As the academic year begins, there are sure to be countless opportunities for socialising as clubs, societies, and RAs all clamor to attract both fresh-faced Freshers and the more jaded postgraduates to their numerous events. The question becomes, what is there for those who just want a quiet night in with a film? Well, fear not, as Edinburgh is rife with cinematic opportunities throughout the semester that are aimed at those with a multitude of different interests.
After last year’s acclaimed tour, the Ocean Film Festival is returning to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on the 14th September as part of its world tour. Having originated in Australia, the Festival features a selection of thirty short films accumulating in over two hours of footage focusing on the ocean and those that both live beneath and exist upon the waves. Highlights of the OFF include Kayaking the Aleutians which follows British explorers Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen as they set out to kayak along the 2,500km Aleutian chain of islands in Alaska, a feat never before completed. Also of note is The Accord, a documentary that focuses upon Iceland’s first and only professional surfer, Heiðar Logi Elíasson, as he explores the awe-inspiring Icelandic terrain.
For the avid fan of Anime, the Scotland Loves Anime Festival comes to the Edinburgh Filmhouse from the 17th to the 23rd October. Now entering its seventh year, SLA brings some of the best anime films to Scotland for what is often the only opportunity to view them on the big screen. This year’s SLA features an eclectic mix of old and new films, including Momotaro, Sacred Sailor – the first Japanese feature-length animated film. First released in 1945, the film has been restored with the help of Festival Director, Andrew Partridge, so that it may continue to be viewed for generations to come.
From the 6th to the 20th October, one of Edinburgh’s newest film festivals returns to the city, the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival. Now in its third year, the Spanish Film Festival was formed in response to the absence of such a festival despite the existence of similar festivals showcasing Italian and French films. Curated by Marian A. Aréchaga, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and self-proclaimed ‘film buff’, the SFF aims to showcase and support Spanish cinema, a cultural industry that has been struggling to find funding in recent times.
Finally from the 28th October to the 6th November is Scotland’s annual celebration of African cinema and culture, the Africa in Motion festival. Now in its eleventh year, AiM hosts film screenings and events in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Throughout the past decade it has successfully cemented itself as one of the major cultural events within the Scottish calendar, allowing Scottish audiences to engage with African stories and industry professionals from the continent.
This is just a sampling of the numerous events happening in Edinburgh in the coming months but highlights the city as a hub of culture, with the number cinematic opportunities continuing to grow as 2016 draws to a close and 2017 begins.
Image: Anthem of the Heart; Andrew Partridge (Anime Limited)