Editor's Blog: First Week Flashback

The first week of the Festival is almost over, but there's plenty to see in week two. Our Web Editor, Nicola Balkind reflects on some highlights of the week – and what to look out for.

This week has been all about the documentaries for me – and something approaching documentary. The first is A House in Berlin (screening a second time today, Sunday 22 June at 3.45pm) Cynthia Beatt's retelling of the story of a woman whose unexpected inheritance (can you guess what it is?) sets her life on a fresh path. It's a human story with a lot of heart.

My Name is Salt takes you on a spectacular journey to Gujerat, India where, for 8 months of the year, thousands of Indian families camp out and farm salt from the desert soil. It's gorgeous, raw storytelling through observational camera and sound, including some gorgeous landscapes and great squishing, slopping and scraping. The film screens Monday 23 June and Tuesday 24 June. Catch it while you can.

On a similar note, Life May Be (Monday 23 June) is observational storytelling of a different kind. The series of film letters exchanged between Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari tell tales of exile, the freedom or folly of how we think about our bodies, and all other manner of sins. Striking images and clever words make this a mesmerising watch.

I Believe in Unicorns is another personal favourite of the Festival so far. Leah Meyerhoff is an auteur in the making, with whimsy like Michel Gondry's and art direction to rival Sofia Copolla's – but framed with an eye of her own. This character piece may explore fantasy worlds, but it is its strong sense of personal drama which really shines through. Watch it on Monday 23 June and Saturday 29 June.

In my list of things I'm looking forward to in the coming days, you'll find Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (2pm today, Sunday 22 June), Club Sandwich (today, Sunday 22 June at 6.40pm), The Skeleton Twins starring SNL alum Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader (tonight at 8.45pm), Hellion starring Aaron Paul (24 & 25 June) and last but not least, The Empire Podcast recording on Tuesday 24 June.

What have been your picks of the Fest so far?

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Nicola is a writer & EIFF Web Editor.

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