Brave and Bold
Not for nothing does the world's longest continuously running film festival have the word "international" in its name. Showing work from no less than 53 countries, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is a passport to the great movie landscapes of the world.
The 66th edition of the festival is the first to be directed by Chris Fujiwara, who believes a good film should surprise and satisfy, while staying true to its own artistic intentions. Good films, he says, are made by artists, not corporations or committees. Having lived in Japan and the USA before moving to Scotland, he has an unusually broad awareness of the movies from around the world that fulfil those criteria.
His inaugural programme offers a whistle-stop tour of the most vibrant movements in modern filmmaking, from the indie scene of the Philippines to the groundbreaking documentaries of Denmark and the cinematic renaissance of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. That's not to say Fujiwara is neglecting home-grown talent: on the contrary, his jam-packed line-up includes the best of British movie-making in competition for the annual Michael Powell Award.
As with all the best festivals, this one gives you the chance to learn while you're enjoying yourself. Two highlights of the programme, for example, are retrospectives of the work of Japanese director Shinji Somai and American comedy director Gregory la Cava. Work your way through those and you'll come out with a different perspective on the story of cinema.
Throw in everything from experimental films to the European premiere of the Pixar animation Brave and you have a film festival thoroughly alive to the many possibilities of the medium.