Edinburgh International Film Festival to showcase Hyena thriller

Peter Ferdinando Peter Ferdinando is the lead in Hyena

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This year's Edinburgh International Film Festival is to open with the world premiere of a British crime thriller.

The first night of the festival on 18 June will be the first chance for any audience to watch Hyena, ahead of its release later this year.

The film reunites director Gerard Johnson with actor Peter Ferdinando after they worked together on Tony - which premiered at the 2009 festival.

In its 68th year, the festival will run from 18 to 29 June.

Prize money

Chris Fujiwara, the festival's artistic director, said: "We're excited to be opening the festival with the world premiere of Hyena.

"It's a powerful and beautifully directed thriller that clearly establishes director Gerard Johnson as a major talent in British film-making.

"It's also an exceptional example of the kind of film that our festival has traditionally supported: a work in which a director of artistic integrity takes a vigorous and imaginative approach to the renewal of a film genre."

Hyena will join eight other British films, six of which are world premieres, competing for the Michael Powell Award at the festival, including Castles In The Sky starring Eddie Izzard.

The prize money for this year's award has been increased to £20,000.

Celebrating the centenary of writer Dylan Thomas, the festival will also host the world premiere of Set Fire To The Stars, a drama following Thomas battling his demons in 1950s New York.

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