The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is renowned for unearthing the best in new cinema, showcasing a range of works from British and international filmmakers. Providing a springboard for some of the most innovative and creative emerging talents. Inaugurated in 1947, it was the world’s longest continually-running film festival until you know what. This year’s affair is a hybrid event which will take place both in person and online between 18-25 August.
We’ve scoured the programme to highlight some of the films to keep an eye out for:
Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star as a provocative stand-up comedian and internationally renowned opera singer living in contemporary Los Angeles: a seemingly perfect couple constantly in the good graces of the media spotlight. However, when they welcome their daughter Annette into the world, they soon learn that her mysterious and ethereal gifts will change their lives forever.
The Gig is Up
From delivering food and driving ride shares to tagging images for AI, millions of people around the world are finding work task by task online. The gig economy is worth over 5 trillion USD globally, and growing. And yet the stories of the workers behind this tech revolution have gone largely neglected.
Ballad of the White Cow
Mina’s life is turned upside down when she learns that her husband Babak was innocent of the crime for which he was executed. The authorities apologise for the mistake and offer the prospect of financial compensation. Mina starts a silent battle against a cynical system for her own and her daughter’s sake. Just as her money is running out, a stranger named Reza knocks at her door, saying he has come to repay a debt he owed to Babak. Mina is guarded at first, but increasingly lets Reza into her life, unaware of the secret that ties them to one another.
It‘s Masha, Iana and Senia‘s last but one year of high school. Among the thriving pot plants in the classroom and to the sound effects of a biology lesson about physical signs of stress, the young protagonists grapple with themselves and with one another.
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of by the World’s most sulphurous contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.
When Rakel (23), way too late, finds out she’s six months pregnant after a not-so-romantic one-night stand, her world changes. Her boyfriend, who’s not the father, is kind of ok with her having a baby. But Rakel is absolutely not ready to be a mother. Since abortion is no longer an option, adoption is the only answer. That’s when Ninjababy, an animated character who insists on making Rakel’s everyday life a living hell, turns up. He climbs out from her note book, jumps into her tea cup, and keeps reminding her what a terrible person she is.
Kamal has fled Iraq to try to enter “Fortress Europe”. At the Turkish-Bulgarian border, local mercenaries are ruthlessly hunting down migrants. Alone in the forest, Kamal has three days to escape.
Radiograph of a Family
I am the product of Iran’s struggle between secularism and the Islamic ideology. My parents’ love story takes us from the Shah era to the Islamic Revolution and the hardships during the Iran-Iraq War, up to the present day – all in our home in Tehran. In my childhood, I was constantly forced to choose between my parents; every day, I endured imposition from one side and acceptance from the other.
Leah, 10, lives in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy, with her parents, busy with their ministry and her older sister. In the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty, a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. Leah can’t quite work out why something feels missing in her relationship with her mother, however hard she tries. When a small, nightly visitor appears, Leah feels duty bound to receive them with kindness – and a little game between them begins in which Leah is set a nightly task. With each task, Leah’s knowledge grows – knowledge that unpicks at the broken relationship she has with her mother, and threatens to destabilize the world as she knows it.
To view the full programme and buy tickets, visit the EIFF website.