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58th Edinburgh fest opens with diaries

58th Festival Announces Cannes Titles

Fresh from its acclaimed screening at Cannes, the 58th Edinburgh International Film Festival is proud to announce that its Opening Night film for 2004 will be THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES.
This UK premiere looks likely to be held in the presence of star GAEL GARCIA BERNAL and director WALTER SALLES.

Cannes audience favourite, DEAR FRANKIE has also been confirmed for the Edinburgh programme. This film is from the screenwriter of Afterlife (EIFF Audience Award winner, 2003).

Walter Salles, whose directorial credits include the BAFTA-winning Central Station and Behind The Sun, and who co-produced the sensational City Of God, is regarded as one of the great contemporary South American filmmakers, and his latest feature looks set to take his career to even further heights. Based on the bestselling autobiographical journals of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the film follows the 7000 km journey the 23-year-old future revolutionary undertook, with his best friend Alberto Granado, in the 1950s.

"A subtle and adventurous actor who has rightly been likened to James Dean and Alain Delon" (The Times), actor Bernal can currently be seen onscreen in Pedro Almodovar˜s Bad Education, and has been regarded as one of the brightest new international stars since his breakthrough roles in Amores Perros (which premiered at EIFF in 2000, with the star again in attendance) and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

"Both Salles and Bernal exemplify the qualities that EIFF is all about," says EIFF Artistic Director Shane Danielsen. "A commitment to the work, a truthfulness to their own culture and heritage, and the possibility of retaining one˜s artistic integrity while attempting to reach the broadest possible audience.

"Their film is politically admirable, aesthetically ravishing and thoroughly captivating; we˜re very proud to have it."

In the British Gala section, Dear Frankie is a warm-hearted drama and is the story of a single mother trying to find a father for her deaf son. The film was shot in Greenock, near Glasgow last summer. In Cannes the film received a fifteen minute standing ovation at its premiere to the delight of director Shona Auerbach, writer Andrea Gibb and cast, Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler and newcomer Jack McElhone. Emily Mortimer was last seen in Edinburgh at the premiere of EIFF˜s 2003 Opening film Young Adam.
Screenwriter Andrea Gibb enthused "I had such a fantastic time in Edinburgh last year and feel like it˜s coming home to have Dear Frankie selected this year. I am delighted."

The 58th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs 18-29 August 2004.


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