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Diving Deeper: Encounters and Curate-It Unveil Unseen Aspects of EIFF 2023


The Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is being hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival this year, has released additional details today regarding the participants in its Encounters discussion sessions.

Additionally, they have provided information about this year’s Curate-It programme.


A chance for audiences to go deeper into the EIFF programme in a series of creative conversations with filmmakers and guests. Taking the talk beyond the post-screening Q&A, the Festival is proud to present a series of generous and expansive discussions about some of the ideas bubbling away in this year’s film selection. Each session will feature BSL interpretation, and tickets are priced as Pay What You Can, £6 / £4 / £2. Visit eif.co.uk/edfilmest for speaker biographies and full details of contributors.

Encounter 1: Casual Intimacy  
Sunday 20 August 14:15-15:45 Everyman 3 [BSL]

What does it take to make a film about somebody else, or about your own lived experience? How much can you really know about a person or character through the act of filming them? The panel of creatives from across film, literature and performance will explore crafting intimacy in storytelling. Speakers will include the co-directors of queer revenge thriller Femme, Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, writer and performer Colm McCready (whose show Scaredy Fat is playing at this year’s Fringe), author Kirsty Logan (The Unfamiliar: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood) and filmmaker Ella Glendining (Is There Anybody Out There?)  

Encounter 2: Creative Survival  
Monday 21 August 16:30-18:00 Everyman 3 [BSL]

Survival as an artist is a question of resilience. How do we make work without sacrificing ourselves or others? A panel of multidisciplinary creatives convenes to discuss how to keep on making art when everything seems stacked against artists. Author and critic Katie Goh (The End), author and agency founder Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant, Brown Baby), author and filmmaker Guy Gunaratne (Mister Mister), author and screenwriter Huw Lemmey (Ungentle, Bad Gays) and filmmaker Paris Zarcilla (Raging Grace).  

Encounter 3: Defining Belonging  
Tuesday 22 August 16:30-18:00 Everyman 3 [BSL]

The sense (or absence) of belonging permeates this year’s most powerful works. How do we shape stories about fitting in, or standing out? Babak Jalali, director of Fremont, the EIFF Closing Night film, joins author Heather Parry (Orpheus Builds a Girl, This Is My Body, Given For You) and writer and editor Anahit Behrooz (BFFs) to discuss how the exploration of belonging has informed their work, and what makes these stories feel so universal.  

Curate-It online film programmes

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and Curate-It have once again partnered to showcase the work of new curators based in Scotland. Curate-It is an innovative new digital training application developed, with support from Screen Scotland, to provide users with the information and skills needed to implement their own film screening events. The platform has been designed to actively ensure that knowledge of film curation is easily accessible within the digital space and is focused on providing access to curatorial talent from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the film sector.

As part of this year’s edition, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and Curate-It offered two fellowships to early-career curators and programmers working in Scotland. Beulah Ezeugo and Zainab Ashraf have undertaken the Curate-It course and are each presenting a programme of events. 

no gaze or hand can hold you there
From 19:00 Friday 18 August

Curator Beulah Ezeugo presents a programme that centres on 20th-century photography through the black gaze. The selected films invite audiences to examine the importance of visual agency and how the ability to represent oneself can become a means for salvation, revelation, pleasure, exposure, or emergence.

Heritage Withheld.
From 19:00 Monday 21 August

Curator Zainab Ashraf invites viewers to look at the importance of heritage. Juxtaposing work from filmmakers working in Scotland and Palestine, the programme explores forms of resilience where an aspect of heritage is withheld.

Each Curate-It programme will be available for audiences to watch for free for 72 hours on Curate-It’s VoD platform Screen-it.

‘it is always such a privilege to guide and witness curatorial ideas take form and flourish, and I’m so delighted this was once again possible through the EIFF x Curate-It collaboration. The programmesthat Beulah and Zainab curated allow audiences to navigate interesting and poignant subject matter through distinctively formed cinematic journeys. We are so looking forward to sharing them with you all’’.

Curate-It Procject Director Justine Atkinson

The 2023 EIFF & Curate-It Curatorial Fellowship is supported through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund. View the full programme details here.

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