Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is to open with Aftersun, from Edinburgh-born director Charlotte Wells.
Wells is expected to attend the opening night gala screening in-person, taking place at the Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre, alongside cast members Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio.
Cannes Critics’ Week award winner Aftersun is the directorial debut of Wells. It unspools around a woman reflecting on her relationship with her father by watching home video footage of a holiday they took 20 years before.
It is a UK-US co-production, produced by the UK’s Amy Jackson for Unified Theory and Adele Romanski, Barry Jenkins and Mark Ceryak for US outfit Pastel. It was financed by BBC Film, BFI (awarding National Lottery funding) and Screen Scotland, in association with Tango. It was developed with BBC Film.
The title has already sold in multiple territories, including Mubi for UK-Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Latin America, Austria, Turkey and India, plus A24 for North America.
For Wells, EIFF is a particularly significant festival. “As a teenager, I spent just about all the money I had saved each summer on tickets to EIFF, sitting on the floor at Fountainbridge in hour-long queues for box office opening, leafing through the weighty program which offered my first exposure to independent and international cinema,” she said.
EIFF runs from August 12-20, in a return to the August slot for the festival’s first time since 2008, and the first edition under the leadership of creative director Kristy Matheson.
As already announced, the festival is to close with Kogonada’s After Yang. The full programme will be announced on July 20.