20 June 2011

There Is No Best Of The Film Fest In 2011's EIFF

Well, Monday has come and gone which means that there is no "Best of the Fest" for this year's heavily cut down Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011.  There is space in the cinemas for the final Sunday but there are no mentions of it in the brochure or on the website.  It was one thing, three years ago moving the EIFF to June, but ditching the "Best of the Fest" is madness ... unless this is all leading up to an August date for "Best of the Fest 2011"?  Not sure if I'm keen on that idea...

Following the bold move by Hannah McGill (someone I am not a fan of) to separate the EIFF from the rest of the Edinburgh Festivals seemed to work initially (although I wasn't hugely impressed with the films selected each year).  No more clashes in August due to the late release of the EIFF planner and no more missed films due to tiredness.  Well, it worked for me.  According to the Herald, the Glasgow Film Festival has almost twice as many unique visitors and it's not even married up with the film industry (which may explain why the EIFF has some questionable selections)!  With half as many films showing this year, no longer any red carpets and Cineworld (best cinema in Edinburgh) ceasing to be one of the main venues, it looks like the EIFF is really struggling.

You can tell it's a sad state of affairs when I only try to book three tickets this year (and one of those was sold out but I'll catch it on main release in a few months).  Three more films were interesting but when they are out on general release in less than two months *and* tickets are now £9 without any special offers (like the previous 'buy five get a sixth free') then it's hard to find a compelling reason to visit the EIFF, which is a little bit heart-breaking.  Under Shane Danielson the EIFF introduced me to good films, to diversity, to unknown directors, great moments and controversy - all in the name of art.  I hope you manage to survive old friend, I'm off to the first of my only two films this year...