As planning for EIFF 2022 is in full swing, we thought it was only right to introduce you to some of the people hard at work and making things happen. We have a thriving social calendar of community events and projects at EIFF, as well as at Filmhouse and Belmont Filmhouse! Heading up the team as Head of Community Engagement & Learning, Yvonne Gordon plays a central role in maintaining our community presence. We spoke to Yvonne about her work, her love for cinema and the all-important question: who would play her in a film?
Tell us about what made you take up your role at Filmhouse, Belmont Filmhouse and EIFF?
This is my dream job. I discovered Filmhouse when I was still at school and it literally changed my life! It opened my world up the wonders of cinema and I went on to study film at University, then work in television as a director and producer. I took up my role in 2018 and have enjoyed working with the team to build up our exciting and engaging programmes for schools, young people and the wider communities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
We know you’re busy working away on plans for the cinemas and EIFF. Are there any exclusives you can tell us about?
I'm really proud of the work we do at the cinemas and EIFF. We work hard to identify and remove barriers that might stop people from participating and enjoying films with us. Some plans are confidential for the moment, but we are planning to bring back Senior Selections, our popular film screenings for over-60s, and to improve access for other audiences too - including members of the deaf and hard of hearing communities, and people with learning disabilities. In Aberdeen, we are collaborating with Four Pillars to create our very first Queer Film Club and to welcome more members of the LGBTQIA+ community to Belmont Filmhouse.
If a film was to be made about your life, who would write, direct and star in?
I'd want to go for women every time - so an animated film, made by the ground-breaking animator Lotte Reiniger, written by Greta Gerwig and voiced by our very own Karen Gillan (she'd have to do double duty, as I have an identical twin sister!)
[DID YOU KNOW? Karen Gillan is a Scottish actress and filmmaker, born in Inverness and best known for playing Amy Pond in Doctor Who. She is also a Patron of Edinburgh International Film Festival, supporting EIFF Youth’s The Young and the Wild programme in 2018 and premiering her short film Coward at EIFF in 2015.]
What’s your favourite film, that you could watch over and over? And why?
My favourite film is It's a Wonderful Life. I know it's seen as a sentimental Christmas staple, but I can watch it any time. I love the story, the lead performance from Jimmy Stewart and the wonderful message - as it celebrates the importance of the "little guy" and the significance we have to everyone around us.