EIFF announces 2019 Youth Programme

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has today launched the full EIFF Youth programme, which will host an array of cutting-edge film screenings, special events, talks and masterclasses for young audiences at this year’s Festival.

Taking over the Cornerstone Centre at St John’s Church on Princes St, the EIFF Youth HQ will offer a programme of filmmaking masterclasses, hands-on workshops, careers advice sessions, and industry panels for 15-25 year-olds. This programme is co-designed by EIFF’s Young Programmers and Youth Advisory Group, who curate screenings of interest to young audiences, and host many of EIFF Youth’s events and Q&As.

EIFF Youth HQ is a unique chance for young people to learn directly from world-renowned industry experts, gain hands-on experience and learn how to make their CVs stand out.

Highlights this year include: a VR filmmaking workshop with experimental film collective, The Othvrs; a podcasting masterclass with YouTubers, The Film Look; screenwriting sessions with award-winning writer, Cat Hepburn (River City, Hollyoaks); and hands-on workshops on screen combat, horror make up, prop design and sound effects. Costume Designer, Nina Ayres will also be at EIFF Youth HQ for a Q&A to discuss her personal career path and work on shows such as Game of Thrones, The Crown and, most recently, The Last Kingdom (Season 2) and Outlander.

With a strong emphasis on promoting career and training opportunities, EIFF Youth will host a Career’s Brunch with industry experts; a Film Course Fair for young people interested in studying film and media; a BAFTA Scotland Screen Audition workshop with Jack Lowden (Dunkirk, Mary Queen of Scots) and Shauna Macdonald (Filth, The Descent); pitching workshops with BBC The Social; and across the Festival, young people can find out how to get into film criticism, acting, animation, and more.

This year will also see an expanded offer of free workshops for primary and secondary schools, together with Into Film, Scottish Youth Film Festival and Screen Education Edinburgh, giving pupils the opportunity to take their first steps in filmmaking.

"Come along for a great time"

“This is a great opportunity for all those interested in film, from masterclasses to workshops and Q+As with professionals. Come along for a great time, great fun, and great chances to have a chat with people who have worked on amazing films!”

Murray Kingsbury
EIFF Young Programmer

EIFF’s free lecture series, Reel Talks returns, with a programme of 6 events providing background, context and extra colour to the Film Festival’s theme and strands. This includes Stream or Die? The Future of Cinema, an illustrated talk by Dr Zoë Shacklock (University of St Andrews), which examines the future of cinema and television in the Netflix era.

The dedicated Student Critics programme will also run throughout the Festival. Supported by James & Morag Anderson, and now in its 7th year, the Student Critics programme supports the next generation of film journalists, offering experience, skills and networking opportunities to students with a passion for cinema. This amazing opportunity is open for applicants until 24 May 2019, and full information can be found at: edfilmfest.org.uk/studentcritics2019.

The EIFF Youth New Visions short film competition returns this year, with the same purpose – to discover the newest voices in Scottish film and bring their visions to the global stage. Open to all Scotland-based young filmmakers aged 14-25, the New Visions competition is curated by EIFF’s Youth Advisory Group, who watch all submissions and then create a shortlist of films that will be shown as part of the Festival.

In partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Edinburgh International Festival, EIFF will present Soundmoves: Music Movies, a special screening of six short films by pupils from Sighthill, Clovenstone and Canal View Primary Schools, with live musical performance.

How to get involved

To attend EIFF Youth events, participants will need to register for a £5 EIFF Youth Pass. This pass provides free access to all HQ events in addition to giving access to £5 discounted tickets for many of EIFF films. EIFF is committed to encouraging young people to engage with diverse types of cinema, as well as encouraging young filmmaking talent.

EIFF Youth also offers opportunities for young people from across Scotland to attend our events and develop their interest in cinema and a career within the industry. Bursaries are available to encourage young people from across Scotland to travel to Edinburgh in June. Interested young people or youth groups should contact the Education Team for advice via: education@edfilmfest.org.uk.

EIFF Youth is supported by Edinburgh-based independent investment manager, Baillie Gifford and funded through the PLACE programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.


Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said,

“The Edinburgh International Film Festival provides a platform for young people to engage with the screen industry – as filmmakers, curators and audiences – and this diverse Youth Programme exists to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, creating pathways to develop their passion. With a variety of workshops, masterclasses and seminars, it is encouraging to see PLACE funding being used to offer a unique chance for young people to learn from world-renowned industry experts.”

EIFF Honorary Patron, actor, director and screenwriter, Karen Gillan said,

“I’m delighted to see this year’s exciting programme of events and screenings for young people with today’s launch of EIFF Youth – congratulations to the team at the Festival.”

Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Vice Convener of Culture and Communities at City of Edinburgh Council said,

“This year’s wide-ranging festival programme builds on the great work EIFF has been doing in developing and inspiring young people who have a passion for cinema. Not only does this programme allow young people to access international cinema, it gives them the fantastic opportunity to learn directly from expert filmmakers from around the world.

"This is a great example of what the PLACE programme, which was designed to enable festival programmes to be diverse and global, benefitting new participants and future generations, can fund. This jam-packed programme of exciting screenings, special events, talks and masterclasses fits the bill perfectly and I hope as many young people as possible take advantage of the opportunity and get involved.”

More information

For more information and to register for EIFF Youth passes, visit the website: edfilmfest.org.uk. EIFF Youth passes are available at edfilmfest.org.uk/eiffyouth from 21 May 2019. The 73rd edition of EIFF runs from 19 – 30 June 2019. The full programme will be announced on 29 May 2019.

For further information, please contact:


0207 932 9800

Editor's Notes

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Established in 1947, Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world 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 seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent, in a setting steeped in history.

EIFF is supported by Screen Scotland, the PLACE Programme (a partnership between the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals), the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), the Scottish Government through the Festivals Expo Fund, the City of Edinburgh Council, and EventScotland.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival Limited is a company registered in Scotland No: SC132453. It is a subsidiary of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) which is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status with Scottish Charity No. SC006793. The Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) was established in 2010 with a mission to be at the forefront of the development of a vibrant and successful film and moving image industry and culture across Scotland and beyond. The CMI currently comprises EIFF, Filmhouse in Edinburgh and the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.