New Edinburgh film festival director signals return of red carpet premieres

RED carpet premieres will be part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, its new artistic director Chris Fujiwara confirmed today.

Speaking in Edinburgh about his vision for the event, which ran into trouble last year over a controversial rethink which saw high-profile film premieres and awards abandoned, Mr Fujiwara said that he would not shy away from holding them.

“Depending on the films we are going to bring and depending on the availability of the stars, we will be more than happy to roll out all appropriate courtesy in the form of a red carpet or whatever to make those stars happy,” he said.

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However, the new artistic director, who replaced James Mullighan in the wake of criticism of last year’s changes, said that he would be treating the festival as a “clean slate” and not focusing on the mistakes made in 2011’s event.

“It’s hard for me to address that [the mistakes], and I don’t know how helpful it is for me to address that,” he said.

“Coming here, I have the greatest opportunity to have a clean slate, I’m told that I can do the kind of festival I want to do. So I haven’t been too concerned about 2011, I’ve looked at reports, I’ve looked at the catalogue, I know more or less what went on, but I’m more concerned with my own festival, I’m not really thinking in terms of difference, the difference between this year and last year, or two years ago, it’s not something I’m getting bogged down in.”

Though he has been working directly with the festival staff for several weeks, changes have already been put in place, with the reintroduction of the prestigious Michael Powell Award.