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Next Edinburgh Festival will move to june 2008

The EIFF's move to June in 2008 has won the approval of leading figures in government, the film industry and beyond.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is to move to a June date in a bold move to grow its global creative reputation and widen its audience appeal. From 2008, the Festival will run from 18 to 29 June.
For 60 years, the Festival has traditionally been held in August as part of the Edinburgh arts festivals' month - making it the world's longest continually running film festival.

Now, following a comprehensive consultation exercise exploring the future direction of the Festival, the June move has been agreed as one of the main catalysts for change, driving forward an invigorated strategy for future growth.

The Festival's organisers believe that being the 'only show in town' in Edinburgh during June will greatly enhance opportunities to raise the profile of both the event itself - and the films being showcased.

John McCormick, Chair of the EIFF, said:  ''Over the past three years the Festival's Board has been considering the long term future of the Festival and the strategic direction it should take.

"All the evidence pointed to a move to June being in the best interests of the Festival and of the city of Edinburgh. The change will help the Festival to grow and develop, and strengthen its position in the calendar of international film festivals."

This is a view shared by Hannah McGill, the EIFF's Artistic Director.  She said: "Everyone we have spoken to - from our contacts within the film industry to partners across the city of Edinburgh - agreed that the move to June makes artistic and commercial sense.  

"It is good news for the Film Festival and the city of Edinburgh.  June will give us the breathing space to expand and create our own distinct identity, allowing us to further develop our reputation as one of the world's most innovative, cutting-edge and challenging annual film events. Logistically, a June event is also better placed in the ever-crowded international film festival calendar."

Ginnie Atkinson, EIFF's managing director, added: "60 years ago, Festival organisers fought hard for film to be accepted as part of Edinburgh's cultural celebration in August.  In that time we have grown to become one of the world's leading film events, with audiences continuing to grow year-on-year.

"Any move has not been agreed without long consideration of the success we have enjoyed as being an integral part of the August arts' celebration.  But we have to look to the longer-term, and now is the right time.  The move to June will be a major help in sustaining growth.

"In recent market research, an overwhelming majority of our audience said they would attend the Film Festival even if it was the only festival on at the time.  This gives us the confidence that June will be a success on all fronts.

"The June move also makes it more affordable and practical for film-goers, from both home and abroad, to visit and stay in the city at that time."

The move to June was agreed following a comprehensive consultation exercise with interested partners and stakeholders. The EIFF is committed to maintaining a presence during August by collaborating on arts projects with the other festivals.  

Faith Liddell, director of Festivals Edinburgh, said: "Festivals Edinburgh welcomes the EIFF's decision of to move to June.  We fully understand a need, shared by all of Edinburgh’s Festivals, for this event to be as good as it possibly can be - for the artists and industry it supports and promotes, and for the audience it serves.

"The move opens up new opportunities for individual and collaborative development and enhances the year-round portfolio that has made Edinburgh into the leading festival city in the world."

Minister for Culture, Linda Fabiani, said: "I welcome any move to further highlight Scotland’s international image as a centre for film and screen.  By holding the Film Festival in June from next year I'm sure we will see it flourish even more, and raise its profile as a key event for both film industry and the public.

"This government wants to encourage a long term and sustainable base of film making here, as part of the success of the wider screen and creative industries."

Ken Hay, Chief Executive of Scottish Screen, said:  "The Edinburgh International Film Festival is a hugely important event for Scotland and the rest of the world.  For 60 years it has inspired and challenged audiences and been a natural and welcoming home for talent from across the world.  

"Scottish Screen fully supports EIFF's ambitions for the future, including its date move to June, and looks forward to working with the Festival and other partners in ensuring its ongoing success."

Robert Mitchell, MD and SVP, The Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK, distributors of this year’s Opening Night Film, Hallam Foe commented; “The Walt Disney Studios have a long-standing and collaborative relationship with the EIFF and we are proud to support this bold move on the Festival’s part to move to June.  This new date opens a real opportunity for the EIFF to stand alone in a crowded festival market, to further develop its identity on an international scale and to continue to grow its commitment to showcasing international premieres and a varied and exciting programme of events.”

EIFF Patron Tilda Swinton said; “Filmmakers all over the globe – even if they have never been here – value EIFF as a proper adventure, with an identity of its own, invoking a spirit of the new and altogether a reputation for downright fun.  Coming in June, after Cannes and before the Venice/Toronto logjam, a conversational / discovery based, non-competitive festival could only enhance this holiday atmosphere for the film community.”

EIFF Patron, Sir Sean Connery, said: "Changing the dates of the Film Festival will create space for a modern, forward-thinking event that offers higher status and an individual identity to film culture.

"An enhanced Film Festival is a key component in long-term plans to create an Edinburgh hub for the Scottish, UK and international industry.

"It will also ensure that a wider local and global community gets the chance to participate in, and enjoy, what we have to offer here. In the words of Sean Penn: tremendous films, tremendous festival, beautiful city."

Comments (1)

George Formby Play by David Bret

Could someone please tell me how I could have my play considered for the Edinburgh Festival?
I am a top-selling international biographer, and my biography of George Formby caused great controversy when first published.
Many thanks,
David Bret

01924 363808

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