Throwback Thursday: David Cairns, Filmmaker & Attendee

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David Cairns is a local filmmaker and long-time attendee of Edinburgh International Film Festival. We asked him to share some of his favourite experiences and memories from EIFF throughout the years. So, without further ado, here's David with his personal Top 5 Favourite EIFF ephemera!

1. My EIFF Pass Ribbons
A pass and a couple of ribbons. Most of my film festival ribbons are in a dreadful state. People actually say, "What happened to your pass?" When they see the condition of it. "I chew it" is the answer. This may have started out as a nervous reaction to screenings of my own films, but there's something itchy-yet-satisfying about the nylon threads between one's teeth.

2. The Pass Itself - EIFF 2013
The pass itself shows me and the papier mache head I made for the film Natan, screened last year. I used this photo for all the festivals I visited, but most of them cropped Bernard out. Perhaps they were anxious that staff would be confused upon meeting me and finding that I didn't have a second, papery head. Kudos to EIFF for keeping him in the frame.

3. The 1991 Catalogue
This was the first year I had a film screening, a short called The Three Hunchbacks. It got a special mention at the Closing Galas as the Chaplin Awards were handed out, but I wasn't there as I couldn't afford a ticket. Was this the bginning of my habit of missing all the great moments in my life? I plan to have an alibi for my own death.

I had forgotten that in my first appearance in a Festival brochure, my name is misspelled as "David Cairus," but I'm told that as the organisation has, during its long history, paid host to works by luminaries such as "Frederico Fillini," I shouldn't be offended, I'm in excellent company. 

4. The EIFF 1982 Catalogue
As far as I recall this was the first festival I attended. I saw Blade Runner -- a good way to kick things off. I think I knew about it because of TV coverage, which makes me wonder whether a fourteen-year-old me of today would ever learn that the Film Fest existed?

5. The EIFF 2012 Catalogue
This was the first catalogue I wrote copy for – a watershed moment.

The sensible people become critics first, then filmmakers. I did it the wrong way round: The anti-Truffaut.


Head over to our Facebook page to see the photo album of all David's memories!

Now it's your turn! We want to hear about your favourite EIFF memories. Shoot us a Tweet, post on our Facebook wall, or email us at with your favourite EIFF memories. The more visual, the better!

We'll be featuring the best entries throughout May -- so get cracking and get snapping!

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