EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams explores the French threads running through this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, from cult icons and famous faces to new stars, from dazzling 80s cinema to space age kitsch.

There’s a noticeable Gallic flavour to this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival that spreads across exciting new films, a selection of French classics from the 1980s and a series of top-notch guests from across channel.

Great French cinema has long been a cinematic staple of EIFF programming, so it is a real pleasure to punctuate our 70th edition with some striking films. The schedule is punctuated with performances from acting legends including Gerard Depardieu, Juliette Binoche, Francois Cluzet and Christophe Lambert.

There will also be visits to Edinburgh by Dominique Pinon, Denis Lavant and Jean-Paul Rappeneau.

French acting legend Gerard Depardieu headlines two brand new films – Guillaume Nicoloux’s striking The End, and co-directors Benoit Delpine and Gustave Kerven’s comedy wine-fuelled road-trip Saint Amour, while another acting legend Francois Cluzet (from hit film Intouchables) stars in the charming rural comedy-drama Irreplaceable.

Daniel Auteil headlines Vincent Garenq’s gripping legal drama Kalinka, while cult star Benoit Magimel takes a lead role in Frederic Schoendoerffer’s high-octane car chase thriller Fast Convoy. Jean-Paul Rappeneau will attend the screening of his new drama Families, which stars Mathieu Amalric and Karin Viard, while Juliette Binoche stars in Isabel Coixet’s evocative French-Spanish-Bulgarian period drama Endless Night.

There's also family fun in the form of Yann Samuel’s colourful Gallic version of The Canterville Ghost, with Oscar Wilde’s much-loved story set in a French castle.

One of this year’s major retrospectives celebrates the unforgettable cinematic style of ‘Cinema du look’, featuring iconic films from the 80s directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, Luc Besson and Leos Carax. The stunning selection of films features Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, Betty Blue, The Big Blue, Diva, Le Femme Nikita, Mauvais Sang and Subway.

Subway star Christophe Lambert also takes the lead role in Russell Mulcahy’s cult fantasy adventure Highlander, which has a special 30th anniversary screening at EIFF.

Diva star Dominique Pinon (who also features in hit TV series Outlander) will attend EIFF to take part in a prestigious In Person event to talk about his lengthy career, while cult icon Denis Lavant attends the screening of Fiona Tan’s drama History’s Future in which he has memorable role.

Other French-linked EIFF screenings include a rare outing for the 70mm version of Jacques Tati’s 1967 comedy PlayTime; Michel Deville’s 1981 Patricia Highsmith adaptation Deep Water; family fun with the 1961 film Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece; and Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim’s 1968 France-Italy fantasy romp Barbarella.

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About Mark Adams

Mark Adams is Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Most recently he was Chief Film Critic for respected film trade paper Screen International and was also film critic for The Sunday Mirror in the UK. He attends most of the key international film festivals around the world and as a film journalist and reviewer for more than 25 years he has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International, as well as many national newspapers in the UK. He has also worked extensively in the film industry - he was Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London for six years; was Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and has been programmed for film festivals around the world as well as acting as a consultant for various organisations.


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