The 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will open on 21 June with a screening of the Sundance favourite,Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country.
Already screened at Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals God’s Own Country is a tale of emotional-awakening set on the sheep farming hills of rural Northern England. Josh O’Connor (The Riot Club) is Johnny, a young man carrying the weight of his family’s sheep farm alone until the arrival of Romanian worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu).
Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are thrilled to be staging the UK premiere of Francis Lee’s accomplished debut. This hotly-tipped feature debut is one to watch in this incredible year for independent film and perfectly reflects the Festival’s ongoing dedication to delivering audiences the most original and artistically accomplished work in international cinema.”
Festival organisers have already announced the 2017 retrospective, ‘The Future is History’, conceived and curated by Senior Programmer Niall Greig Fulton. Consisting of three strands, Great Britain, The Western World of the Future and Scotland, this year’s programme will present a special cross-arts exploration of identity.
Great Britain will be represented by a selection of titles from ex-Beatle George Harrison’s HandMade Films; the work of world-renowned recording artist Matt Johnson, alias THE THE, and his brother, director Gerard Johnson; along with a collection of rare satirical animations with a British theme.
The Western World of the Future will include a look back at classic early 80s science-fiction cinema and a focus on cult French animator René Laloux.
Scotland will be reflected in a biographical look at visionary Scottish playwright, poet and jazz musician, Tom McGrath, featuring work from some of Scotland’s most celebrated talents, including actress Kate Dickie (Prometheus, Game of Thrones), actor Tam Dean Burn (War Horse, Fortitude), and internationally-renowned jazz saxophonist Tommy Smith with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
Fulton said: “Inspired by Britain’s decision to leave the EU during our last edition, and touching on the Festival’s long held passion for debate and discovery, The Future is History turns the clock back to the 1970s and 1980s to explore the vital question of identity in a world undergoing seismic political and cultural change.”
For more information on this year’s initial line-up, visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk.