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The Edinburgh International Film Festival remains in June

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) announced today that the longest continually running film festival in the world will remain in June. In 2012 the 66th edition, which will run between 20 June and 1 July, will also see the return of the coveted Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film. The announcement was made jointly by Ken Hay, acting CEO, Centre for the Moving Image and Chris Fujiwara, Artistic Director, Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Festival moved to June in 2008 in order to further enhance its capacity to provide a broad international launch pad for its film programme. Amongst films that have premiered at EIFF in June and gone on to receive international acclaim, including BAFTA and Academy Award® recognition, are Juan Jose Campanella’s The Secret In Their Eyes, Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist and Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone. BAFTA success also went to Duncan Jones for his directorial debut, Moon, which was awarded The Michael Powell Award at EIFF in 2009.

Ken Hay commented, “The ‘June or August’ debate has been at the forefront of discussions since the end of this year’s Festival and is a matter on which the board has sought broad consultation. The film industry, including press, distributors and sales agents, have all been part of the conversation to ensure a decision that is correct and will provide the very best future for the Festival. With the dates now final, our newly appointed Artistic Director, Chris Fujiwara, will work with his programming team to create a fantastic line-up for 2012.”

John Trafford-Owen, Head of Theatrical Distribution, STUDIOCANAL, remarked, "We look forward to continuing our relationship with EIFF in June, a time of year that creates the ideal platform for late summer and autumn launches as demonstrated so successfully this year when we were able to open the festival with John Michael McDonagh's The Guard."

Zak Brilliant, Vice President, Distribution & Publicity, Icon Film Distribution, added, “Icon have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the EIFF and we’re very much looking forward to supporting the 2012 programme in June.”

For years British directors have travelled to Edinburgh to battle for The Michael Powell Award, which was named in homage to one of Britain’s most original filmmakers and inaugurated in 1993. The award is given in recognition of imagination and creativity in British filmmaking and is judged by an international jury. Previous winners of the award include; Somers Town (Shane Meadows), Control (Anton Corbijn), Tsotsi (Gavin Hood), My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski), Young Adam (David Mackenzie), Jude (Michael Winterbottom) and Blue (Derek Jarman).

Chris Fujiwara said, “I’m delighted that The Michael Powell Award will be back for 2012. The award has been an integral part of the Festival for years; it has seen some inspirational filmmakers enjoy its benefits and is crucial to the Festival’s creative vision.”

Shane Meadows, Michael Powell Award winner, commented, “Since 1993 The Michael Powell Award has provided recognition and profile to a great number of brilliant British Films. The Award has deep significance to me personally as my film-making idol is Martin Scorsese and it so happens that in turn, his is Michael Powell. I was aware of it from the beginning when I launched Small Time at Edinburgh in 1996 and it was a real honour to receive the Award in 2008 for Somers Town. The award can be a major boost to a film-maker's profile and I'm delighted to hear of its re-instatement at EIFF for 2012.”

Leslie Hills, CMI Board Chair, added “The Board is working very hard to ensure that the future of the Festival is secure and by appointing both Chris and temporarily Ken at this critical time, we feel sure that we will see the Festival thrive. Part of our strategic vision for the Festival includes employing a new film specialist PR agency. Emma McCorkell, formerly with Rogers & Cowan, will resume her role as Head of Press with her new company, Organic Marketing.”

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