ON THE BLOG: EIFF Young Programmers and Moving Cinema

Moving Cinema has been one of the flagship audience development schemes supported by Creative Europe in the last seven years. UK organisations including the BFI and Scotland’s Centre for the Moving Image have participated in this pan-European project, that seeks to strengthen the links between young people and European cinema. In selecting young programmers for the Moving Cinema project, it gives them the tools to be autonomous spectators, and ultimately, to build active and sensitive audiences who able to appreciate diverse cinema.

Between 1 and 2 February, the Moving Cinema young programmers will take over the programming at Edinburgh Filmhouse, screening films such as aclaimed Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie. Each film will be introduced by the young programmer cohort, who will go on to present new films as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. 

Earlier this week we caught up with one of the Moving Cinema young programmers in Edinburgh, to talk to them about their involvement in the project:

What do you do at Moving Cinema?

Moving Cinema is a Europe wide project designed to encourage younger audiences to enjoy the very best in contemporary and classic European film. As Young Programmers we are part of a network of young curators in Vilnius, Barcelona Izola and Berlin. Over the last five months we have met weekly to watch, discuss and eventually select two films to share with Filmhouse audiences in February. The project also reaffirms that European cinema will always have a place in our hearts, and on our screens here at Filmhouse.

What parts of programming do you enjoy most?

Watching different types of films definitely, and meeting up every Monday with a group of like-minded young people. It is nice to get away from the stress of school, exams and do something else. We also get to organise events around the screenings, write copy for the brochure, design our own marketing material. We went through the whole experience of programming for a cinema, including the disappointment of having a film we really liked not being available to book. We learned that this can happen to film programmers on a regular basis. 

What do you like about European films? What makes them different?

It is definitely a bit of change from what we usually see as they are more subtle. Each language and country has its own type of drama, both visually, and in terms of stories. You get films in different languages, and the films backgrounds always give a good glimpse into different cultures. Overall it is a nice escape from mainstream cinema.

What were your favourite European films of 2019? Are you excited about any specific ones coming out in 2020?

For the English language ones: The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos and Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You were both great films. And of course Bait by Mark Jenkins! In terms of foreign languages, we all loved Never Look AwayPain & Glory, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Celine Sciamma was one of this year’s best films. We are definitely looking forward to The Personal History of David Copperfield, the new James Bond film as it is shot in Scotland, and I Lost My Body which is a French animation.

You picked We Need to Talk About Kevin and Amelie for the Edinburgh Filmhouse programme, two brilliant choices. Can you tell us more about why you picked those two?

They compliment each other really well as they are so different. One is unsettling, and the other one is uplifting. Yet formally they are both really stylised films with strong female characters. We also wanted to present to British film from a local female film director, and a foreign language modern classic.

Viva Lynne Ramsay!

Viva! She is such a great filmmaker, and from Scotland!

Any other Scottish filmmakers that you like and could recommend?

Armando Iannucci for the comedies, Bill Forsyth for the classics! Euan Bremmer is also a great local actor, and of course Ken Loach’s screenwriter Paul Laverty is based in Edinburgh. Last year some of us attended the premier of Ninian Doff’s first feature Boyz in the Wood at EIFF which was amazing. There is also Karen Gillan who is a really up-and-coming director, in addition to being a famous actor.

How has Moving Cinema changed the way you experience films?

It has definitely broadened our idea of what European film is. Seeing so many films has given us better insights into different genres of films and what is out there. Seeing other work done elsewhere in Europe has increased our demand for local talents to produce the same quality in Scotland. We also get to learn how a cinema operates, and all the work that goes behind organising screenings and cinematic events.