The2006 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will open with the worldpremiere of The Flying Scotsman. Thefilm tells the true story of champion cyclist Graeme Obreeand marks the feature directorial debut of Douglas MacKinnon. Jonny Lee Miller plays Obree andthe cast also includes Brian Cox, Billy Boyd and Laura Fraser.

The60th Festival runs Aug 14 to 27 and has an expanded programme of screenings andevents. The Festival's patron Sean Connery will host a birthday party for theevent on Aug 19 and has also agreed to take part in the annual BAFTA Scotlandinterview with EIFF director Shane Danielsen.

Conneryheads a high-profile guest list that also includes Sigourney Weaver, Steven Soderbergh, Charlize Theron, Kevin Smith, Iain Smith and Arthur Penn. Soderbergh will take a break from the European filming ofOcean's 13 to attend the event, whilst Bonnie And Clyde director Arthur Pennwill represent his 1975 private eye classic NightMovies, one of two dozen titles in a retrospective on 1970s American cinemadesigned to challenge the orthodoxy that the decade was dominated by Spielberg,Scorsese and the Movie Brat generation.

TheFestival programme showcases a strong selection of Sundance, Berlin and Cannes titles including JonathanDayton and Valerie Faris' Little Miss Sunshine, Patrick Stettne's The Night Listener, Bong Joon-ho's The Host,Wang Chao's LuxuryCar, Denis Dercourt's La Tourneuse de pages, SzabolcsHajdu's WhitePalms, Stefan Krohmer's Summer 04, Laurie Collyer's Sherrybaby and Hur Jin-ho's April Snow.

TheBritish Gala section, which comprises the titles competing for the MichaelPowell Award, eschews many of the significant films scheduled for imminent UKrelease (Red Road, The History Boys,Venus, Starter For Ten) in favour of lower-profile, lower-budget titles suchas the Paul Andrew Williams thriller LondonTo Brighton, the James Marquand western Dead Man's Cards with Tom Bell, the Col Spector comedy SomeoneElse and the Rankin and Chris Cottamcollaboration Lives Of The Saints.

TheFestival's other retrospective is dedicated to director Mitchell Leisen and includes more than a dozen titles spanning hismost productive years and running from DeathTakes A Holiday (1934) with Fredric March to No Man Of Her Own (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck.

TheFestival has previously announced that it will close with Carol Reed's 1946classic Odd Man Out.

Thismarks the fifth and final programme under Artistic Director Shane Danielsen and the search for his replacement continues withthe second round of interviews taking place this week.

Forthe full festival line-up including the Rosebud and Document sections, visitthe EIFF website.


The Flying Scotsman (Dir: Douglas MacKinnon)


Odd Man Out (1946) (Dir: Carol Reed)


Brothers Of The Head Dir: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe

Cargo Dir: Clive Gordon

Colour Me Kubrick Dir: Brian W Cook

Dead Man's Cards Dir: James Marquand

Driving Lessons Dir: Jeremy Brock

The Killing Of John Lennon Dir: Andrew Piddington

Life AndLyrics Dir:Richard Laxton

Lives of The Saints Dir: Rankin, Chris Cottam

London To Brighton Dir: Paul Andrew Williams

Shoot TheMessengerDir: Ngozi Onwurah

Snow Cake Dir: Marc Evans

Someone Else Dir: Col Spector


Art School Confidential Dir: Terry Zwigoff

Clerks II Dir: Kevin Smith

Hoodwinked Dir: Cory Edwards

Little Miss Sunshine Dir: Jonathan Dayton,Valerie Faris

The Night Listener Dir: Patrick Stettner

The Oh In Ohio Dir: Billy Kent

Stephanie Daley Dir: Hilary Brougher

The Treatment Dir: Oren Rudavsky

Rock the Bells Dir: Casey Suchan, Denis Henry Hennelly


Ants InThe Mouth (Hormigas en la boca) Dir: Mariano Barroso

April Snow (Wae Chool) Dir: HurJin-ho

Change of Address (Changement d'adresse) Dir: Emmanuel Mouret

Family Law (Derecho de familia) Dir: Daniel Burman

The Host (Guimul) Dir: Bong Joon-ho

House of Sand (Casa de areia) Dir: Andrucha Waddington

It's Winter(Zemestan) Dir: Rafi Pitts

Jindabyne Dir:Ray Lawrence

Labour Equals Freedom (Delo Osvobaja) Dir: DamjanKozole

Luxury Car (Voiture de luxe) Dir: Wang Chao

Naboer (Next Door) Dir: Pal Sletaune

Next Door (Naboer) Dir: Pal Sletaune

One Fine Day (Du Jour au Lendemain) Dir: Phillipele Guay

Page Turner (Tourneuse de pages) Dir: Denis Dercourt

Palimpsest Dir: KonradNiewolski

The Right of the Weakest(La Raison du plus faible) Dir: Lucas Belvaux

Shut up and Shoot Me Dir: Steen Agro

Skin (Pele) Dir: Fernando Vendrell

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) Dir: Lou Ye

To Get to Heaven, FirstYou Have to Die (Bihisht faqat baroi murdagon)Dir: Djamshed Usmonov

Tuning Dir: Igor Sterk

Water Dir: DeepaMehta

White Palms (Feher Tenyer) Dir: SzabolcsHajdu

Wrestling Grounds (L'Appel des arenes) Dir: CheikhNdiaye