The 65th EIFF...

The blueprint for the 2011 Festival is here. Want to know more...?

On Monday 7 February, the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Artistic Advisors Mark Cousins and Lynda Myles delivered ‘EIFF65: Our Suggestions': the first fruits of their rethink of the Festival. It has been an exciting few days here at Filmhouse, HQ of the Festival.

The Blueprint came in the form of note from Mark and Lynda to 'Dear EIFF Colleagues and Friends'. It outlines a radical evolution of the form and content of the Festival, and reinvigorates the Festival as a primary cultural destination and territory for audiences in Edinburgh, Scotland, the UK and internationally. The Blueprint names the first tranche of Guest Curators, invited to dream what the Festival will and can be, to use film and the fabric of one of the world's most beautiful and potent cities as a canvas, or screen.

Here are some of Mark and Lynda’s remarks, and the first eight named Curators.

“In December, with snow in our hair, we agreed to suggest ideas forthe 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival. What an honour. The EIFF changed film culture. We’re proud to pitch in.

“Our suggestions try to make Edinburgh the most distinctive film fest in the world, possibly the most spirited and brainiest. For the last month we’ve been working behind the scenes trying to get the film and culture world to join in this rethink.

“This is a big rethink in the EIFF’s history. We’ve called it All That Heaven Allows.

“We feel - sincerely - that Edinburgh should lead the world in exploring what film curation is, how it creates mood, audience, loyalty, appetite, expectation, taste, knowledge and joy. It has, at times, including recently, done a lot of this, and Filmhouse does it all year round.

"So, in our 65th year, to get the juices going we have asked great people in the world of culture – film, music, art, design, etc. – to join our experiment and pitch in ideas for themes, days, moments and

“Some of them will come to the Festival, but what we want are their brains, their taste, their spirit - not their celebrity or any of that secondary mould.“We are thrilled to tell you who we have so far. There are more to come."


“Star of Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Fearless; director; surrealist; founder of Green Porno. Passionate advocate of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini.


“Director of Elephant, My Own Private Idaho, Gerry, Good Will Hunting, Paranoid Park, Psycho, The Last Days, Milk.

SARA DRIVER AND JIM JARMUSCH "Sara is an independent filmmaker, whose You are Not I, based on a Paul Bolwes story, we’re hoping to show. She teaches and produces and writes the films of Jim Jarmusch, her partner. Jarmusch helped create the new American cinema with the film Stranger than Paradise. Down by Law was – well, you know how great it was, how attuned to inner life. Jarmusch helped bring the grace and pace of filmmakers like Hou Hsiao Hsien to world attention.


“Acclaimed Scottish author of The Sopranos, The Man Who Walks and Morvern Caller.


The most acclaimed British song-writer and musician of his generation; a poetic innovator, rapper, chronicler, storyteller and shape-shifter. His Original Pirate Material changed British music. His second single Dry Your Eyes Mate went to number one in the UK charts. He’s just written a film, which he’ll direct.


“Mysterious object at Noon, Blissfully Yours, Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century and Uncle Boonmee. He’s already as significant to the history of cinema as Jean Cocteau and King Hu. No filmmaker seems so good at making us feel part of the circle of life. It’s his reverie which moves us.


“Brilliant composer of the scores of Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream and Pi, former lead singer of Pop Will Eat Itself.


"Legendary musicologist and cultural critic. His 1975 book Mystery Train drew a mental map of American literature and mythology and placed music on that map. He’s a historian of post-punk, Bob Dylan and Situationism – his whole life is a derive – and is a central figure at the Telluride Film Festival.
“These are some of the people. There are more. Each will suggest a tone or series of films or dawn walk or theme. The effect could be a bit like the surrealist 'exquisite corpse' technique – one person draws a line, then folds over the paper, then the next continues the line without knowing what went before."

I’m sure that you will have many questions. Please do ask them of me. I’m going to be getting a lot I’m sure; as they come in, I’ll be answering them, and then posting both the question and the answer below.

What are the guest curators doing?

Now that they have agreed to participate, they are in dialogue with Mark and Lynda about what it is they might bring. Films, music, art, writing, mood: nothing is off the table at this point.

When will you be announcing the programme?

Necessarily – and excitingly – in a piecemeal fashion. As we get exciting news – more Guest Curators, films confirmed, acts booked – we’ll release in this format.

When is the next big announcement?

Probably around 1 March.

Who can I contact for press queries?

Me, for now. We are going through the last stages of appointing a PR agency, and will announce that as soon as we know.

Are there premieres in this Festival?

Certainly. Edinburgh has a strong reputation for playing the best of new work, and this won't change. I don’t know how many at this stage – my team and I are modeling this. But if you come to Edinburgh – for work, play or both – because you want to see lots and lots of the best new work, then book your 15 -26 June accommodation now. Our team is fanned out across the Festivals: we’ve just gotten back from Park City, Rotterdam and Gothenburg, and we’re off to Berlin.

Should I send films to Mark Cousins and Lynda Myles?

No – please send submissions and ideas for the Festival to our team here at the Filmhouse, in the usual fashion.

Is there a priority bookings system?

Yes. No tickets are on sale at the minute, but every Filmhouse (home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival) Member will be offered an exclusive 48 hour window in mid May, once the programme is announced. Filmhouse membership costs £30, is benefit packed, and existing Members get access to this window for no charge.

That’s it for now. Please do ask me questions. Thanks for your interest in the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

James Mullighan

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