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As I write, I sit eager with anticipation at the thought of returning to the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Last year I was lucky enough to have a short film screening in the festival, and although I won’t have anything showing this year, a trusty press pass goes a long way to making up for it. So, why the anticipation? Well, if it’s anything like last year I’ll be seeing a lot of great films, meeting a lot of great people, and making a lot of great contacts.

Returning to a festival is always problematic. There’s always that slight niggling feeling that it won’t be as a good as last year. But flicking through the programme I’m confident that artistic director Hannah McGill and her team have pulled together another exciting line up. Although I’ve picked out a few films I’ll definitely make sure I see (such as Steven Soderbergh’s new doc on Spalding Gray, And Everything Is Going Fine, and Werner Herzog’s follow-up to his ultra-entertaining Bad Lieutenant, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?), generally I’ll just be picking out things I like the sound of and trying to discover new filmmakers I’ve never heard of (I’ve already spotted one – József Pacskovszky – whose film The Days of Desire plays before I arrive but sounds just my type of thing. Hopefully I can catch it in the video library). With this view to discovery in mind, I’ll be avoiding the likes of Toy Story 3 in favour of finding films which will probably be overlooked and undistributed outside of festivals.

Despite a great line up, EIFF is about more than just the films. The daily Hair of the Dog drinks provide a perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and I’m hoping to have the opportunity to catch up with a lot of the friends that I made last year, while also making plenty of new ones. Ever the filmmaker, I’ll also be looking to arrange meetings with distributors and financiers about my feature film Life Just Is, which is currently in development. My producer will be joining me at the festival and we’ve already started planning who we want to talk to.

However, more than any of this, the point of a trip to a festival like Edinburgh is to have fun, which I intend to do in spades!

More soon…

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