EIFF Unveils New Initiatives for 60th Edition Celebration

New Documentary Award and Retrospective Introduced - Sir Sean Connery to host special 60th event

For Immediate ReleaseContact Name: Dennis Dembia Rogers & Cowan In Cannes: 06 32 15 26 77 ...

New Documentary Award and Retrospective Introduced - Sir Sean Connery to host special 60th event

For Immediate Release

Contact Name: Dennis Dembia

Rogers & Cowan

In Cannes: 06 32 15 26 77



CANNES, FRANCE – May 22, 2006 – The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), the longest continually running film festival in the world, announced today that an all-new award has been established for international documentary features and also unveiled a specially curated 1970s retrospective to take place during the Festival. The announcement was made in Cannes today by Festival Directors Shane Danielsen (Artistic Director) and Ginnie Atkinson (Managing Director).

Marking its commitment to documentary filmmaking, the EIFF is introducing an award for Best Documentary Feature and will award a substantial cash prize for the award winner.

The new Feature Documentary Award will enable the EIFF to celebrate the very best in the field each year,” said Danielsen. “The Award will recognize a singular and compelling achievement in non-fiction filmmaking and is intended to honor work which reveals a fascination with a particular subject, rendered onscreen with style, truthfulness and integrity to its sources. It celebrates the act of filmmaking for its own sake, divorced from commercial considerations, and driven instead by the desire to represent some aspect of life or experience, and, in so doing, to expand the horizons of its audience.”

EIFF began its life in 1947 as a documentary-based festival established in the wake of World War II. Although the programme is now more diverse, EIFF still has a reputation for programming and championing the best and the new in the documentary genre. In recent years, highlights have included: “The Aristocrats,” “Grizzly Man,” “Gunner Palace,” “Mad Hot Ballroom” (2005), “Peace One Day,” “Riding Giants,” “Super Size Me,” “Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst,” “Capturing the Friedmans,” “The Other Final,” “My Architect,” “Screaming Men” and “Etre et Avoir.”

The EIFF is also programming a special 70s retrospective titled “They Might Be Giants: Other Voices from the New American Cinema.” Confirmed films for the retrospective include; Hal Ashby’s “The Last Detail,” Irvin Kershner’s “Loving;” Larry Cohen’s “God Told Me To;” Arthur Penn’s “Night Moves;” Ivan Dixon’s “The Spook Who Sat By the Door,” Jerry Schatzberg’s “Scarecrow;” Walter Hill’s “The Driver;” and Stuart Rosenberg’s “The Laughing Policeman.”

Talking about  the retrospective, Danielsen commented, “The New American Cinema, spanning the decade from 1969 to 1978, is widely recognized as a period of extraordinary creative and social energy in Hollywood - one which served as an inspiration to young filmmakers around the world. Yet the narrative of film history inclines to the canonical: the handful of distinguished names, the accepted list of major works. And while we would hardly dispute the importance of creators like Martin Scorsese (whose first major retrospective, it should be noted, was held at EIFF) or Francis Ford Coppola or Robert Altman, we now want to draw attention to those writers and directors who, for whatever reason, have been "written out" of history. Whose films - no less adventurous, thrilling or inventive than acknowledged classics like ‘Taxi Driver’ or ‘The Conversation,’ deserve to be reintroduced to a new generation of filmgoers.”

Sir Sean Connery will be lending his full support at the 60th edition of EIFF, attending for the duration of the Festival as the Festival’s patron. Connery will host a special 60th edition party to celebrate the special event on Saturday, August 19th.


EIFF 2006 takes place this year from Monday, August 14th through Sunday, August 27th. Though normally a twelve day event, the Festival has been extended 2 days this year in celebration of its 60th year. The EIFF official 2006 programme will be announced on July 12, 2006.

It was also announced today that Sir Sean Connery will headline the Scottish Parliament’s second Festival of Politics when he takes part in a rare ‘In Conversation’ interview with Presiding Officer George Reid on 23 August during which he will share his views on Scotland, its politics and its place in the world.

Sir Sean is the first in a high-profile line-up of guest speakers to be announced as taking part in the Festival of Politics which will take place at Holyrood between 23 and 26 August.  The Scottish Parliament’s award winning event proved a groundbreaking addition to Edinburgh’s festival season last year, when the inaugural festival attracted almost 3,000 people to 22 events. 


About the Edinburgh International Film Festival:

Started in 1947, the EIFF is one of the true homes of innovative and exciting cinema. For over half-a-century, the Festival has presented some of cinema's most important and exciting moments and played host to the world's greatest filmmakers.

The longest continually running Film Festival in the world, it has come a long way from its birth in the wake of World War II. Its spirit was and is bold and its focus international. EIFF has long been a champion of British film. Notable films which have screened in the last few years include 2006 Academy Award® winner “Tsotsi,”  “Mrs Brown,” “The Full Monty,” “La Vie Revée des Anges,” “Seul Contre Tous,” “Love is the Devil,” “Ratcatcher,” “East is East,” “Run Lola Run,” “Billy Elliot,” “Amores Perros,” “Amélie,” “16 Years of Alcohol,” “Young Adam,” “Infernal Affairs,” “American Splendor,” “Motorcycle Diaries,” “Old Boy” and “Hero".



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