Netflix’s “Okja” was in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year to the consternation of some. The Bong Joon-ho movie stars EIFF honorary patron Tilda Swinton, and Adams says it is a project that should be enjoyed in cinemas as well as on the streaming service. The film will be released in Curzon theaters in Britain on the same day it bows on Netflix.
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“I’m a big fan of Netflix and think people will want to watch this with other people on the big screen. It deserves to be seen on the big screen,” Adams said.
Other festival highlights include “That Good Night,” which was one of the late John Hurt’s last movies, and Terrence Malick’s music-focused “Song to Song,” which stars Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman.
The stars of “God’s Own Country” – Josh O’Connor, Alex Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones, and director Francis Lee – are expected to appear at the festival’s red-carpet opening night. Variety‘s review called the gay romance a “sexy, thoughtful, hopeful film” deserving of an audience beyond the LGBT movie circuit.
Unauthorized Morrissey biopic “England Is Mine,” following The Smiths frontman in his formative years in 1970s Manchester, closes the festival. Stars Jack Lowden, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laurie Kynaston, and director Mark Gill will all be in attendance.
There will be a new venue this year, with the Omni Centre Vue a fresh addition. \
The festival runs from June 21 to July 2.