Screen Scotland, a national funding body, today announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights to the Edinburgh International Film Festival and has launched an appraisal period to explore the possibilities of hosting a film festival in Edinburgh in 2023.

Kristy Matheson, who led her first Edinburgh Film Festival as Creative Director this past year, is heading the appraisal.

In a statement, Screen Scotland said the work will be funded by an award of up to £97,647 from Creative Scotland, which was drawn from the original cash award allocated to the CMI for 2022/23.

Screen Scotland said it picked up the rights to the festival from FRP Advisory, the administrators hired by the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity that formerly ran the festival.

The statement continued to say that the appraisal period will be completed by the end Jan 2023 at which point further announcements will be made. As part of the purchase, Screen Scotland now holds the domain name and brand assets of the festival which will be provided to any future operator.

The Edinburgh Film Festival went bust in October after the CMI appointed administrators. A statement from the CMI said a “perfect storm” of rising costs and falling admissions numbers due to the pandemic had been exacerbated by the current cost of living crisis.

The CMI’s cinema sites Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen also shut their doors. Staff members working at all three organizations were made redundant.

Since then, a local campaign titled Save The Filmhouse comprised of former Filmhouse employees, filmmakers, and patrons has ballooned into a larger movement with a petition to save the organizations attracting more than 24,000 signatures.

Created in 1947, the Edinburgh Film Festival celebrated its 75th year in 2022. Red carpet screenings included Charlotte Wells’s Cannes breakout Aftersun.


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