William Friedkin’s 'Killer Joe' to Open Edinburgh International Film Festival

Filmmaker thanks Scottish festival for programming uncut version which stars Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple.

LONDON – William Friedkin’s Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple, will kickstart this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), organizers said Wednesday.

Friedkin’s movie, billed as a “shockingly cool and blackly comic noir thriller” by Edinburgh’s programmers, also stars Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church in a tale of a drug dealer, a hit man and a plot to kill the dealer’s own mother for insurance.

Friedkin issued a swipe at the Motion Picture Association of America in thanking Edinburgh’s organizers for scheduling his film.

Friedkin said:  "I would also like to thank the Edinburgh International Film Festival for honoring our film with this screening, uncut. Of a film the Motion Picture Association of America has expressed a desire to censor."

The movie got an NC-17 rating in the U.S. despite appeals made by the filmmakers and LD Entertainment.

Distributed here by Entertainment One UK, the gala will mark the U.K. premiere for Freidkin’s picture.

EIFF artistic director Chris Fujiwara said: “For my first year as artistic director, I intend to deliver a diverse program that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction. William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition.”

Friedkin and cast are expected in the Scottish capital for the gala before the movie rolls out nationwide June 29.

The 66th edition of the EIFF runs June 20 July 1 2012 and closes with the European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s Brave on June 30.