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EIFF 2023: World Premieres and Special Guests Revealed

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The Edinburgh International Film Festival, now being hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival, has unveiled its initial lineup of distinguished guests for this year’s event.

Additionally, they will be hosting a special Talent Assemble event to honour the vibrant community of filmmaking talent associated with the festival.

Talent Assemble 

Talent Assemble is a special event to celebrate EIFF’s community of filmmakers and give thanks to the wider industry for the goodwill and supportive energy shown to the Festival this year. 

In partnership with BBC Film, BBC Scotland and MG ALBA, Talent Assemble will introduce and reconnect alumni of EIFF’s many talent development initiatives and raise a glass to the wealth of emerging and established talent who have made EIFF a vibrant Festival, bursting with creativity year after year. 

Filmmakers who have screened work in the Festival in the past, and industry professionals who have taken part in the myriad EIFF talent development schemes, who are interested in attending are encouraged to get in touch with the Festival. More information can be found at https://www.eif.co.uk/edinburgh-international-film-festival/talent-assemble 

Guests at EIFF 2023 

On 18 August, the Festival opens with the world premiere of Silent Roar, the debut feature from BAFTA-nominated Scottish writer and director Johnny Barrington. Barrington will be in attendance to present the film, alongside the film’s stars Ella Lily Hyland (Fifteen Love), Louis McCartney, Mark Lockyer, and Chinenye Ezeudu (Sex Education).   

On 19 August, acclaimed director Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, Little Men) will be on hand to present his intimate new feature Passages, the thorniest and horniest film of the year. Sachs will also be taking part in a special Sunday Salon event on 20th August, discussing queer cinema and representations of intimacy with 2020 Booker Prize nominated writer Brandon Taylor (Real Life, The Late Americans).  

Filmmaker Ella Glendining will be at the festival to present her smart, honest and beautifully illuminating documentary Is There Anybody Out There? which examines questions of disability on a journey to find herself in others. 

Writer/director Karoline Lyngbye joins the Festival to present Superposition, her stylish and chilling existential thriller.  

While in the Festival’s weekend of outdoor screenings, Cinema Under the Stars, director Charlotte Regan presents her Sundance award-winning feature film Scrapper.  

On the 20 August, feel-good LGBTQ+ romance Chuck Chuck Baby receives its World Premiere, with director Janis Pugh in attendance.    

Filmmakers Sam H. Freeman (whose television work includes Industry and This Is Going To Hurt) and Ng Choon Ping attend the Festival to present their tense, stylish thriller about desire and self-loathing, Femme. 

Director Bette Gordon joins the Festival for the special 40th anniversary retrospective screening of her neo-noir feminist classic Variety

Huw Lemmey (host of podcast Bad Gays)presents Ungentle, a thought-provoking study of British espionage and homosexual identity.   

At Cinema Under the Stars, artist Julia Parks presents Wool Aliens (and other films), a series of short films, created during a residency in Hawick in the Scottish Borders. The screenings are preceded by a performance from musician Miwa Nagato-Apthorp.  

On 21 August, Director Hope Dickson-Leach (The Levelling) joins cast member David Hayman to present the World Premiere of her atmospheric Edinburgh-set period thriller The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. 

David Hayman also joins writer/director Paris Zarcilla to present his chilling debut film Raging Grace, a haunting gothic horror which recently took the Grand Jury Prize at South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.   

Jeanie Finlay arrives in Edinburgh to present her rousing portrait of author, activist and podcaster Aubrey Gordon in Your Fat Friend

On 22 August, Kill, a nail-biting debut feature from director Rodger Griffiths, assembles an exceptional cast of Scottish talent in a gritty and bloody revenge story. Griffiths will attend the Festival alongside the film’s stars Paul Higgins (The Thick of It), Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones), Callum Ross, Anita Vettesse, and Brian Vernel (Dunkirk).  

A forgotten gem of American indie cinema, Tokyo Pop is newly restored to mark the film’s 35th anniversary, and the Festival is thrilled that writer/director Fran Rubel Kuzui (who later went on to direct the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie)and producer Kaz Kuzui will present the film. 

Lead actor Thomas Schubert of Afire is in town to present the Festival’s screening of the film: a sharp and funny take on the struggles of creativity.    

Dead Man’s Shoes, Shane Meadows’ radical revenge thriller, had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2004. Now nearly twenty years on, Shane Meadows joins the Festival alongside producer Mark Herbert for a special retrospective gala to celebrate the film’s extraordinary legacy.   

On closing night 23 August, celebrated author Irvine Welsh will join director Ian Jeffries to present the World Premiere of their collaborative new documentary Choose Irvine Welsh, charting the author’s life and philosophy in his own words and those of his collaborators and admirers.   

The 2023 Edinburgh International Film Festival closes with the stylish deadpan dramedy Fremont, presented by the film’s director Babak Jalali and writer Carolina Cavalli (Amanda).   

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