Film-spotter

Just like a sports fan who has an illogical fondness for a team and keeps an eye on their progress, I do much the same with EIFF films.

Well, it should be no surprise that we root for the films shown at EIFF but there is an almost trainspotter-esque obsession with the progress of our titles.

As you'll know, many of the films shown at the Fest arrive without distribution deals and, indeed, sometimes never make it to a British cinema. It's why film fests are so important, of course. They not only launch careers, but sometimes give a flick its only public screening.

And 'industry buzz' (eurgh!) isn't always accurate when predicting which movies will be successful. A great example is Wristcutters: A Love Story which screened at EIFF 2006.

Goran Dukic's debut film was a Sundance smash, a huge hit with the EIFF audience and critics and, was labelled so hot right now by industry insiders. Result: disappeared for almost two years before making a brief theatrical appearance.

Great film, none the less.

So do I fear that any of 2009's line-up won't get the exposure they deserve? Well, I hope audiences everywhere get a chance to see Jonathan Auf Der Heide's Van Diemen's Land, although I suspect they won't. For me, this was an absolute Festival favourite but it's not easy to sell a dark, grisly convict tale with Gaelic dialogue to multiplexes.

Of the British flicks, the juice is good on local production Crying With Laughter. It wasn't perfect, but Stephen McCole's performance is worth the admission price alone.

Of course, I'll keep you up to date monthly with the progress of Festival films. In fact, you can read the first round-up here.

Well, there's no use being an anorak unless I can tell someone, is there?

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Colan has a background in film criticism, and was drafted in to bring you great content on this very website.

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