'Perfect Launch' As Edinburgh International Film Festival Turns 70
22 June 2017, 07:16
The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has got under way on Wednesday as it celebrates its 70th anniversary year.
Holywood stars Kevin Bacon and Stanley Tucci are among the big names expected to appear on the red carpet during the festival.
Actors Richard E Grant, Ewen Bremner, Toby Jones and Sheila Hancock could also be helping the EIFF mark its milestone by appearing in the Scottish capital.
Edinburgh is marking its 70th year as a festival city in 2017 with the city's International Festival and Festival Fringe also due to celebrate later in the year seven decades since they were formed in 1947.
The EIFF kicked off on Wednesday evening with the UK premiere of God's Own Country at the opening night gala.
The debut feature from writer and director Francis Lee is an unsentimental romantic story set in the heart of rural Yorkshire.
Stars Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart and Gemma Jones joined the director at the launch event.
Lee said: "I think it's amazing to be the opening night film at the EIFF, it feels like the perfect launch for the September 1 UK release.''
Jones added: "I gather to open the festival is a great honour so I'm delighted to be here.''
Highlights later on in the festival include the UK premiere of Disney-Pixar's animation Cars 3, while Tucci will bring Final Portrait, his latest film as director.
Kyra Sedgwick will attend the festival for her directorial debut, Story Of A Girl, along with the film's star, her husband Kevin Bacon.
Grant will return to Edinburgh for a 30th anniversary screening of Withnail and I and a special event in which he will discuss his career.
Audiences can also look forward to a Q&A screening with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Oliver Stone, who will present a special 30th anniversary screening of Wall Street.
EIFF artistic director Mark Adams said: "In the Festival's 70th Anniversary Year, we're proud to be showcasing some of the most exciting, accomplished material from around the world and are looking forward to hosting these talented filmmakers and artists.''
Natalie Usher, director of screen at Creative Scotland, said: "The year's landmark 70th anniversary edition is packed with an impressive array of the very best films from around the world, certain to appeal to local and international audiences.''