Director Bill Forsyth confirmed in Edinburgh International Film Festival line-up

Celebrated Scottish director Bill Forsyth is to return to the Edinburgh International Film Festival this summer - to lift the lid on his new version of Local Hero.

Celebrated Scottish film director Bill Forsyth will be screening Local Hero and discussing a new stage adaptation of the classic comedy with theatre-maker David Greig at the film festival.

The creator of Gregory’s Girl and Comfort and Joy will be speaking for the first time about the stage adaptation of his much-loved story ahead of its launch in 2019.

Forsyth, whose first feature film That Sinking Feeling was an EIFF hit in 1979, will host a screening of Local Hero, the Highland-set comedy starring Denis Lawson, Burt Lancaster and Peter Capaldi.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He will also take part in an extended interview with theatre-maker David Greig, artistic director of the Royal Lyceum,the Edinburgh theatre where the stage show will premiere in January.

Forsyth’s appearance is expected to be one of the highlights of the festival, which has announced that documentaries about tragic pop star Whitney Houston, controversial Tour de France star David Millar and a long-awaited film by author James Kelman will be part of this year’s line-up.

Travis frontman Fran Healey will be unveiling a new fly-on-the-wall film following the band on tour, while one of Scotland’s leading visual artists, Rachel Maclean, will be launching a new dystopian drama she filmed at a ruined seminary in Argyll to mark 100 years since women secured the right to vote in the UK.

A host of home-grown highlights of the 72nd EIFF programme have been unveiled ahead of next week’s official programme launch.

New films featuring Scot stars Jack Lowden, Shauna Macdonald, James Cosmo and Tommy Flanagan are in the line-up.

The festival has already announced that Trainspotting, Gosford Park and Boardwalk Empire star Kelly Macdonald, who was last at the event to unveil Disney-Pixar feature Brave, will be back on the red carpet on the opening night to unveil new drama mystery Puzzle.

Oscar-winning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, whose previous films include One Day In September, Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, will be unveiling Whitney, which he made with the backing of the late singer’s estate, while Kelman’s road movie Dirt Road To Lafayette, which has already inspired a novel, will be unveiled. Mark Cousins, a former EIFF director, will be screening his acclaimed new film about Hollywood icon Orson Welles.

Jack Lowden, who closed last year’s festival with Morrissey biopic England is Mine, is one of the main stars of Calibre, a thriller about a hunting weekend gone wrong in an isolated village in the Highlands.

The Descent star Shauna Macdonald will return to the horror genre in White Chamber, Flanagan is in a remake of the 1970s prison drama Papillon, and Cosmo will appear alongside Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer in underworld drama In Darkness.

Mark Adams, artistic director of the festival, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema and Scottish talent has always been at the heart of that.

“Our programme always helps shine the light on to Scottish themes, performances and filmmakers, and I am thrilled that once again we can celebrate this high-level of craftsmanship in past and present Scottish work in our 72nd year.”

Scott Donaldson, acting director of screen at Creative Scotland said: “We are incredibly proud of the strength and depth of Scottish talent showcased in this year’s EIFF programme.

“As ever the dedicated team have pulled together a dynamic and exciting selection of Scottish titles across many different genres, from feature films and documentaries to animation and artists film.

“We look forward to Scottish audiences getting a chance to enjoy, be inspired by and celebrate these films.”

EIFF’s organisers have already unveiled details of a number of special screenings, including a family gala showcasing the latest Disney-Pixar blockbuster Incredibles 2.

Stephen Spielberg classic Jaws will be screened to a live performances of the iconic John Williams soundtrack from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Comic Rob Brydon is expected in Edinburgh to bring the curtain down on the event with the unveiling of new British comedy Swimming With Men.

The full line-up for the festival, which runs from 20 June to July 1, will be unveiled on May 23.