Edinburgh International Film Festival

Sadly, after celebrating its 75th anniversary, in 2022 the Edinburgh International Film Festival ceased trading.


Alongside its sister organisations -  Edinburgh’s Filmhouse Cinema and Café Bar and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen - and parent charity, Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), on 6 October 2022 all ceased trading. The closure was due to a combination of sharply rising costs, in particular energy costs, alongside reduced trade due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

This page looks back at the history of this innovative festival, that will be much missed.

About the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Provoking and exciting, whilst exploring new concepts and innovative approaches in cinema, the Edinburgh International Film Festival featured short films, experimental cinema and documentary films across a range of dynamic genres.

Bringing together locals and international film-lovers, a major attraction of EIFF was the variety of notable film premieres hosted in the city. Past UK premieres include Blade Runner, Alien, Back to the Future, Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Withnail & I, The Usual Suspects, Amelie and The Hurt Locker.

History of the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Beginning in the same year as the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947, the Edinburgh International Film Festival was the world's longest continually-running film festival and helped to define the type of event that has since become so pivotal to film culture worldwide.

Championing emerging British talent throughout its history, EIFF presented world premieres of influential films by Bill Forsyth, Danny Boyle and Stephen Frears, amongst others.

It was in 1972 that it first included the Women's Film Festival, exclusively for female directors. Lynda Myles, Festival Director from 1973-1980, was the first woman to occupy such a role at any worldwide film festival.

Famous Faces

Over the years, EIFF welcomed a huge number of internationally well-known guests including Gene Kelly, Jacques Tati, Jennifer Lawrence, Tilda Swinton, Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, David Cronenberg, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood and Sir Sean Connery.

Innovative Cinema

Edinburgh International Film Festival was world renowned for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema - and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking. Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, EIFF sought to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent, in a setting steeped in history.

Focusing on artistic quality and excellence, the festival explored new ideas in cinema, inviting local and international audiences to engage with a dynamic programme of features, documentaries, shorts and experimental cinema.

Edinburgh has a jam-packed festival schedule all year around. Whether you love the arts, are mad about science, or relish the thought of getting lost in a good book, there’s a festival for you. Take a look at our guide to Edinburgh’s Festivals >