Hannah McGill reveals some of her programming secrets to List film editor Paul Dale, over a drink in Edinburgh’s Spoon Cafe
‘IN THIS JOB IT'S GOOD TO HAVE A TASTE FOR THE WEIRDEST, MOST FUCKED UP LI'I'I'LE THING AND FOR THE BIG SHINY THINGS AS WELL'
invite Steven Soderbergh. (‘harli/e Theron. Sigourney Weaver. Kevin Smith and Arthur Penn is not compromising.
PD So why did Rm! Road. probably the best Scottish lilm in the last ten years. not open this
year‘s Festival? And The Last King of
Scotland? Why are these two movies going to the London Film Festival‘.’
HM It‘s not as il’ anyone was sitting in the office saying. “shall we back Rm] Rout/1’ Nah. lets not‘. Obviously. you pitch incredibly hard for films you want. but the decision is ultimately with the distributor or the sales agent or the ﬁlmmaker . . .
PD Why did they decide not to give Scottish lilms to a Scottish lilm l‘estival'.’
HM It happens to every tilm festival. (‘annes doesn‘t get all the films it wants: London certainly doesn‘t get all the lilms it wants. But on a personal level. I was deeply disappointed that Red Rum! wasn‘t in lidinburgh.
PD What's your agenda'.’
HM One area that I plan to work on is the British section. We have the Michael Powell Award: if you’re going to do things in his name you need to be getting the best stul‘l‘. I‘m
interested in expanding Blackbox. the part of
the Festival that deals with video art and visual art because I think the crossover between cinema and gallery art is really interesting. Documentary and British lilm are areas where we should also be pushing really hard. It‘s about tuning into the audience. I’ve watched every single goddamn lilm that‘s come out in this country for the last six years. so my spectrum ol~ taste is very wide indeed. In this
job it‘s good to have a taste for the weirdest.
most lucked up little thing and for the big shiny things as well.
PD Will you get more Scotland-based l‘olk involved'.’
HM Many Scottish people who have gone on to over-achieve in other areas were involved with the Film Festival. whether it‘s Robbie (‘oltrane driving people around or Kevin MacDonald. They have come through the ranks so they‘re keen to come back. In terms ol‘ tilms. I'd love to show great Scottish lilms. Rr'rl Road and The Last King ri/‘S't'utluni/ weren't in the lidinburgh Film Festival. but it's still really great for us that they are out there. You know. The Last King nt'.8't'ritlrtitrl opening the London Film Festival. Red Rum] winning the Jury Prize at (‘annes — it‘s been a really ama/ing year.
It’s easily the best Scottish film of the year, so why did Red Road (left) not open the 2006 Edinburgh International Film Festival?
BEST OF THE FEST
in The Apartment
Harrison Ford in Bladerunner (above) and Gael Garcia
Hannah McGill selects some defining moments in the history of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
1948 The Red Shoes.
1951 Opens with The Man in
the White Suit. 1953 Lecture by Orson Welles
1 954 John Huston attends. On the Waterfront screens
1 955 East of Eden
1956 The Queen attends
1 957 Lucky Jim
1 960 The Apartment
1 967 The Dirty Dozen
1969 Peter Fonda attends Premiere of Easy Rider
1 973 Andrei Rub/ev
1 975 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore — Scorsese attends 1 976 Taxi Driver
1977 Opens with Annie Hall Dennis Hopper attends
1978 The Last Waltz
1979 Manhattan. Derek Jarman attends with The Tempest 1981 Escape from New York 1 982 ET. The Draughtsman '5 Contract. Diva. Bladerunner
1 984 Comfon and Joy, Paris Texas. Stranger than Paradise 1985 Back to the Future, My Beautiful Laundrette
Bemal in The 1986 Betty Blue, Mona Lisa Motorcycle Diaries (below)
1987 Angel Heart. The Big Easy 1 988 Distant Voices. Still Lives, A Fish cal/ed Wanda
1 989 Sex Lies and Videotape.
1 990 Creature Comte/ts. Wild at Heart. Clint Eastwood attends
1 992 S trict/y Ballroom 1 993 The Piano 1 994 Priscilla. Queen of the Three Colours Bed/Bk IP/W'liié) 1996 Breaking the Waves. Crash 1997 The Full Monty 1999 Blair Witch, Batcatcher 2000 Billy Elliot. O Brother Where Art ThOu 2001 Sean Penn attends 2002 Morvern Cal/ar 2003 Young Adam 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries
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