Announcing the news, Screen Scotland’s Executive Director, Isabel Davis said: “That Andrew has agreed to be the Chair of the new Edinburgh International Film Festival is a clear indication of the ambition we all share for the festival’s future. He was one of the first to offer support when the previous organisation collapsed and with his customary vigour, Andrew has already been instrumental in bringing people together to build an exciting new vision for what Edinburgh International Film Festival can become.
“Andrew’s internationally acclaimed body of work speaks for itself, and his long-standing relationship with Edinburgh and EIFF, his entrepreneurial mindset and producer’s can-do attitude makes him ideal for this role. We’re grateful that he’s prepared to give his time and energy to this exciting, if huge, project, and look forward to working with him as he builds the team that will take on the direct running of the Festival for 2024 onwards.”
Screen Scotland has facilitated the recruitment of the new Chair to lead the establishment of a new EIFF company. Andrew Macdonald will now recruit a board and executive team to lead the Festival’s development from September 2023 as a creatively potent and financially sustainable fixture in the international festival calendar.
Macdonald said: “Edinburgh International Film Festival played a huge part in my own early producing career; it’s held dear by film makers and audiences and admired by so many around the world.
“Working together with fellow film makers, funders and festival experts on a proposition for the future of EIFF from 2024 has been altogether compelling and in this new role, I’m looking forward to helping to build long-term success for EIFF in the years to come.”
Born and educated in Scotland, in 1992 Macdonald made a video diary while working at EIFF about raising finance to produce his first feature film. Shallow Grave was made in 1993 and had its world premiere at EIFF in 1994.
Written by John Hodge and directed by Danny Boyle, the film was a major box office success and won the BAFTA for Best British Film. Macdonald went on to produce a number of films with the same creative team including Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach and T2 Trainspotting.
Still from T2 Trainspotting, courtesy of Sony Pictures
Since 1997 he’s headed DNA Films, producing and financing films including Beautiful Creatures, The Last King of Scotland, Notes on a Scandal, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go, Far From the Madding Crowd, Sunshine on Leith, Ex Machina, Annihilation and Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In. In recent years, he’s also branched into TV. Productions include Devs for FX, Shogun for FX and an adaptation of Rumer Godden’s Black Narcissus for the BBC and FX Productions.
Macdonald’s most recent films include Men and Civil War, both written and directed by Alex Garland for A24 Films.
In addition to producing and running a successful company for 25 years, Macdonald is in his fourth year as a governor of the National Film and Television School and is a Member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Today’s announcement comes ahead of this year’s special edition Edinburgh International Film Festival, hosted as part of the Edinburgh International Festival under a one year agreement between Edinburgh International Festival and Screen Scotland.
Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Edinburgh International Film Festival has been at the heart of Scotland’s cultural scene for 76 years and I’m delighted that one of our most successful and high-profile filmmakers, Andrew Macdonald, has been appointed to continue the next chapter in the festival’s story.
“Working closely with Screen Scotland we’ve been proud to support this year’s special edition of the film festival recognising the value that it has to the country’s cultural, economic and societal wellbeing.”
Further information regarding the new EIFF chaired by Andrew will follow after the 2023 festival, the 76th Edinburgh International Film Festival, concludes.
Screen Scotland drives development of all aspects of Scotland’s film and TV industry, through funding and strategic support. Screen Scotland is part of Creative Scotland and delivers these services and support with funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Find out more at screen.scot and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Eilidh Walker, Media Relations & PR Officer - Screen
[email protected] / +44 7545 402 064