EIFF 2021's launch video

2021 is a year of change for EIFF. Alongside our in-person events in Edinburgh and beyond, combining indoor and outdoor cinema experiences, we will be uniting audiences across the UK with online festival screenings and events in a brand new hybrid format that encourages a collective cinema experience.  

After an uncertain year, with friends and family living apart in isolation, the 74th EIFF will focus on bringing communities together again. The full programme, featuring films, Q&As and special events, will be revealed and tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 28 July, with more exciting announcements on outdoor programmes, opening and closing films made in due course.

If you would like to stay updated on all the latest Festival news for 2021, then make sure you are subscribed to updates from EIFF. When subscribing, ensure you tick ‘Information about Edinburgh International Film Festival’ to receive EIFF news directly. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Subscribe to the EIFF Mailing List

Ken Hay, CEO of Edinburgh International Film Festival, said: “We all love film and we’re delighted that EIFF is back in 2021, focusing on bringing communities together and celebrating the communal cinema experience as widely and inclusively as possible. The Festival will play a leading role in hailing the return to cinema-going and champion Scottish and UK films to audiences and industry around the world. We also believe that in this year particularly, that EIFF has a strong role to play in highlighting key social issues and will seek to deliver a programme that inspires curiosity and action in our audiences.” 

A large popcorn box sits next to the Forth, with the bridges in the background. Two young women stand in the box and two women stand either side smiling happily.
Film Fest on the Forth will take place at Port Edgar Marina, South Queensferry

To mark the return of Edinburgh's world-renowned, lively festival season, Film Fest on the Forth will take place at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry on 31 July and 1 August. In the shadow of the Forth's iconic bridges (and hopefully in some sunshine) enjoy a themed programme of outdoor waterside screenings, supported by Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.

Meanwhile, back in the beating heart of Edinburgh, Film Fest in the City will return for outdoor film screenings from 19 - 25 August, inviting you to join us in St Andrew Square once more for this exciting Festival year. This event is delivered in partnership with Essential Edinburgh.

Based at Edinburgh's Filmhouse, as well as a network of cinemas across Scotland, we will share in the return of cinema as a joyous communal celebration. Programmed by a team of regular and guest programmers, our innovative film programme will be host to new features, documentaries, animations, experimental work and shorts for a diverse audience to enjoy.

Film selections will seek opportunities to both find new ways to bring people together around unique cultural experiences and address the huge social changes and climate issues that face the planet after more than a year in lockdown, bringing the insights of global thought leaders to Festival audiences and championing social change and action. 

We are also thrilled that audiences across the UK will be able to experience EIFF from their homes once more, as Filmhouse at Home widens access to the Festival programme and additional events online.

Crowds gather in St Andrew Square to watch a film on a large screen, sitting on the grass
Film Fest in the City will take place in St Andrew Square

EIFF will open accreditation for press and industry screenings following the programme launch.  

EIFF Talent Lab 2021 adopts a virtual format running across two weekends in August (13-15 & 20-21). The Lab will support writers, directors and producers from Scotland, the UK and internationally, with a programme designed to help them take next steps towards their first feature film. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival is also teaming up with Filmarket Hub to launch a new talent showcase, to be announced on 28 May. 



This year EIFF Youth will gather in Edinburgh over the middle weekend of the Festival, and online over an extended weekend, to take part in workshops, access career advice, look at environmental issues in cinema production, meet and interview filmmakers.