From the EIFF director

Dear friends, colleagues and film fans everywhere...

 As we continue the exciting process of building and evolving the EIFF in its 65th year, there has been a swirl of speculation about the refreshed format, the role of our artistic advisors, and progress made in the run up to the Festival. I’d like to take this opportunity to distinguish fact from fiction, and to assure everyone that we are well on track to deliver a fantastic festival experience for all attending in June.

Artistic advisors: We have been extremely lucky to have Mark Cousins, Lynda Myles and Tilda Swinton involved to varying degrees in an advisory capacity. Mark has led this process and, as planned, a few months ago he handed over a collective creative blueprint of ideas to me and the team. This inspiring document now forms the foundation of the Festival format and programme that we are working hard to deliver this year.

It has been exhilarating working with Mark, Lynda and Tilda, and to have their input - given on a voluntary basis and borne out of their genuine love and passion for the Festival. It was never planned for them to be involved in the ongoing running of the Festival, as has been misreported in some media, nor were they ever appointed as curators which we attempted to make clear on several occasions.

With the blueprint in place, they have now stepped back to let us get on with the task of producing the Festival. We remain grateful for their contribution and of course Tilda remains a valued Festival Patron.

Progress: This is a year of change: it is taking time, and we of course understand that there is a good deal of curiosity about how these changes will manifest themselves in June. The Festival will unveil its full programme in mid May and in advance of the launch, we will soon be unveiling some exciting snippets from the programme.

Curators: Part of the Festival’s new creative blueprint proposed working with a range of people from the arts and creative industries on the programme, and this has become one of the new strands of this year’s Festival. We have already announced who some of these people are, and we are currently working with them to create some distinctive screenings and experiences for audiences this year. I want to reiterate that they are all giving up their own time to make a voluntary contribution to the festival, the nature of each person’s contribution will be different, and they should not be presumed to be coming to the Festival. We are extremely grateful to all who have offered their time and their creativity, and we look forward to unveiling the details at our programme launch in May.

In short, we are getting there. We are excited and confident about delivering a Festival that promises to be a fresh, invigorated celebration of film in the city of Edinburgh in a few months time. I hope this answers some of your questions and I look forward to seeing you in June.

James Mullighan and the EIFF team

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