With 151 features from forty six countries including seventeen world premieres, twelve international premieres, nine European premieres and sixty nine UK premieres, it can only be the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the longest continuously running film festival in the world, once again boasting a wide range of homegrown and international cinema, in-person events and a another genre-flavoured retrospective.
Running from 21st June to 2nd July, tickets go on sale to the general public from 10am on Friday 2nd June and are already available to members of the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the hub of the Festival. Many events will sell out, so it is always advisable to book tickets in advance, though some screenings will have encore performances.
A well-known face from genre cinema from Friday the 13th to Tremors to Flatliners to more recent features such as X-Men: First Class and R.I.P.D., Kevin Bacon will be in Edinburgh to support his wife, The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick, whose directorial debut Story of a Girl will have its world premiere at the Festival on Thursday 22nd.
His face perhaps less familiar, his contribution to cinema is unmistakable, and on Saturday 24th composer David Arnold will be at the Filmhouse to talk about his soundtracks from Stargate and Independence Day to Sherlock, including five James Bond scores from Tomorrow Never Dies to Quantum of Solace.
Lord Théoden of Rohan himself, Bernard Hill will be at the Traverse on the evening of Sunday 25th; the star of The Two Towers and The Return of the King who was also the captain of the Titanic will be celebrated in the HandMade Films retrospective with a screening of Bellman and True on Saturday 24th.
Two strands in particular will be of interest to genre fans, Night Moves, promising dark, thrilling and chilling cinema, and Brave New World: New Directions in Science Fiction Cinema, with big screen outings for classic features from between 1980 and 1985.
Thursday 29th brings Chinese crime thriller Operation Mekong and the highly anticipated Russian superhero epic Guardians, and the strand closes on Friday 30th when a night on the town goes badly wrong in Double Date.
Also screening are two classic animated classics by French director René Laloux, Fantastic Planet on Monday 26th and Gandahar on Wednesday 28th, while sure to land with a bang is Russian alien invasion spectacular Attraction the same day, and space is also explored by Voyager 1 in documentary The Farthest on Thursday 22nd.
Thursday 29th brings The Little Hours from Life After Beth director Jeff Baena, as a handsome fugitive posing as a deaf mute falls between the nuns of the convent and the witches of the coven, and also Japanese ghost story Snow Woman starring and directed by Kiki Sugino.
The cast of Irish medieval thriller Pilgrimage demands attention at the UK premiere on Saturday 24th, with Bernthal, The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage, new Spider-Man Tom Holland and The Hybrid’s John Lynch, as does that of Iraq war drama The Yellow Birds which receives its European premiere on Friday 30th, including Detour’s Tye Sheridan, soon-to-be Han Solo Alden Ehrenreich, The Sixth Sense’s Toni Collette and The Lost Boys’ Jason Patric.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are also screenings of classic films Time Bandits, Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and this is only a fraction of what is on between 21st June and 2nd July with more guests to be confirmed in the run-up to the event.
Remember, many events will sell out, so it is always advisable to book tickets in advance.