5 MINUTES WITH: CHRIS FUJIWARA
What makes the Edinburgh International Film Festival special in your eyes?
Chris: It’s a festival that has long been known for bringing in films around the world and for taking chances by bringing in films by directors who are not yet established. I think this is one of the most important things a festival can do: stand up for a young filmmaker of brilliance and introduce his or her work to an audience.
It’s quite a coup to get the new Pixar movie Brave as your closing film, right?
We were obviously very happy that this occasion arose to have Brave as our closing film. It means a lot for our festival. As you’re aware, it means a great deal to Scotland.
What are the personal programme highlights for you?
We have a programme of the Philippine New Wave. The Philippines is one of the most exciting countries for filmmaking these days. We have two world premieres in that section. I very much recommend Florentina Hubaldo, CTE by Lav Diaz, who is one of the most brilliant filmmakers working today, and he is coming to Edinburgh with that film.
With 121 movies, is there a danger audiences will get swamped with choice?
As a matter of fact, one thing we’ve introduced this year is what we’re calling ‘pathways’. Its groups of films that are linked in some thematic way – say, ‘teenagers’ or ‘love relationships’ – but stretch across the various strands of the programme. We hope to make it easier for our audience to negotiate their own path through our very, very large programme.
There’s been much talk about whether the festival should move back to August. Thoughts?
Last year, just after my appointment, I took part in a consultation on the date of the festival, whether June or August or another month was best. What came under that consultation was that June made the most sense, from a lot of points of view, so we are currently with June, and I am quite happy to be with June.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 20 June to 1 July.
Words: James Mottram