Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

IMAG0757Kicked off my attendance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014 (EIFF) today. Actually I sort of started on Wednesday but it’s not a festival until the official lanyard is donned!

Wednesday saw the first Scottish Film Summit which brought all kinds of film folk together at Edinburgh College of Art to discuss and debate the future of film, especially in light of the approaching independence referendum. I joined the Screenwriters discussions which were chaired by Andrea Gibb of the Writers Guild, and also a working screenwriter. Here’s The Scotsman’s take on things. It was a pretty positive if a little tentative day, but it was also a little bit challenging as (unusually for Scotland) it was hotter than the gates of hell in the art college.

It was heartening to see Creative Scotland’s presence, and in particular to hear from their Chief Executive, Janet Archer. Here’s their sum-up of the day.

I think the most positive aspect of the sweaty 7 hours was that a film agency is being touted for the future. Maybe a little glimmer of hope to help interconnect all our disparate talents and link us together to make strong, creative projects in the future. Here’s hoping.

My proper EIFF experience began today with a brilliant hour listening to the talented screenwriter and playwright Moira Buffini. More when I type up my notes – but suffice to say her positivity and enthusiasm really captured the audience.

Saw my first film, Snowpiercer, starring (an almost unrecognisable) Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell and John Hurt. Certainly one of the most surprising films I’ve seen. It has its issues, but its very entertaining, original and actually a little bit mind-blowing. Not for the squeamish though.

And had a great meeting with a couple of producers I admire. Tomorrow – more films and perhaps a ceilidh!