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I As the curtains slowly begin to close and the final credits start to roll on the 55th Edinburgh International Film Festival, attentions turn from the silver screen to behind the scenes where Lizzie Francke is packing up the post of artistic director. Having successfully steered her fifth and final Festival. Francke will be handing over the coveted position to Australian journalist Shane Danielsen later this month.
Francke is justifiably proud of what she's achieved over the past five years. ‘I think it's been great, it's been a fantastic experience and very exciting.’ she says. ‘I feel that during my time here. the Festival has really put its stamp on the international film festival scene. It's been a Festival that's always been highly regarded but I feel that now there's no argument; we are the best and the most important film festival in the UK and we are one of the top film festivals in the world.’
Taking up the post on 27 August. Danielsen, a former features writer and columnist on The Australian will have only two days' grace before jetting off to the Venice Film Festival. This begins a year-round circuit taking in Toronto. Sundance. Rotterdam and Cannes. ‘shopping around' as Danielsen calls it for the best in world cinema. This fundamental aspect of the job can clearly be Quite gruelling. ‘It all seems very glamorous and it is. but living out of a suitcase can become very soul- destrOying,' he says.
Francke's in agreement and is looking forward to a slower pace of living. ‘It's a love/hate relationship.‘ she says. ‘It does provide some incredible highs and not that I'm a drug addict or ever have been. but it's like an addiction and after a while it's not very good for you.‘
After having a well-earned rest. she is planning to return to the world of film but this time as a producer rather than a programmer. ‘I'm very keen to actually get my hands dirty and make films or be involved in making films and I'd love to think that at some point in the future I'd come back with a film to Edinburgh.‘
Given the task of picking up where Francke left off. Danielsen has plans to encourage cross-pollination between film. book and music festivals and to make the International Film Festival a regular presence throughout the year. Outlining his objectives. he says: ‘lt's not going to be a radically different Festival but hopefully it will be better. I see my job as perpetuating the legacy that Lizzie Francke has left.‘
4 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 23 Aug—6 Sept 2001
e Fra cke, hello Danielsen.
New director promises to perpetuate legacy. Words: Catherine Bromley ,
The audacious A Ma a
I, "mum"... THE QUOTES recommended it. L
ri- __ . He took classes '
with Philippe Gaulier who is ! an amazing teacher of clowning.’
One Night Only performer, Mike
Radford, reveals the secret clowning past of his old mate Sacha Baron- Cohen, aka Ali G.
I went there because Sacha had been and
‘l’d have liked a gay son. We would have gone shopping and he would have said, “Mum, tell me about Judy Garland”.’
More bon mots from Joan Rivers.
‘To get this money you have to write on one leg, preferably for another medium, and then you have to go speak to some unfortunate people, but try not to encourage them too much in case they start
AL. Kennedy on how to get money
out of the Scottish Arts Council if . you’re a novelist. ,
LIZZIE FRANCKE’S top ﬁve ﬁlms in this year’s festival
I showed Sandrine
Veyssets ﬁrst ﬁlm. WI.” It I can understand It from the
Snow F0, Chn-stmas in 9 point of view that riots are I
my first year at the Film good fun" I
Festivaj We showed her 1 i Gagarin Way playwright Gregory Burke ,7 -. - second ﬁlm. Victor' and gets his head round the anti- I now I'm really pleased to be leaving showing her QIObaI’Sat’O” movement I third ﬁlm. She's an extraordinary director. Her work ' isn't that well known in the UK but in France she's considered one of the finest directors of her generation.
. ‘lt’s a great film, but bloody; a .
' body is shredded and j
' suchlike, and not quite what ' he wanted to see.’
Gore Vidal sympathises with Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh whose last film on death row was the Coen !
It's a really powerful piece. one of the films that really excited me this year. It's quite _ audacious. ; l
Brothers' Fargo. £13cogj‘lzeirui'i ct Zifimﬁitiys For light relief, I really enjoyed this skate-boarding documentary when I saw it in Sundance. I never thought I'd be into skate- boarding but I was absolutely I ‘ hooked by it.
‘It was just a way of generating media interest. . John is alive and immersed
Graham Fellows admits that reports of John
Shutt/eworth's death are r3. A really strong piece from exaggerated, Chris MUnch, a very Bergmanesque pOrtrait of a woman in her 503. with Jacqueline Bisset giving one
of the finest performances ever. An incredible piece.
Billieriigr—3 In this year's - line-up we have the
" best of world cinema but we also happen to have some well-known names. Sean Penn is here because I think he's a world-class filmmaker not because he's a famous film star. His films. as a director. collectively show him to be someone who's incredibly thoughtful and going against the grain of Hollywood filmmaking. He’s making very independent films within the Hollywood system.
Graham ; Fellows as Brian Appleton