God's Own Country Announced For EIFF Opening Gala
8 May 2017
EIFF is delighted to announce that Francis Lee’s debut feature God’s Own Country will open the 71st edition of the Festival on 21 June, 2017
In honour of its 70th Anniversary year, the world’s longest continually running film festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, has today announced its special anniversary celebrations built around its ed film fest memories project. The collaborative project will see the public inspired to engage with its nation-wide search for EIFF memory submissions in a bid to uncover never-before-seen gems and reveal more than 100 of the festival’s most prized archived images, with many more to come.
Featuring a compendium of iconic, candid moments of special guests including Gene Kelly attending in the same year as HRH The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret (1956), Clint Eastwood (1990), John Huston (1972) and Jennifer Lawrence (2010), the interactive timeline will inspire memories of the festival’s many incarnations, delights and unique moments over the past 70 years, with the public encouraged to upload their own personal memories to www.edfilmfestmemories.org.uk.
EIFF Deputy Artistic Director Diane Henderson said, “Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema. It has grown to become a platform for education, learning and talent development, a crucial business hub for the UK and international film industry, a fundamentally important celebration of cultural diversity and a significant attraction for Edinburgh itself.
“We are delighted to be celebrating our longstanding heritage and amazing achievements with the world through ed film fest memories and celebrating the 70th anniversary of a festival that is very dear to people’s hearts. EIFF has brought so much culture and cinematic diversity to this staunchly cultural city and we look forward to seeing many more memories shared ahead of this year’s festival. We will continue to work on building and developing this wonderful resource so please watch this space.”
Founded as the International Festival of Documentary Films in 1947 by the Edinburgh Film Guild, the world's oldest film society, and opened by John Grierson and H Forsyth Hardy, the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival has grown to become one of the world’s best-loved and longest-standing audience festivals – showcasing 290 films from 55 countries last year.
Revered for its ground-breaking retrospective element introduced in 1969, the 1960s saw the Festival expand in size and stature, spreading into new venues and broadening its programming to incorporate a broad range of cinematic talent. In the 1970s and 1980s it consolidated its reputation as a pioneering force for UK audiences and the international film industry, screening films from New German Cinema and the new wave of American Independents, and curating and hosting the ground-breaking Women's Film Festival, the first of its kind in Europe.
A city-wide exhibition will launch on Wednesday 31st May, in partnership with EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, featuring a number of the Festival’s key iconic moments.
Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh International Film Festival as they celebrate this amazing milestone. The 70th anniversary of the Festival and Edinburgh as a festival city is a wonderful achievement and shows how Scotland is a perfect stage for events.
“As a key strand of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, it is great to see the world’s longest continually running film festival bringing their history and heritage to life through the ed film fest memories project. I look forward to seeing all the memories from the last 70 years.”