The 73rd edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), from June 19 to 30, 2019, has closed with a year of increased audience numbers, packed public screenings, special events, and an array of high-profile talent in attendance.
This year, the festival showcased 121 new features, including 18 feature film World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, eight European Premieres, and 78 UK Premieres from many countries across the globe reaching 70,000 festival-goers. This includes the 15,000 attendees enjoying the festival’s weekend of outdoor screenings, as part of Film Fest in the City with Edinburgh Live.
More than 500 filmmakers were in attendance this year to support their films with over 800 press and industry delegates and 270 youth delegates also present.
“It has been another great year with a massive feel-good factor from all of our different audiences. From media and general public through to guests and our own staff, there has been a real sense of enthusiasm and passion for the festival and our cultural delivery,” Mark Adams, EIFF artistic director said.
“From the acclaimed Spanish retrospective through to well-received new films, there is a real sense that the EIFF is building on the stellar reputation we have around the world. We are already looking forward to 2020,” he added.
“The EIFF is unashamedly international and outward-looking in its programming and its reach, with 58 countries (and 60 languages) represented through the programme, our filmmaker and industry guests, and our truly multi-national team delivering the event. We’re delighted that audiences and guests have responded so positively to the programme and the broader festival experience,” Ken Hay, EIFF CEO shared.
The winning films this year included Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial debut: Farming. It won the Michael Powell award for Best British Feature Film, as well as lead actor Damson Idris winning the award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.
The award for Best International Feature Film was won by Miia Tervo’s Aurora, which received its UK Premiere at this year’s festival. Moreover, the award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Ben Asamoah’s first feature film: Sakawa.
The award for Best Short Film went to Anca Damian’s: The Call.
The winner of this year’s EIFF Works in Progress was Women Behind the Wheel: Unheard Voices on the Pamir Highway by Hannah Congdon and Catherine Haigh.
Additionally, the EIFF Youth New Visions short film competition in the 14-18 age category was won this year by The Processing Room by Cameron Lambert and Red Hill by Laura Carreira in the 19-25 age group.
The Audience award was won by David McLean’s Schemers and this year’s McLaren award for Best New British Animation went to Fokion Xenos’ Heatwave.