Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Danny Boyle takes lead role at Edinburgh film festival

Danny Boyle filming in Suffolk Image copyright PA
Image caption Danny Boyle, on location filming Yesterday, will take part in a Q&A session in Edinburgh

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is topping the bill at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).

The director of hits including Edinburgh-set Shallow Grave and Trainspotting will appear at an "in person" event to discuss his career.

Two screenings of his new musical comedy Yesterday will also take place during the festival which runs from 19-30 June.

It is the 73rd outing of the event.

In total, this year's film festival will screen 121 new features from 42 countries, including 18 feature film world premieres and 78 UK premieres.

The programme for the 2019 EIFF was launched in the Scottish capital by artistic director Mark Adams.

He said: "We are thrilled to be able to finally announce the full programme for this year's festival.

"We are really delighted to be able to stage such a rich and diverse group of films that really do offer something for everybody."

Image copyright Boyz in the Wood
Image caption Boyz in the Wood is a story of hip hop-loving farmers in the Scottish Highlands

The festival will open with Boyz in the Wood, described as a "great new voice in Scottish cinema", and draws to a close with Mrs Lowry & Son.

The closing night's film, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall, tells the story of the relationship between the artist L.S. Lowry and his controlling mother.

A special screening of the Pixar animation Toy Story 4 will also be shown on Sunday 16 June, five days ahead of its release in UK cinemas and three days before the festival officially opens.

Image copyright Disney/Pixar
Image caption A screening of the new Toy Story 4 will take place five days before its UK release

Popular free outdoor screenings will return to St Andrew Square ahead of the festival's official launch, with classics such as Groundhog Day, When Harry Met Sally and The Greatest Showman among the movies on show.

The festival promises a European flavour this year, with a particular emphasis on Spain, as it aims to reflect the "changing face" of society and culture.

Female features

It will explore the country's rich cinematic history through retrospectives and a celebration of the work of writer, actor and film-maker Iciar Bollain.

Almost 43% of all the feature films and short films in the programme have a female director, while some others have a predominantly female crew.

One of the documentaries in the line-up is This Changes Everything, which examines the problems faced by women film-makers and features interviews with Hollywood stars Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson, Reese Witherspoon and Cate Blanchett.

Other documentaries include Memory: The Origins of Alien, an examination of the making of Alien, and Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk, narrated by former golf caddie Bill Murray.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The festival will show the international premiere of Helen Hunt's new thriller I See You

British documentary film-maker Nick Broomfield will also discuss his career at an in-person event.

The European Perspectives strand of the programme, will celebrate the importance of European cinema and includes films from France, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Germany, North Macedonia, Greece, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belgium, Georgia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland.

Meanwhile, the American Dreams section offers audiences a provocative group of films from across the pond, including the world premiere of Liberte: A Call to Spy and the international premiere of the dark mystery I See You, starring Helen Hunt.

Edinburgh films

There will also be a Nicolas Cage extravaganza featuring three of his films in 3D and an inaugural strand of special culinary screenings and events.

Mr Adams said he is "thrilled" to be opening with the "raucous" Boyz in the Wood and ending with Mrs Lowry & Son.

He welcomed Boyle's forthcoming attendance at the EIFF, saying: "He really wanted to make it (to Edinburgh) because he started his film-making career with Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, which are very much Edinburgh films.

"It's great that Danny is here, he's such a wonderful talker and a great advocate for cinema."

Image copyright Yesterday/Working Title Films/Danny Boyle
Image caption Yesterday also features singer Ed Sheeran

He said the EIFF, and other festivals, have been working hard to showcase the work of women film-makers but added it can only reflect what the industry has to offer.

Mr Adams said: "We are also delighted to be able to present a series of striking new films from women directors and film-making teams from around the world.

"In particular this year we have an amazing selection of genre films from women film-makers, ranging from Gothic romance and Western chills through to science fiction and old-fashioned horror.

"All this set alongside a tribute to French film-maker Agnes Varda, a women who has inspired generations of directors."

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