Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has today launched the full EIFF Youth programme, which is dedicated to highlighting films, works and stories by, about and for young people. Taking place from 20 – 29 June 2019, EIFF Youth will host an array of cutting-edge film screenings, special events, talks and masterclasses for young audiences at this year’s Festival.

“The Edinburgh International Film Festival provides a platform for young people to engage with the screen industry – as filmmakers, curators and audiences – and this diverse Youth Programme exists to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, creating pathways to develop their passion. With a variety of workshops, masterclasses and seminars, it is encouraging to see PLACE funding being used to offer a unique chance for young people to learn from world-renowned industry experts.”

- Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop

“I’m delighted to see this year’s exciting programme of events and screenings for young people with today’s launch of EIFF Youth – congratulations to the team at the Festival.”

- Karen Gillan, Scottish actor, director and screenwriter and Honorary Patron of Edinburgh International Film Festival.

EIFF Youth is supported by Edinburgh-based independent investment manager, Baillie Gifford and funded through the PLACE programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals. 

Taking over the Cornerstone Centre at St John’s Church on Princes St, the EIFF Youth HQ will offer a programme of filmmaking masterclasses, hands-on workshops, careers advice sessions and industry panels for 15-25 year-olds. This programme is co-designed by EIFF’s Young Programmers and Youth Advisory Group, who curate screenings of interest to young audiences, and host many of EIFF Youth’s events and Q&As.

This project is a unique chance for young people to learn directly from world-renowned industry experts, gain hands-on experience and learn how to make their CVs stand out. Highlights this year include: a VR filmmaking workshop with experimental film collective, The Othvrs; a podcasting masterclass with YouTubers, The Film Look; screen-writing sessions with award-winning writer Cat Hepburn (River City, Hollyoaks); and hands-on workshops on screen combat, horror make up, prop design and sound effects. Costume Designer Nina Ayres will also be at EIFF Youth HQ for a Q&A to discuss her personal career path and work on shows such as Game of ThronesThe Crown, The Last Kingdom and Outlander

With a strong emphasis on promoting career and training opportunities, EIFF Youth will host a Career’s Brunch with industry experts; a Film Course Fair for young people interested in studying film and media; a BAFTA Scotland Screen Audition workshop with Jack Lowden (DunkirkMary Queen of Scots) and Shauna Macdonald (Filth,The Descent); pitching workshops with BBC The Social; and across the Festival, young people can find out how to get into film criticism, acting, animation and more. This year will also see an expanded offer of free workshops for primary and secondary schools, together with Into Film, Scottish Youth Film Festival and Screen Education Edinburgh, giving pupils the opportunity to take their first steps in filmmaking.

“This is a great opportunity for all those interested in film, from masterclasses to workshops and Q+As with professionals. Come along for a great time, great fun, and great chances to have a chat with people who have worked on amazing films!”

-  Murray Kingsbury, Young Programmer

A group of young people listen to a speaker

EIFF’s free lecture series Reel Talks returns, with a programme of 6 events providing background, context and extra colour to the Film Festival’s theme and strands. This includes Stream or Die? The Future of Cinema, an illustrated talk by Dr Zoë Shacklock (University of St Andrews) which examines the future of cinema and television in the Netflix era.

A dedicated Student Critics training programme will also run throughout the Festival. Supported by James & Morag Anderson, and now in its 7th year, the Student Critics programme supports the next generation of film journalists, offering experience, skills and networking opportunities to students with a passion for cinema. This amazing opportunity is open for applicants until 24 May 2019, and full information can be found here.

Our EIFF Youth New Visions short film competition returns this year, with the same dedicated purpose – to discover the newest voices in Scottish film and bring their visions to the global stage. Open to all Scotland-based young filmmakers aged 14-25, the New Visions competition is curated by EIFF’s Youth Advisory Group, who watch all submissions and then create a shortlist of films that will be shown as part of the Festival. 

In partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Edinburgh International Festival, EIFF will present Soundmoves: Music Movies, a special screening of six short films by pupils from Sighthill, Clovenstone and Canal View Primary Schoolswith live musical performance.

To attend EIFF Youth events participants will need to register for a £5 EIFF Youth pass. This pass provides free access to all HQ events in addition to giving access to £5 discounted tickets for many of EIFF films, more information here.

EIFF Youth also offers opportunities for young people from across Scotland to attend our events and develop their interest in cinema and a career within the industry. Bursaries are available to encourage young people from across Scotland to travel to Edinburgh in June. Interested young people or youth groups should contact the Education Team for advice via: education@edfilmfest.org.uk  

“This year’s wide-ranging festival programme builds on the great work EIFF has been doing in developing and inspiring young people who have a passion for cinema. Not only does this programme allow young people to access international cinema, it gives them the fantastic opportunity to learn directly from expert filmmakers from around the world. This is a great example of what the PLACE programme, which was designed to enable festival programmes to be diverse and global, benefitting new participants and future generations, can fund. This jam-packed programme of exciting screenings, special events, talks and masterclassesfits the bill perfectly and I hope as many young people as possible take advantage of the opportunity and get involved.”

- Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Vice Convener of Culture and Communities at City of Edinburgh Council


EIFF Youth passes are available now at edfilmfest.org.uk/eiffyouth


Follow EIFF Youth on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

The 73rd edition of EIFF runs from 19 – 30 June 2019. 

The full programme will be announced on 29 May 2019. Tickets go on sale to EIFF Friends and Filmhouse Members on Wednesday 29 May at 12 noon and on sale to the public on Friday 31 May at 10am.