EIFF Preview: "Everybody be cool this is a Film Festival!"

Submitted by Al Innes on Mon, 13 Jun '11 12.59pm

It’s almost upon us. The badges are being handed out, the delegate booklet is in my possession and the premiere is all set for Wednesday night. What should we be getting excited about then? Oh yes, the films…

Page Eight

Hard to drum up popularity for a film that will be broadcast on BBC Two later this year, but Page Eight has a lot going for it. The film's lead character, Johnny Worricker, is played by Bill Nighy who, together with Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Ewen Bremner and Judy Davis make a formidable line-up.

The story revolves around an MI5 operative and the director, David Hare was keen to emphasise the level of accuracy that the film portrays. Hare describes Page Eight as based on "informed guesswork".

"It's hard to know what goes on in MI5, but this film takes an educated guess at what they must be up to. I've talked to people in MI5. People will always talk to playwrights much more freely than they talk to journalists because not only is it off the record, but it's also non-attributable.”

Bill Nighy is always watchable, and along with the supporting cast it promises to be solid genre piece if nothing else.

Turin Horse

In what will be Bela Tarr’s last film, we follow the story of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessing the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin in 1889. Well, not quite but that is the premise.

It should be a real treat and definitely worth a look. I’m also very excited that Bela Tarr, director of Turin Horse will be in attendance.

Troll Hunter

A group of students set out to make a documentary. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. It’s about a spooky legend? Well, no actually. The legend in particular is a supposed bear poacher called Hans. The students are following him through Western Norway where they discover he is in fact not poaching bear at all, but something that has a taste for Christian blood…

Troll Hunter promises to tick all those Indy-mocumentary boxes that film festivals are about. I’m also looking forward to catching up with the director, Andre Ovredale, once I’ve taken a closer look at the movie.


I’m a sucker for a horror movie, so I’ve included this one for anyone else who fancies a few chills. This film documents the final four days of an experiment on a supernatural entity captured 8 months after the invasion of Iraq. 'Ghost whisperer' Hayley Sands is brought to Stormhouse, the name of a secret facility, by the Government to make contact with the captured entity.

It’s described as a mix of Paranormal Activity and The Ring so if it delivers on 50% of that it’s probably going to be good.

Also look out for My Brothers, Calvet and the opening night film The Guard. Make sure to check out the site for up-to-the minute reviews as the film festival gets underway later this week.

A sprinkle of glamour…

In terms of special guests you might bump into around the festival, the organisers have revealed a list of names that includes Kim Catrall, of Police Academy Fame (Okay, well more of you probably remember her from Sex and The City…) along with Bill Nighy, in town for his BAFTA Interview, director David Hare who will also be in attendance as well as Danfung Dennis, Martin Bell and Ewan McGregor. If celeb spotting is your bag, then keep your eyes peeled.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 15th - 26th June 2011.

Bill Nighy is one of my favourite comic actors. Just thinking about him brings out a smile.

LA supergroup Kings of Leon are also in town for a Q&A about their new documentary Talihina Sky: the Story of Kings of Leon after their gig at Murrayfield.

James Marsh, who won 2009 Oscar for Best Documentary with Man on Wire, is here for Project Nim (about experiment to rear a chimp as a human).