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Under the radar new cult section at Edinburgh Festival

Artistic Director Hannah McGill announced today that the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will host a new section at this year’s Festival, celebrating the true spirit of ‘cult’ film, entitled UNDER THE RADAR.

UNDER THE RADAR will screen six feature films including two World, two International and two UK premieres, continuing the EIFF’s commitment to bringing new films and talent to both the festival circuit and audiences. Citing 2007’s EIFF guest John Waters as inspiration for the new section, the Festival has selected films which deploy low budgets to imaginative effect and range from being variously kitsch, gory, disturbing and hilarious. They break boundaries of both art and entertainment, drawing in elements of experimental video and gallery art as well as subversive comedy and extreme genre cinema. Short filmmakers have a place in UNDER THE RADAR too, with a number of the features supported by similarly revelatory and daring short works.

From the UK, CRACK WILLOW receives its World Premiere, and is directed by local Edinburgh College of Art graduate Martin Radich. A previous EIFF Best Short Film laureate, Radich makes his feature debut with this shocking and highly original interpretation of the psychological effects of social decay. Also from the UK, BIGGA THAN BEN: A RUSSIANS’ GUIDE TO RIPPING OFF LONDON stars Ben Barnes (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN) and features music by Pete Doherty and Joe Strummer. Directed by S A Halewood, this dark and highly pertinent comedy is a step-by-step guide to defrauding banks, shoplifting, joyriding on the tube and cooking crack cocaine, based on the bestselling Russian diaries of Pavel Tetersky and Sergei Sakin.

The second World Premiere is Robert Beaucage’s SPIKE, a horror-cum-romance from the US which overturns genre conventions to explore the darker side of fairytale mythology. BLOOD CAR, also from the US, is the feature debut from Alex Orr. A topical satire on the voracious global appetite for oil, this darkly comic horror follows a teacher who invents a car that runs on human blood to combat the high price of petrol.

Luciano Podcaminsky’s THE THIRD PINT from Argentina, and STRANGE GIRLS from US director Rona Mark will both receive their International Premieres as part of UNDER THE RADAR. THE THIRD PINT, an experimental travelogue shot on Super 8, follows the reminiscences of a man who became invisible after drinking three pints – which throws him into an existential flux whilst also opening up opportunities for observing humanity. STRANGE GIRLS, another debut feature, explores the rotten underbelly of female relationships gone wrong, through the strange world of twin sisters in Pittsburgh who happily follow their perverse passions for porn and trepanation until a handsome man becomes between them.

Commenting on UNDER THE RADAR, Hannah McGill said: “The term ‘cult cinema’ has become mere marketing-speak in recent years. With this new section, we want to re-animate the spirit of the truly cult-worthy ‘midnight movie’, by showing films that take real risks with their ideas, their aesthetic choices and their humour. This is a diverse section, but it is all the work of filmmakers with vision, creativity, and balls (figuratively speaking, of course, as two of them are women!). They are highly appropriate discoveries for a festival that has in the past welcomed many of the great cult innovators, among them Sam Fuller, John Waters, George Romero and Roger Corman.”


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