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Movies 12/08/2001

Edinburgh film festival opens

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Edinburgh (BBC) - Film stars gathered in Edinburgh on Sunday night for the launch of the city's Film and International festivals.

The festival openings follow a successful first week of the Fringe and Book festivals which saw record advance tickets sales.
The Film Festival opened with the international premiere of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie.

The film has been a box office smash in its native France, although it was less of hit with the critics.
It received its first showing outside France to a VIP audience at the Odeon, after which it will be moving to the city's UGC cinema for public screenings.

Audrey Tatou
Amelie will open the Film Festival

Jeunet, who also directed the acclaimed Delicatessen, introduced the movie himself at the UGC.
Celebrity guests at the screening were expected to include Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian and Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue.
And the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon was set to perform an acoustic set at the aftershow party at the Corn Exchange.


The Film Festival will see a host of première screenings including the first UK showing of The Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo's Lucky Break, and Billy Elliot screenwriter Lee Hall's Gabriel and Me, starring Billy Connelly.
Four Weddings and a Funeral star Andie MacDowell's film Crush and the adaptation of Robert Harris' best-seller Enigma, produced by Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, will also be shown.
Jagger is expected to attend the event.

Also expected to drop by is actor and ex-husband of Madonna Sean Penn - to promote his latest directorial effort The Pledge.

Sean Penn
Sean Penn is expected to turn up at the festival

The film, which stars Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro and Vanessa Redgrave, will make its UK debut in Edinburgh.

Film Festival sponsors Film Four have found a novel way to promote the event by projecting the faces of film stars onto the rocks below Edinburgh Castle.

Epic opera

The two-week International Festival will showcase 161 performances with four world and 20 British premières.
Highlights include Hector Berlioz's epic opera Les Troyens, which will be spread over two weekends.
Performers from across the world will be making appearances, including the New York City Ballet, the Russian National Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Other International Festival highlights include the world debut stage version of composer John Cage's 1982 radio play Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Erik Satie: An Alphabet.

There will also be the world premiere of Glaswegian playwright Shan Khan's award-winning stage play Office.

The Festival Fringe, which continues this week, has reported its best opening weekend, with takings up more than £250,000 on last year.

The Book Festival has also been boosted by record advance ticket sales, up 40% on last year.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Castle Esplanade has sold out for the third successive year.

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