The 55thEdinburgh International Film Festival, the last under the tenure of departingfestival director Lizzie Francke, will once again have a strong British showingwith world premieres for Udayan Prasad's Gabriel And Me written by Billy Elliot's Lee Hall, as well as for Film Four's TheWarrior and twodigitally-shot BBC features directed by Danny Boyle.
The event, whichruns August 12-26, will be book-ended by Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie as the opening night film and MikeNichols' Wit, starringEmma Thompson, as the closing offering.
The festival'sGala section includes screenings of several films that have won acclaim thisyear at other international festivals. They include: Michael Apted's Enigma; John Cameron Mitchell's HedwigAnd The Angry Inch; theCoen brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There; Wisit Sasanatieng's Tears Of The Black Tiger; Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World; Scott McGhee and David Siegel's TheDeep End; and RomanCoppola's CQ. Thelatter's pop promos and commercials are also the subject of a festivalretrospective - as is Werner Herzog's documentary output.
The pair of Boyle digital video productions - Strumpet (pictured above) and Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise - were both shot by Dogme 95 cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle from scripts by Jim Cartwright, the writer behind Mark Herman's Little Voice. They join numerous other high-profile UKfilms at Edinburgh this year including Lucky Break, Peter Cattaneo's follow up to TheFull Monty; FilmFour's Crush, starring Andie MacDowell; DomRotheroe's My Brother Tom, Kirsten Sheridan's Disco Pigs, Joel Hopkins' Jump Tomorrow; and Andrew Kotting's This FilthyEarth.
Among theinternational selections, Catherine Breillat's A Ma Soeur (Fat Girl) receives a UK premiere, as do ClaireDenis' Trouble Every Day, Todd Solondz's Storytelling, and Tsai Ming-Liang's What Time Is It There' Other Cannes favourites receiving theirUK premieres are Atanarjuat The Fast Runner and Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land.
The Late NightRomps section includes Japanese shocker Battle Royale and a new print of Todd Browning's 1932classic Freaks.
Film talentconfirmed to be heading up to the Scottish capital for the festival's Reel Lifeinterview section includes Sean Penn, whose three directorial efforts, TheIndian Runner, TheCrossing Guard and ThePledge are allscreening; Ameliedirector Jean-Pierre Jeunet;Henry Bean, whose Sundance winner TheBeliever will be seenfor the first time in Britain at Edinburgh; acclaimed cinematographer RobbyMueller; celebrated composer Angelo Badalamenti; and Mexican director GuillermoDel Toro, whose Spanish Civil War-set The Devil's Backbone receives a UK premiere. Currently intalks to attend are Witdirector Mike Nichols and Crush star Andie MacDowell.