ACCLAIMED new American drama Breathe In has won the coveted opening night slot at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, organisers revealed today.
• American drama will open the Edinburgh International Film Festival; will also be European premiere
• Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce star in film directed by Drake Doremus who won 2011 Sundance Film Festival jury prize
• EIFF artistic director Chris Fujiwara: Breathe In is ‘ideal opening film’ for festival
Rising English actress Felicity Jones is expected in the capital for what will be the European premiere of her new film Breathe In, a hit at the Sundance Film Festival in the US earlier this year.
It will get its European premiere in Edinburgh after artistic director Chris Fujiwara turned to the US for his big gala curtain-raiser for the second year in a row after director William Friedkin unveiled black comedy Killer Joe last year.
Director Drake Doremus, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival jury prize for romantic drama Like Crazy, cast Jones in that film too, and she won a special prize for breaththrough performance at the same event.
Beathe In, which will be screened in Edinburgh on 19 June, is described by California-born Doremus as an “intense and passionate” love story.
Jones stars as a British exchange student who disrupts the life of a seemingly-settled American family after moving into their New York apartment.
Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan play the married couple whose relationship is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of the character played by Jones, who is drawn towards the music teacher patriarch of the house. despite an age-gap of almost 30 years.
Jones, who landed her first major role as Ethel Hallow in the TV series The Worst Witch, played the voice of Emma Carter on The Archers for several years. Other major roles have included the BBC adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank four years ago.
The festival has already secured new Scottish film Not Another Happy Ending, a new comedy starring former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan.
Mr Fujiwara described Breathe In as the “ideal opening film” for this year’s festival, which will unveil its full programme at the end of the month.
He added: “In a healthy year for American cinema, Breathe In is clearly a stand-out.
“It’s an emotionally powerful, beautifully understated and intelligent work from director-writer Drake Doremus, who reveals tremendous sensitivity, style and skill. He also draws superb performances from Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones.”
Doremus said: ‘I’m very excited that Breathe In has been selected to play the Edinburgh International Film Festival and to be given the opening night slot is overwhelming.
“I now look forward to visiting Edinburgh and celebrating not just the event but the Festival’s recognition of a film I am incredibly proud of.”