The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival kicks off on the 20th June 2012 and runs until the 1st July, bringing cinema from all over the world to the capital. New artistic director Chris Fujiwara has constructed a programme of 121 new feature films from 52 countries, with 19 world premieres and 76 UK premieres. The festival opening gala on the 20th features William "The Exorcist" Friedkin's newest: Killer Joe. An exciting, bloody comedy noir that Catherine Shoard of the Guardian calls "an unabashed pulp romp stuffed with ugly acts and primal screams". In contrast, the closing gala is Brave, the latest from animation powerhouse Pixar. This film tells a mystical tale set in none other than Scotland and featuring the voice talents of such home-grown talent as Kelly MacDonald and Billy Connolly.
The rest of the line-up may seem more daunting to the non-cinephiles among you, with focuses on 'the forgotten master of Japanese Cinema' Shinji Somai and Philippine new wave. However the EIFF team have accounted for this by offering a series of Pathways that offer guidance for those seeking anything from 'Teenage Kicks' (films for 15-year olds and upwards) to the 'Edge of Law' (films about the world of crime) or 'Human Journeys' (films about people's movement across national borders).
It is also worth looking at the films that are in the running for the prestigious (and newly re-instated) Michael Powell Award, which awards the best of British cinema. Highlights from this include Assad Raja's remake of Nicholas Winding Refn's (director of Bronson and Drive) 1996 crime thriller Pusher as well as James "Man on Wire" Marsh's latest Shadow Dancer featuring a moustachioed Clive Owen. The EIFF crew offer concessions for students and multi-buy ticket offers for the more savvy cinema goer. If this price is still too steep for you however, there are several free events such as the outdoor cinema 'Under the Stars' (14th-17th June) and the various free exhibitions and events happening across Edinburgh as part of the EIFF. With it looking like we have had the best of the summer weather already, why not come inside and watch some interesting cinema? After all, where else are you going to see such films as The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus?
The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs 20th June - 1st July 2012
Full programme and tickets can be found at edfilmfest.org.uk