Tonight, Wednesday, June 18 sees the kick-off of the 68th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Running through Sunday, June 29, the festival will present over 150 features, representing nearly 50 countries, an increase from last year’s numbers. Among these are nearly 30 documentaries, spread about various strands, from American Dreams – recent US indies – to Focus on Film – tributes to cinema and its makers – to Teen Spirit – youth-focused films. The following spotlights some newer nonfiction work screening in other festival sections:
Most appear in the Directors’ Showcase, an auteur-driven strand, which includes LIFE MAY BE, a consideration of art and the artistic process via a collaboration between Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari; and CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE, a 3D meditation on six distinct works of architecture by Karim Aïnouz, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Robert Redford, Wim Wenders, and Margreth Olin. Nonfiction also makes a showing in New Perspectives, focused on emerging filmmakers, with such new projects as Davi Pretto’s CASTANHA, about a middle-aged Brazilian cross-dresser who lives with his mother; Lucie Dèche, Karim Loualiche, and Tarek Sami’s CHANTIER A (pictured), a hybrid personal reflection on Algeria; and Ed Perkins’ GARNET’S GOLD, which follows an unusual man on the hunt for fabled treasure.
A number of boundary pushing nonfiction projects appear in No Limits, including Antoine d’Agata’s ATLAS (pictured), an international compendium of prostitutes’ stories; and Jan Soldat’s THE INCOMPLETE, abo ut a 60-year-old gay German man who aspires to be the perfect slave. The festival offers a Focus on Germany, in which Thomas Heise’s portrait of a Mexican juvenile prison STAEDTEBEWOHNER is the sole doc; and a Focus on Iran which includes Sara Rastegar’s look at love, the Iranian revolution, and exile, MY RED SHOES.