Edinburgh fest writing a new script for 2007


Organizers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival said this year's 61st edition of the longest continually running film shindig will have an official theme for the first time.

Incoming artistic director Hannah McGill said the festival will play out under a screenwriting theme, "Cinema And the Written Word."

It is McGill's first act after taking over as EIFF artistic director after last year's festival wrapped.

This year's Scottish capital event runs Aug. 15-26 and McGill insists having a theme will not change the tradition of the event. But having a theme comes by way of "recognition of the increased international interest in the practice of screenwriting, and the rise to prominence of auteur screenwriters," organizers said.

Through panel events, master classes, workshops and discussions with filmmaker guests, the festival aims to explore approaches to screenwriting and literary adaptation, relationships between screenwriters and directors, and the position of screenwriters within the international film industry.

"For me, it's an intriguing shift that writers such as Charlie Kaufman and Peter Morgan suddenly have more currency than some directors and that script development is such a focus of the international industry," McGill said.

Prior to joining the EIFF, McGill served as a film critic and cinema columnist with the Herald newspaper in Scotland and was a program consultant with the EIFF. She has also had short stories published by Canongate Publishing and broadcast on BBC.