Edinburgh International Film Festival Hires Artistic Director

2:06 PM PST 09/13/2011 by Stuart Kemp

Chris Fujiwara, a writer, film critic, journalist, editor and translator takes on role.

LONDON – The Edinburgh International Film Festival’s 2012 edition will be under the artistic direction of Chris Fujiwara, a writer, film critic, journalist, editor and translator.

Fujiwara said “there would be more to come” about his appointment to the Scottish capital’s annual film festival.

He is currently based in Tokyo, but will likely relocate to Scotland to take up the role and was previously located in the U.S.

His published works on film include Jerry Lewis, in which Fujiwara makes a case for Lewis to be considered a genuine auteur of cinema.

He is a member of FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), the National Society of Film Critics (USA), and the Boston Society of Film Critics.

The appointment comes after weeks of speculation as to who would take over from James Mullighan, following the 2011 edition of the EIFF, which industry insiders considered not up to scratch for the venerable British celebration of film.

Edinburgh has long been considered an important festival in the U.K. and internationally but is living through turbulant times.

Back in April this year Oscar winner Tilda Swinton played down reports she has ended her immediate involvement with this year’s edition.

Swinton said at the time her involvement with the 2011 Edinburgh International Film Festival has “continuously been misreported” while saying claims by organizers that she was part of a line-up to curate the festival this year were erroneous.

Said Swinton: “I was never a part of such an initiative and I was clear from the start that I wanted this misinformation corrected by the festival. However, my understanding is that such a correction never took place.”

The actress, a long-standing patron of the Scottish festival, said she had held back from making the correction “precisely because I was keen to avoid further misunderstandings along such as a 'Tilda quits' line.”

Mullighan had been brought in to replace Hannah McGill who stepped down from her role as artistic director after the 2010 edition.

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