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The wait is finally over! The full programme for the 2011 Edinburgh International Film Festival has been announced and it's set to be a year of firsts.

The 65th EIFF programme is an enlightening mix of special events, great new discoveries and returning favourites, with 47 UK and International Premieres and 22 Documentary Premieres from luminaries such as James Marsh.

There will be some 90 features and a host of shorts screening and over 50 events taking place at the Festival, which will open with the previously announced Opening Night Gala, The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, on Wednesday 15 June.

This year's programme is navigable by 10 key strands: Conflict | Reportage, Documentary - International and UK, Experimental, Features - International and UK, Nokia Shorts Weekender, Outside the Box, Perspectives, and Reel Science. 

The International Features strand runs the gamut from Norwegian monster moc-doc Troll Hunter to Irish directorial debut and family drama My Brothers from Paul Fraser and indie teen sex-comedy Meet Monica Velour starring Kim Cattrall.

As previously announced, EIFF will host the UK Premiere of Scottish filmmaker David Mackenzie's Perfect Sense starring our own Ewan MacGregor, Ewen Bremner, and Eva Green. David Hare returns to directing after 20 years with Page Eight, a political thriller as British as its cast, which includes Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon alongside Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.

This year's retrospectives strand is dedicated to Perspectives. Programmed by our guest curators. They include British director Derek Jarman's The Angelic Conversation and The Last of England selected by Gus Van Sant, and a selection of films curated by Alan Warner, Béla Tarr, Jim Jarmusch and partner Sara Driver, and Sophie Fiennes, along with suggestions from Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The line-up includes the title of the festival's theme: Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows, and an array of great films from the curators themselves.

For even more perspectives, our brand new event in partnership with MUBI titled Project: New Cinephilia promises to bring together critics, filmmakers, and audiences in order to spark debate and discussion about how we write about cinema. The day-long symposium invites writers, curators, and cinema fans to participate in interactive sessions that explore the current landscape of film criticism, appreciation, and evaluation.

EIFF first started out as a documentary festival, and the tradition lives on with a host of documentary premieres in partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest, including Dominic Allan's Calvet and Mika Kaurismaki's Mama Africa.

Short films are brought to the fore this year with the Nokia Shorts Weekender, which includes masterclasses with award-winning filmmakers, cross-platform collaboration, and competitions. Lucy Cooke tells you how to become an internet sensation and Chris Shephard discusses the move from short film to features in our exclusive weekender events.

We also take you Outside the Box and into a new viewing experience at art venue Inspace with a schedule from New Media Scotland bursting with one-off screenings including Pixar's The Incredibles and the seminal Fellini classic 8 1/2.

Allied to a host of special events, exciting new venues, and a packed programme, this year marks a transition for the world’s longest continually running film festival.

Tickets for all films and events go on sale at midday on Friday 20 May. Filmhouse Members can enjoy priority booking on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 May. Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone on 0131 623 8030 or in person at Filmhouse. We look forward to welcoming you to the Festival.

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  • Daniel Pacey Wednesday 18th May, 2011 / 12:49 GMT

    a year of firsts indeed... this will be the first year that I will have attended the EIFF when there will have been no multibuy ticket offers on launch :-(

    having said that, I am pleased to see quite a lot of free-ticketed events :-)
  • M G Thursday 19th May, 2011 / 19:17 GMT

    I must say my biggest disappointment is that there is such a dramatic reduction in the number of new films showing, from around 110 last year to fewer than 60 this year - almost a 50% drop :( I know there isn't as much funding this year, but I don't think many of us were expecting such a spectacular fall.
  • Nicola Balkind Friday 20th May, 2011 / 11:48 GMT

    Hi Daniel, Michael,

    Thank you for your comments, and we hope you will take advantage of our selection of events. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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