The jurors for the 2014 Edinburgh Film Festival (EIFF) have been announced. While Scotland might currently be undergoing a bout of introspective nationalism, the juries for this year’s festival are decidedly international in character. Some of the names include Israeli director Amos Gitai, Iranian actress and director Niki Karimi, and German actress Nina Hoss.
Started in 1947, the Edinburgh Film Festival is the longest running, without interruption, film festival in the world. Its competitions include those for the best British feature film, the best international feature, best short and best documentary feature. For the third year the Student Critics Jury programme will bring together seven of the best aspiring film critics from Scotland’s universities and colleges to work under the guidance of some of the world’s best in the field. This will include Jonathan Rosenbaum from the USA, Derek Malcolm from London’s Evening Standard and Dana Linssen from Holland.
This year’s festival also marks the centenary of the birth of that great Scottish animation pioneer, Norman McLaren, with the world premiere of four digitally-restored copies of his stereoscopic (3D) animations. The films were first screened at EIFF and the Festival of Britain in the early 1950s and are thought to be the world’s first 3D animations. There will also be a number of other McLaren-related events, including screenings and panel discussions, not to mention the 25th McLaren Award for New British Animation.
The premiere of Gerard Johnson’s British crime thriller Hyena will open the festival, and quirky American indie We’ll Never Have Paris will be the closing gala. Some of the festival’s highlights include Michel Gondry’s latest film Is The Man Who is Tall Happy?, Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto starring James Franco, and Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer. The cinema of Germany and Iran receive in-depth attention in special focuses, and there will be a retrospective of the work of Scottish playwright and film director John McGrath.
Special guests at EIFF include Don Johnson and Elijah Wood, and on the first day of the festival there will be a discussion about whether Scotland needs to give more support to its own film industry.
The Jury for the Michael Powell Award Competition for Best British Feature Film:
Amos Gitai (Director; Chair)
Nina Hoss (Actor)
Michael Smiley (Actor/Writer/Comedian)
The Michael Powell Award was inaugurated at EIFF in 1990 to honour imagination and creativity in British filmmaking. The award carries a cash prize of £20,000. The Michael Powell Jury will also select a winner for the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.
The Jury for the Best International Feature Film Competition:
Niki Karimi (Actor/Writer/Filmmaker/Photographer; Chair)
Michael Fitzgerald (Producer)
Mark Rabinowitz (Journalist)
EIFF seeks to represent global trends in cinema by introducing important new films and new filmmaking directions. This award is intended to highlight filmmaking from outside the UK that is imaginative, innovative and deserving of wider recognition. The award carries a cash prize of £10,000.
The Jury for the Best Documentary Feature Film Competition, supported by Al Jazeera:
Cynthia Beatt (Director; Chair)
Dominique Auvray (Editor/Director)
Sunmin Park (Producer/Director/Writer)
Feature-length documentaries from around the world are eligible for this award, which is being re-introduced at EIFF 2014 after a three-year hiatus. The award carries a cash prize of £10,000.
Serving on the Jury for the Short Film Competition, supported by Virgin Atlantic, are:
Linda Ruth Williams (Academic/Curator/Journalist; Chair)
Lenora Crichlow (Actor)
Nicole Gerhards (Producer)
Visit the Edinburgh Film Festival site for more information.