Red carpet glamour for film festival opening night 075

By Karrie Gillett

SHOWBIZ A-listers Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller shared the red carpet with Hollywood legend Sir Sean Connery for the world premiere of The Edge of Love.
The movie – which charts the tangled love life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas – marks the opening of the Edinburgh International Film Festival which Connery is patron of.
And the glamorous duo appeared inseparable as they stopped to chat to journalists and sign autographs for fans who had stood outside the city’s Foutainpark cineworld complex for hours.
The biopic also stars Welsh actor Matthew Rhys who said filming alongside Miller and Knightley had been “very giggly”.
Miller – wearing a black dress by Jasmine di MiloLouis Vuitton shoes and a trademark black vintage hat – admitted that her role in the movie had not been her most challenging because it had been so well written.
She said: “It was really well-directed and the environment was really conducive to creativity
“I have worked on films before where I haven’t been supported as much so no, it was not the most challenging but it was a lot of fun.”
And co-star Keira – kitted out in a cream Chanel trouser suit and black jacket topped off with Moschino shoes – said Miller was “the best looking date I could ask for.”
The 23-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star said finally getting to see a screening of the film which was also penned by her mother was a brilliant celebration.
She said: “It’s fantastic. This was a film that everyone involved in was hugely, hugely passionate about so it’s a celebration that we got it made and it’s here and we’re all so proud of it.”
And as the young actors stopped to sign autographs, Sir Sean Connery made his way into the screening sporting his arm in a sling.
The 77-year-old was greeted by some wolf-whistling from fans and raised a thumbs-up when asked if he was okay.
The festival – now in its 62nd year – will run until June 29 and the opening night was also attended by Nip/Tuck actress Joely Richardson who appeared a natural on the red carpet.

Hollywood stars arrive in Edinburgh 073

By Karrie Gillett

KEIRA Knightley and Sienna Miller brought a touch of glamour to Edinburgh Castle ahead of the world premiere of their new movie The Edge of Love.

The A-list pair were joined by Keira’s Glasgow-born mother Sharman MacDonald – who penned the script focusing on the tangled private life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, played by Matthew Rhys.

And Keira was quick to deny that a breast-baring scene in the all-British film was in any way embarrassing to shoot in front of her mum.

The 23-year-old said she simply followed instructions from director John Maybury during filming of the movie – whose premiere marks the opening of the Edinburgh International Film Festival

She said: “I always bare my breasts do I not? He told me to take my bra off and I said all right then.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean star said she had no doubt about taking the part when she first read her mother’s script.

And she revealed how her mum first showed it to her when she was in Glasgow filming The Jacket.

She said: “When I first read the script I completely fell in love with the character of Vera. She has such a subtle, emotional side that really moved me and I feel very grateful to have played her.”

But her writer mother admitted that she originally thought her daughter would play the role of Caitlain MacNamara – the other female lead played by blond superstar Sienna Miller who wore a black and white striped mini-dress.

The two leading ladies giggled and touched each other on the arms during the press conference in Edinburgh Castle’s Queen Anne room.

And Knightley – wearing a stylish floral print dress – was in a jubilant mood ahead of the world premiere screening at the city’s Foutainpark cineworld complex.

The pair faced questions from journalists along with co-star Ryhs, director John Maybury and Rebekah Gilbertson – the granddaughter of Knightley’s character Vera Phillips.

Asked if she felt particularly Scottish, Knightley proudly took her Glasgow-born mother by the hand and said it would be difficult not to.

She then joked about how she liked kilts while director Maybury accused mother and daughter of being ‘tight with their money.’

Joking aside, Knigtley said that although she was proud to be associated with her mother’s work, she did not feel any heightened responsibility to make it a success.

She said: “I am very, very proud of the film and I do feel particularly close to it but I always want to do the best I can possibly do.”

But her mother jibed that making her daughter sing in the film was ‘an act of revenge.’

And Keira said: “The singing was terrifying and I had to take a couple of shots of vodka just to get through the first scene.”

The Edge of Love premieres tonight at a red carpet gala opening night for the 62nd EIFF which has moved away from the traditional festival month of August for the first time.

Fifteen world premieres for Edinburgh Film Festival 027

By Karrie Gillett

BOSSES of this year’s newly-launched Edinburgh International Film Festival have promised that two of the world premieres it has secured will make the event uniquely exciting.

The festival – which shifted dates from the traditional August calendar to branch out as a stand-alone event in June – is offering a packed timetable of 142 feature-length films.

And the cinema screenings are set to open with the global debut of The Edge of Love – starring Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller.

Yesterday, at a crowded press conference in Edinburgh’s Filmhouse theatre, festival chiefs hailed the programme as a chance for the city to truly impact on world cinema.

Ginnie Atkinson, EIFF managing director, said: “We would like to see Edinburgh become known around the world as a film city – like the way it is seen as a festival city.”

And the deputy artistic director of the event which runs from June 18 – 29 echoed the call, saying that this year’s line-up would lead the way in achieving this goal.

Diane Henderson, speaking after a 20-minute show reel of the festival highlights, said: “I have no doubt that we can live up to the expectations that the city has become famous for when it comes to the festival atmosphere during August.

“The film festival is being book-ended by two world premieres which just shows the standing we have in the film world.

“What makes it even better is that both The Edge of Love and the closing night film Faintheart are from British filmmakers – which make the whole event uniquely exciting.”

Apart from the previously announced opening and closing night coups, the festival – in its 62nd year – will also host another 13 world premieres.

However, Ms Henderson singled out the important appearance of animation films in this year’s timetable – from the family friendly to the scary Fears of the Dark.

And she shrugged off any suggestion that moving the dates of the film bonanza forward two months had impacted on the schedule.

She said: “There’s been a lot of hard work from everyone involved to make sure that we have such an exciting event to offer the public.

“Moving the date to June has just made everyone work extra hard and now that is has been announced we feel very proud.

Hannah McGill, EIFF artistic director, praised all staff involved for working tirelessly to ensure the festival’s launch ran smoothly.

“This programme was put together with a whole different calendar and under quite serious time constraints so I want to personally congratulate the staff in putting together such an exciting programme.

“We have a terrifically exciting programme, which is the happy result of a very enthusiastic response from distributors and filmmakers.

“From powerful artistic and political statements to works of pure, escapist entertainment, I think this is a Festival that reflects an active, vibrant world film culture – and suits the diverse and daring tastes of our audience.”

Theatres across the capital – including Cineworld, the Cameo and The Dominion – will be showing the line-up of films from 29 countries.

Linda Fabiani, culture minister, welcomed the diverse schedule offered to film enthusiasts – with tickets going on general sale from Friday May 9.

Ms Fabiani said: “Scotland’s diverse and vibrant cultural life is one of our defining features.
“It is the energy, commitment and creativity of Edinburgh’s Festivals which together make Edinburgh the world’s pre-eminent festival city, attracting tourists and showcasing Scottish talent on the international stage.”