Speaking at last year's Edinburgh premiere of All Or Nothing, Mike Leigh declared that he could think of no better event in Britain to launch a new film.

His words might yet come to be seen as the guiding ethos of this year's Festival where Jim Sheridan's warm-hearted family drama In America, Lone Scherfig's bittersweet romance Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself and David Mackenzie's dark literary adaptation Young Adam have all emerged as strong critical and popular favourites.

Some of these titles may seem like old news on the Festival circuit - In America, for instance, was first seen at Toronto a year ago but is the front runner for the audience prize. All of these titles will only enter UK distribution in the next two months, their prospects bolstered by the reaction in Edinburgh.

Offering a mixture of enthusiastic local audiences and a concentration of national and international media, Edinburgh has become a significant launching pad where distributors can gain a fully rounded perception of how a title will play in the UK.

Warm reviews and a strong audience reaction will have raised expectations of Richard Jobson's semi-autobiographical directorial debut 16 Years Of Alcohol and confirmed the arthouse potential of Belgian director Lucas Belvaux's acclaimed trilogy Cavale, Un Couple Epatant and Apres La Vie.

The delighted response to Spanish comedy Torremolinos 73 and the moving Song For A Raggy Boy could be sufficiently persuasive to secure them UK distribution.

The Festival may have suffered the blow of losing Clint Eastwood's Mystic River and is facing tough competition from other UK events but, in the second year under artistic director Shane Danielsen, it has still managed to field world premieres of UK titles Solid Air, Afterlife, Four Eyes and One For The Road and maintain its status as a Festival of Discovery.

Local press have lamented the absence of big name guests (a global festival complaint this year) which seems a little unfair to an event that will have welcomed Oliver Stone, Geraldine Chaplin, Aidan Quinn, Paul Giamatti, Clive Owen, Peter Mullan, Francois Ozon, the cast of Camp and countless others over its twelve-day existence.