Edinburgh International Film Festival: Day One - Calm Before The Storm

Submitted by Al Innes on Wed, 15 Jun '11 8.43pm

It’s underway then, and as we speak glasses of wine are being poured and the viewing public is preparing to decide what it thinks of opening night film, The Guard. It’s on at 9.45pm so it will be a late one for a fair few people tonight.

The festival itself might be underway but today was quiet. Many won’t arrive until tonight and the really hectic days lie ahead - probably starting at 9am tomorrow morning. Teviot was a sea of calmness this morning, but as the day progressed the staff I spoke to suggested it was building in intensity - last minute delegates and press arriving to register, new venues causing some festival veterans a bit of navigation trouble, a spot of rain curbing enthusiasm outside the Filmhouse.

Project New Cinephilia was the talk of the day, and as I dropped in and out of a few chats it was clear there was a serious agenda on a few people’s minds. Maybe it was just tiredness having travelled all the way up for the kick-off, but I could sense some genuinely engaged debate ringing around the venues.

In the afternoon I slipped into Filmhouse three to check out the first pick of one of the new festivals guest curators. This particular film had been suggested by seminal music magazine Dazed and Confused and was the work of uncompromising music video director, Romain Garvas, Our Day Will Come is a tubthumping pro-ginger people road-romp with Vincent Cassell on top form.

The atmosphere was jovial, with the screen packed out to the roof with press. The film itself was comical, mad-cap and pretty nasty in parts but Garvas is obviously a talented director. As a benchmark I’d say it was the busiest screening yet, and a few other film critics there agreed with me, so it did look a lot like things were getting even busier as the day went on.

Turin Horse really impressed my colleague Euan, and you can read his review here.

Tomorrow will no doubt be a heady mix of those hung-over from the opening night party, and those ready to get down to some serious film-festivaling. I’ll be tweeting during the festival at twitter.com/alguinness if you're around the fest be sure to say hello.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from the 15th to the 26th of June.