UK director Charlotte Wells’ first feature Aftersun will open the 75th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), running August 12-20 this year.
The bittersweet 1990s-set drama stars Paul Mescal as a divorced father who goes on a budget summer holiday in Turkey with his young daughter, played by newcomer Francesca Corio.
The film was one of the buzziest titles in Cannes Critics’ Week last May, where it won the new French Touch Prize of the Jury.
The Edinburgh screening will mark a homecoming for Wells, who was born in the city and now lives in New York. In the release announcing the EIFF opening slot, the filmmaker revealed the festival’s role in introducing her to independent cinema.
“As a teenager, I spent just about all the money I had saved each summer on tickets to EIFF, sitting on the floor at Fountainbridge in hour-long queues for box office opening, leafing through the weighty program which offered my first exposure to independent and international cinema,” said Wells.
“In 2006, I bought tickets to the Duplass brothers’ The Puffy Chair based on its inch-square picture and synopsis. The Q&A that followed made clear how explicit the connection between filmmakers and their work could be; what personal filmmaking could be. In 2006, I attended the opening night film: The Flying Scotsman. In 2022, I’ll attend again. Edinburgh is home and so is the EIFF. I can’t wait.”
The film is produced by Adele Romanski, Barry Jenkins and Mark Ceryak under the banner of their Los Angeles-based production company Pastel and Amy Jackson at London-based Unified Theory.
“It means so much to have Aftersun open our festival and celebrate a homegrown talent whose artistry is entirely international in its scope and appreciation,” said EIFF creative director Kristy Matheson.