Kevin Bacon and Oliver Stone to appear at Edinburgh film festival

Kevin Bacon will be appearing in his wife Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut at this year's Edinburgh film festival.
Kevin Bacon will be appearing in his wife Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut at this year's Edinburgh film festival.
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Hollywood favourite Kevin Bacon and Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone are to lead the 70th birthday celebrations of the Edinburgh International Film Festival this summer.

Withnail & I star Richard E Grant, The Hunger Games favourite Stanley Tucci and Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill will also be making special appearances at the event’s landmark anniversary.

Festival director Mark Adams launching the 70th anniversary programme at the Filmhouse today.

Festival director Mark Adams launching the 70th anniversary programme at the Filmhouse today.

Organisers hope Orlando Bloom will join a roll call of British film talent lined up for the event to unveil his latest film, Romans, which will be getting a world premiere.

The festival has secured one of the final on-screen appearances by the veteran British actor Sir John Hurt before he died earlier this year, playing a screenwriter battling a terminal illness in That Good Night.

Also confirmed are Trudie Styler, the actress wife of rock star Sting, and James Bond composer David Arnold.

Bacon, who made his name in Footloose, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13 and Flatliners, will be launching coming-of-drama drama Story of a Girl, which is directed by his wife, Kyra Sedgwick.

The pair, who will take part in an “in conversation” event, will also introduce The Woodsman, a 2004 film about a paedophile’s attempt to adapt to life after prison, which both starred in.

Final Portrait, the new film by The Lovely Bones star Tucci, will be presenting the festival’s first ever “people’s gala,” with all tickets pegged at £5.

Another big-name American guest, Danny Huston, star of The Aviator and The Constant Gardener, will appear in and direct The Last Photograph, a drama partly inspired by the Lockerbie disaster.

Award-winning British stage and screen star Juliet Stevenson will be at the European premiere of her film Let Me Go, based on the memoirs of Helga Schneider, who was abandoned by her mother during the Second World War at the age of just four.

Grant, who launched Withnail & I at the festival in 1987, will return for a special 30th anniversary screening and a special event to discuss his career, while Oliver Stone will be honoured with a 30th anniversary screening of 1980s hit Wall Street.

Tucci, Grant, Hill and Arnold will also be taking part in special “in person” events, while author Ian Rankin will be discussing TV drama Reichanbach Falls, which was based on one of his short stories.

Documentaries about the Glasgow music scene in the 1980s and 1990s, Hollywood icon Cary Grant, the launch of the Voyager 1 space probe 40 years ago and the siege of Aleppo will also be launched.

Festival director Mark Adams said: “As always, we’re still trying to pin actors down, but it’s great that we’re able to confirm so many guests for special events.

"Some of them like Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Stanley Tucci have films in the festival but there are others we’ve been speaking to for some time who say they would love to come in future when they have time.

“We’re trying to get Orlando Bloom to come over for the world premiere of his film. He’s filming in Louisiana at the moment, so it will depend on his schedule.

“This is the first time we’ve done a people’s gala, which Stanley Tucci will be introducing at the Festival Theatre. We wanted to put on an event in a lovely venue at a price that is really accessible to anybody.

"A lot of people might think they can’t afford to go to a gala screening or don’t normally go to the Festival Theatre.”

The festival will be using the Vue cinema at Omni Centre for the first time expanding to new venues in Leith and Morningside during its landmark anniversary, as well as staging a special event at an Edinburgh University wave research facility.

The festival’s celebrations are already underway with an outdoor exhibition of classic and rarely-seen images from the event’s archives in Festival Square, St Andrew Square and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad.

Outdoor screenings of films like Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing, Cars, Singin’ in the Rain and The Jungle Book will be staged in St Andrew Square before the festival, which runs from 21 June- 2 July.

Natalie Usher, director of screen at national arts agency Creative Scotland, said: “This year’s landmark 70th anniversary edition is packed with an impressive array of the very best films from around the world, certain to appeal to local and international audiences.

“With an amazing film line up, great audience and industry events, creative debate and discussion, and a rich retrospective, EIFF 2017 is set to entertain and enthral us all.”