Edinburgh International FF Report
The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday 1st July, after almost two weeks of exciting industry events and pubic screenings. Birds Eye View returned to EIFF with two very special events; our Pitch & Connect session and Early Doors… Networking Drinks. Sonia Zadurian gives us the highlights.
At Pitch & Connect, delegates had the chance to seek advice from professionals Wendy Bevan-Mogg (Talent Manager – National – Creative England), Tracey Brimm (Producer, Forward Films), Anna Seifert-Speck (Senior Talent Executive – Central – Creative England) and Leslie Finlay (Development Officer, Creative Scotland). Whilst the Early Doors…Networking Drinks, presented in partnership with Women in Film and Television and Creative Scotland, provided delegates with a valuable opportunity to network with others in the industry. These enjoyable events were a resounding success, with BEV receiving high praise from delegates regarding the usefulness of both sessions.
After managing our industry events, BEV had the opportunity to view some of the fantastic films that EIFF had to offer. Showcasing films from 52 countries, the festival demonstrated a clear commitment to presenting international film to a wider British audience. Setting itself apart from the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, EIFF also included a variety of films directed by women. From shorts to feature length fiction and documentary films, the festival exhibited a range of cutting edge filmmaking from women around the world.
Abigail Child’s The Suburban Trilogy (2011) and Maja Borg’s Future My Love (2012) experiment with the documentary medium in very different ways, but are both extremely engaging and thought-provoking. Child’s film consists of three short parts which are distinct in form, yet fundamentally connected by themes such as national identity and memory. Whilst Future My Love blends a series of discussions on alternatives to monetary capitalism, with the poetry and visual lyricism of a personal relationship.
Another highlight of the festival was Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s Flying Blind (2012), starring Helen McCrory and Najib Oudghiri. This erotic thriller follows Frankie (McCrory), a successful forty-something currently working in the aerospace industry. After becoming romantically involved with Kahil (Oudghiri), a French/Algerian student twenty years her junior, Frankie’s career comes under threat when colleagues begin to question Kahil’s motives. Flying Blind continuously wrenches the viewer back and forth, from distrusting the validity of the relationship to believing in it wholeheartedly. A master class in audience manipulation, Flying Blind is a well-executed and engaging thriller which is extremely relevant to the current political climate.
A favourite of both BEV and EIFF was One Mile Away (2012), which saw director Penny Woolcock walk away with The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. This powerful documentary sees Woolcock follow members from Birmingham’s rival gangs as they try to create a ceasefire between their respective sides, including hip-hop interludes which echo the creative frustrations of an abandoned generation. After observing gang violence in the community, Woolcock continues to be present throughout the 2011 riots. Capturing and deconstructing these events, the film offers an alternative analysis to that of the meaningless destruction propagated by the media at the time.
After an extremely successful EIFF, which saw a female director awarded a prestigious prize, BEV waves goodbye for another year. But before we do, we have one final gem for you in the form of Disney Pixar’s Brave… Watch this space!
Check back soon for Sonia’s review of Brave, Disney Pixar’s forthcoming summer release. In the meantime, you can enjoy the trailer here.