Those of you who have a penchant for Hollywood heartthrobs would have done well to get to the premiere of Dear Frankie at the Fountainbridge UGC. Scottish hunk of Tomb Raider fame, Gerry Butler, has returned to his homeland, but is here to promote something quite different from Lara Croft. He was happy to sign autographs for the middle-aged men but was no doubt a little disappointed that there were no screaming teenagers to match Colin Firth's recent appearance.
The High Definition Festival, the digital Fringe of the EIFF, began its first of five days in the gargantuan Chambers Street museum. Even having asked directions three times, I still got lost (I recommend swanning in the back entrance. Look assured.)
The program works as an excellent compliment to the main festival. But it will be interesting to see whether the two events have to compete in the future as more films are shot on HD.
Those who managed to squeeze into the Filmhouse yesterday would have witnessed something very encouraging. Visitors flowed out into the foyer, as the bar's capacity was tested to the full, and the street was even being used as a meeting place.
Strangely enough, I have yet, however, to see anyone buy one of the DVDs on sale. Perhaps Â£20 is a bit pricey for a movie.
For one reason or another, today's festival schedule proved to be a notably quiet one in terms of events. The films continue to roll across town though: Black Jesus fought in the Congo, adolescence tries to find its way in Dear Pillow and A Good Lawyer's Wife, from South Korea, tried to explain that all actions have their consequences. I was a little unclear as to whether the wife is good, or her husband is a good lawyer (is there such a thing?). My suspicion was that nobody was really good and that something may have been lost in translation. It's a catchy title for a movie though.
I've often wondered where it is that those in the film and television world make their contacts. "It's not what you know, it's..." we've all heard the saying, but where are the writers, producers, directors, etc making all these connections?
Last night I had the chance to find out, with my invitation to the British Film Council's Festival Party.
Those who have ever wondered what it is like for a first time director making a film should be queuing up for the recently released documentary Overnight. Despite its late Sunday night slot, enthusiasts and press gathered to share the unbearable story of one of the world's biggest ever movie catastrophes.
One little known part of the Ed Film Fest is the strand of workshops, seminars and lectures aimed at educating and encouraging young talent and veterans alike. Some of these are open to the public, and you too could gain access to top advice, from how to write a script to how to get started in this often alien business.
Fri 20 August
Another busy day at the festival with no less than 24 different screenings and 4 red carpet photo calls, from noon till night. Beginning with Violent Summer, the Italian introspective which challenges the taboo period of 1943 when Mussolini fell and civil war ensued, the day took in the likes of Kenny does Dougal, the humorously titled interview of Festival regular Dougal Wilson (not to be mistaken as a gay porno flick) and finished with Natural City, South Korea's response to Blade Runner, at the Cameo from 11.30pm.
Thur 19 August
Edinburgh venues have a tendency to be far too hot during August. Whether it's a local joke to provoke tourists or just a problem with the old venues, today seemed a welcome exception as the cruel heat stayed at bay. The enormous UGC at Fountainbridge seems best equipped with air conditioning, so at least you may sit in comfort whilst you watch the abysmal Hungarian murder movie After The Day Before. This time it's Hungarian inbreds who are all cross-wired, rather than the more dangerous Belgian kind.
The word 'festival' surely implies a multitude of goings on, but not tonight as there was but one film on offer. Leading this year's Edinburgh Film Festival was the UK premiere of The Motorcycle Diaries - Walter Salles' interpretation of the young Che Guevarra and his travels through South America. A beautiful film it may be, but questions must be asked when it was just Billy Connolly who managed to turn heads. He's not even in it.