The EIFF lecture series for 2018 will be announced later this year. Check back for news and updates!


Programme 2017

Science Fiction Film: The Philosophy of the Future

Fri 23 June, 17:50, Filmhouse

By imaginatively transporting us to fantastic planets and brave new worlds, science fiction films can act as a powerful tool for addressing the philosophical issues of the day, as well as providing a prescient insight into those of tomorrow. In this illustrated lecture, James Mooney (Centre for Open Learning, University of Edinburgh) will explore the relationship between philosophy and science fiction films and consider what the latter can teach us about metaphysics, morality and what it means to be human.


What is Comedy For?

Sun 25 June, 13:00, Filmhouse

Why do we laugh and how? Feature film story editor Kate Leys hosts an entertaining discussion with established comedy writers and neuroscience researchers on the science behind laughter: how we laugh, why we laugh and what laughing does for us. Join our exploration of all things funny to look at, both the artistic and rational reasoning behind comedy ideas, how humour really affects us, and what it is that makes us giggle.  


Gamepocalypse Now

Sun 25 June, 18:00, Filmhouse

The digital world is changing. It's evolving more rapidly than ever before and the only constant is change. You may have heard of AI and VR but the chances are you won't have come across chatbot pizza, e-sports betting scandals or building a better gacha mechanic. Forget the future, this is happening now. Come and find out why you need to embrace the freemium, augment your reality and never ever trust your Wi-Fi toothbrush. Hosted by journalist Brian Baglow.


European Crime Cinema: From Melville to Mackenzie

Mon 26 June, 17:50, Filmhouse

The crime film has long been a staple of European cinema. Like all the best genre filmmaking, its framework offers an array of narrative and stylistic possibilities while also allowing directors to react to the socio-cultural realities of their time. With a focus on the 1970s and 80s, this richly illustrated lecture by Dr Pasquale Iannone (Teaching Fellow in Film Studies, University of Edinburgh) will take in works from acclaimed auteurs such as Jean-Pierre Melville as well as underappreciated figures such as Edinburgh’s own John Mackenzie.


Exploring the Explorer: Tom McGrath in the Sixties and Seventies

Tue 27 June, 17:50, Filmhouse

Tom McGrath - jazz musician, poet, playwright, cultural polymath – was born in 1940, and was deeply influenced by the wider social and cultural changes of the sixties. From his deep interest in modern jazz to his love of beat culture, this talk from Dr Angela Bartie (University of Edinburgh) explores some of Tom’s early influences and experiences, both in Scotland and during his time in the London-based counter-culture, and reflects on how they helped to shape his own unique approach to the arts in seventies Scotland (and beyond).


Diamonds out of the Ashes: A Brief Survey of Polish Cinema 1946-Present

Wed 28 June, 17:50, Filmhouse

A brief survey of Polish post-WWII cinema from Leonard Buczkowski’s ‘Polish musical’ Forbidden Songs (1946) to Kuba Czekaj’s Goethe-inspired The Erlprince (2016). Polish cinema erupted out of the post-WWII quagmire of Stalinist social-realism. A generation of gifted filmmakers learned their craft through an education at the Łódź Film School and training within state-organised ‘film units’ (Zespół Filmowy). Names like Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański and Krzysztof Kieślowski are well established within European cinephile circles. However, this lecture, by Rohan Crickmar, will examine the creative peaks and troughs of Polish cinematic output - as well as its industry structures - through seven decades of cinema, pouring over classic works and drawing attention to some hidden gems.


Behind the Curtain: 70 Years of EIFF

Thu 29 June, 17:50, Filmhouse

Join us for a special event with former EIFF Artistic Director Jim Hickey (1981-1988), and Rachel Hosker, Archives Manager at the Centre of Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh; a conversation that will celebrate memories of the Festival and the people and events that have been part of it. We will reveal fascinating tales and insights into the rich and diverse heritage of the Festival, using archive footage, rarely seen photographs and precious artefacts from EIFF archival collections. An informal, interactive journey into the past, unearthing hidden gems and, hopefully, prompting some of your own memories of the Festival.


DocSalon: Documentary in the Age of Fake News

Sat 1 Jul, 13:30, Traverse

Fake news is everywhere. Alternative facts, inflammatory clickbait, conspiracy theories, and misinformed memes gone viral distort public perception and comprehension of our world. Emotional appeals trump facts. Healthy skepticism gives way to paranoia.  Under these circumstances what are the challenges and obligations facing documentary film? Join us for a public conversation, which brings together filmmakers, producers, programmers, and you, the audience, to reflect on fake news and what it means for documentary and other media. Hosted by Dr Leshu Torchin (St Andrews).


“What Else Can it Become?” Tom McGrath and Language

Sat 1 Jul, 18:30, Filmhouse

 For the Hard Man, ‘violence is an art form practiced in and for itself’. Language is part of this violence, but also shares in its freedom – to create as well as destroy. Indeed, McGrath described his use of dialect in the play as ‘sculptural’, as contrasted with the racy naturalism of John Byrne. What can vernacular language ‘become’, when we cease to view it as a copy of real (hard) life? McGrath’s poetry and drama offer a few possible answers. Led by Dr Scott Hames (University of Sterling).

All talks and discussions are free to attend and held at the Filmhouse except the DocSalon which takes place a the Traverse Theatre. Visit the Filmhouse Box Office at 10am on the day of the event in order to claim a free ticket.