It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, Edinburgh is quite simply a hotbed of arts festivals. In fact, it has been described as the world’s leading festival city. Given that the calendar is packed full of artistic gatherings – from the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues festival to movie/film/visual-arts festivals galore – it’s difficult to argue against Edinburgh being fertile ground for the visual arts.
It is with great pleasure, then, that this article focuses on four of the finest film festivals that Edinburgh has to offer. So, whether you end up being inspired to stuff all four of these festivals into your calendar this year, or whether you wish to be more selective, it is hoped that the information below allows you to make a decision that results in the consuming and enjoying of the visual arts. From the world-famous Fringe festival to the more internationally-flavoured extravaganzas, here’s some more information about Edinburgh’s finest visual-arts gatherings.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
The Edinburgh International Film Festival continues to deliver an annual fortnight of film-focused fun, offering revellers the opportunity to dive head-first into a wealth of cinema screenings, as well as participating in film and visual-arts related events.
Previous years have seen some notable stars attend the proceedings, and 2018 is no exception. Among the judges at 2018’s festival are film director Jason Connery and actress Susan Wokoma as well as names in the industry such as Kate Muir, Miriam Bale, and Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya.
Most won’t be coming to bask in the glow of celebrity splendour, though, since there is so much to see at this year’s festival. Expect 121 new features (21 of these are world premieres) putting the “international” in the festival’s title, since the works this year hail from a total of 48 countries. If you’re not sufficiently nudged in the right direction, you’ll have to visit the website (http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk) for the deal to be truly and utterly sealed.
Edinburgh Short Film Festival
The dedicated team behind the Edinburgh Short Film Festival work extremely hard every year, devoting their time and resources to screening all manner of both Scottish and more further-afield regions of the world.
Though the “short” in the festival’s name refers to the short-form of the films screened as opposed to the length of the festival itself, this one runs for a comparatively smaller number of attenable days than the International Film Festival. Nonetheless, expect to a wide variety of film-based creativity screened between 26th October and 10th November 2018.
The aim of the festival is to allow home-grown filmmakers in Scotland and from across the UK to connect with a multitude of talent, allowing peers to mingle as well as creating international connections. Budding filmmakers therefore can enter their work with view to having it screened alongside other short films at the festival (there is also prize money awarded to films judged to be the best).
Whether you’re considering vesting the festival as either a contender or a spectator, you’ll find all the information you need at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival website
Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival
2018 will mark the ESFF’s fifth edition, having been conceived of by current curator Marian A Arécha, using her knowledge and engaging with the Spanish Ministry of Culture to plant the seed that grew into the festival as it stands today.
The festival calls Edinburgh’s Film House its home, using the fantastic venue to screen all manner of Spanish films. 2016’s festival featured “Window to Basque” and “Window to Catalan”, allowing attendees a look at the culture and individual stories of Hispanic individuals through the medium of film. It doesn’t end there, however. You can expect a tour of not only pure Hispanic but also the cultural melting pot of Latin-American culture, a variety of short films, and of course, a marriage of Edinburgh and Hispanic culture (2016’s offering was the Edinburgh Spanish Foody Film).
The festival takes place in October, with more information about this year’s fifth edition found at https://www.edinburghspanishfilmfestival.com
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
It isn’t a coincidence that the most widely-known Edinburgh festival is also its lengthiest. The world’s largest arts festival, Edinburgh Fringe runs for three weeks during august, with 2018’s festivities starting on the 3rd of August, and running through until the 27th.
Though this festival’s scope is notoriously extensive – you’ll find everything from live music to world-famous stand-up comedy acts and a serious wedge of arts content in between – film and the visual arts have a very strong presence at the festival too. Among the 53,232 performances across 300 venues in 2017’s festival, was a selection of short-film screenings and full-length features nestled delicately within the cabaret & variety section of the program, as well as some seriously side-splitting comedy films within the comedy section.
The 2018 Fringe Festival is guaranteed to be at least every bit as good as 2017, but is more likely to be even better considering its mind-bogglingly large roster, which can be found at https://www.edfringe.com/."