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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011

Updated through 6/20.

The 65th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (site) officially opens tonight with a screening of John Michael McDonagh's The Guard and runs through June 26. "In place of galas and red carpets our focus has been on thought-provoking ideas, experimental events and distinctive collaborations," writes festival director James Mullighan in the Scotsman.

One of these is certainly Project: New Cinephilia, which has been underway for a couple of weeks now (catch up with the essays, art and online roundtables and join the discussions) and culminates in a day-long symposium Mullighan will be hosting tomorrow. Discussions and a masterclass will be topped off at 6:30 pm local time (that's 1:30 pm in New York, 10:30 am in California) with a Twitterthon, "a 140-character film critic death match." Omar Kholeif (@everythingOK) will be live-tweeting the full day, and of course, keep an eye, too, on @ProjectNC and, especially during the Twitterthon, the hashtag #pnc11.

As for the main event, Nicola Balkind has put together a terrific list of bloggers and Twitterers who'll be all over Edinburgh. Meantime, back in the Scotsman, you'll find lists of must-see events and films as well as Siobhan Synnot's interviews with Ewan McGregor (Perfect Sense) and Brendan Gleeson (The Guard). And of course, I'll update this entry throughout the festival as notable reviews and features appear.

Updates, 6/20: Tim Hayes posts a first roundup at Little White Lies.

"Times are tough for the Edinburgh film festival," blogs the Guardian's Andrew Pulver. "I haven't been in the city more than an hour before a senior film executive — who did not want to be named — tells me this year's is a 'disaster.' … No one wants to see Edinburgh go down. Festival insiders assure me that the organisers are already taking corrective steps; admitting defeat and shifting it back to August must surely be the first order of business. Then, they program a significant amount of quality, attention-grabbing cinema. [Sight & Sound editor Nick] James agrees: 'To divorce the film festival from the rest of the Edinburgh festivals is to miss the point. It should then be underpinned by a love of world cinema — not just promoting young British talent. What it needs to do is get back in touch with cinephilia.'"

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