[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 July, 2004, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Film festival aims to 'astonish'
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries will get its UK premiere at the festival
Organisers of this year's Edinburgh Film Festival say they hope to "surprise" and "astonish" film-goers with this year's programme of features.

The annual event was launched at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on Wednesday.

This year the festival will show more than 80 films from 27 countries including Argentina, Armenia, Taiwan and Ukraine from 18-29 August.

Artistic director Shane Danielsen said: "I really believe that this is the strongest programme we've had yet."

'Strongest programme'

The festival starts with the UK premiere of the film The Motorcycle Diaries, based on the 1950s travels around South America by Argentinian revolutionary figure Che Guevara.

Our opening night is amazing
Festival artistic director Shane Danielsen

The festival has billed the film, which stars rising Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, is billed by the festival as "one of the greatest films of the year".

"I really believe that this is the strongest programme, certainly in my time, that we've had yet," said Mr Danielsen.

"Our opening night is amazing. It's an exceptional film. I also like the fact that it's about a leftist with asthma - like me," he said.

The festival will also include The Purifiers, which is billed as Scotland's first martial arts film, and Hamburg Cell, a fictionalised film about the 11 September hijackers.

One of the most controversial films is expected to be Anatomy of Hell, by Catherine Breillat.

Director tribute

It stars Rocco Sifredi as a gay man who is picked up at a bar by a woman. Sifredi starred in Breillat's 1999 film Romance.

The festival's Bafta interview will be given by Kes and Land and Freedom director Ken Loach.

Actor Malcolm McDowell, who starred in Lindsay Anderson's If, will present a personal tribute to the director, who died 10 years ago, at this year's event.

He said the documentary programme included a series of "absolutely extraordinary" films about the "dangerous time" people faced, Mr Danielsen said.

"As all this happens suddenly people are looking to the cinema again for representations of their concerns, their lives and their stories," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Chaplin film receives première
15 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
McGregor film kicks off festival
13 Aug 03  |  Scotland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific