Jonathan Melville: Festivals busting out all over

IT’S a safe bet that on any given day in Edinburgh you can find at least one film to suit your tastes at a local cinema, but this month it’s getting out of hand.

While years ago it was the case that the Edinburgh International Film Festival was your best bet for watching rare or unusual movies. October sees a raft of festivals popping up to satisfy almost every need.

First there’s the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, running from 1-24 October. The SMHAFF aims to challenge preconceived ideas about mental health, with films such as I, Anna and Shine putting the spotlight on issues that are often overlooked or misunderstood in the media.

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Next Monday sees the return of the lively Scotland Loves Anime festival at Filmhouse, an exciting collection of films and talks that attract a passionate crowd of fans, many of whom dress for the occasion. The hot ticket will be Nerawareta Gakuen, not out in Japan until November.

Looking further ahead, the Africa in Motion festival returns for a seventh year on 25 October, this time looking at the role Africa is playing in today’s global society. The selection of African sci-fi films intrigues me the most here.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the 10th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival takes place at George Square Lecture Theatre from 26 October. Aimed at those with a passion for the great outdoors, the festival attracts more than 3000 attendees each year, so you might want to book tickets early.

Here’s hoping they all do well this month. I’d rather be complaining about having too much choice than too little – tweet me at @jon_melville if you see something you enjoyed.

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