British cinema is alive andwell and flourishing in Edinburgh.

That's the message from theprogramme of the 59th Edinburgh International Film Festival, launched thismorning.

The fourth Festival under artisticdirector Shane Danielsen has one of the event's strongest line-ups of worldpremieres and star guests in recent years with British cinema stronglyfeatured.

The Festival will open onAugust 17 with the world premiere of actor Richard E Grant'ssemi-autobiographical directorial debut Wah-Wah, a coming of age storyset in Swaziland at the tail end of the British Empire.

Grant, cast members Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson, JulieWalters and Nicholas Hoult are all expected to attend.

The festival will close on August 28 with the worldpremiere of The Business from Football Factory director NickLove.

Danny Dyer stars in thestory of a South London lad seduced by the Costa del Crime lifestyle in 1980sSpain.

The extensive Britishline-up also includes Asylum (David Mackenzie), The Dark (JohnFawcett), The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael (Thomas Clay), GreenStreet (Lexi Alexander), Guy X (Saul Metzstein), Gypo (JanDunn), Kinky Boots (Julian Jarrold), Mirrormask (Dave McKean), OnA Clear Day (Gaby Dellal), Rag Tale (Mary McGuckian), Snuff-Movie(Bernard Rose), Song of Songs (Josh Appignanesi), Stoned(Stephen Woolley) and Tsotsi (Gavin Hood).

International and worldpremieres include the Werner Herzog documentary Grizzly Man, George ARomero's Land of the Dead, documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, JannikJohansen's Morke, Joss Whedon's science-fiction saga Serenity, 36Quai des Orfevres with Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, Thumbsuckerand Carsten Gebhardt's Wochentage (Weekdays).

The festival retrospective is devoted to Michael Powelland will be attended by his widow Thelma Schoonmaker.

Schoonmaker will also be interviewed on stage in one ofthe Festival's Reel Life events that this year includes talks from guests JamesToback, Richard E Grant , Anthony Minghella, veteran designer Ken Adam,cinematographer John Mathieson, Joss Whedon, Albert Maysles and Paul Schraderwho will present a screening of Dominion: Prequel To Exorcist. Britishproducer Tim Bevan will be interviewed for this year's BAFTA Scotland lectureand other guests are set to include Jason Biggs for Guy X and JenniferJason Leigh for Rag Tale.