The Edinburgh International Film Festival has just opened its programme for young film critics, for schools who want to make their own films and Media Days for schools to meet the filmmakers.

Building on last year’s inaugural initiative, EIFF will offer 25 young people a unique opportunity to participate in the 2012 Festival. The Young Talents programme is an opportunity for film fans aged 16 – 18, where selected participants will be given a free EIFF Student Pass, allowing them access to Industry events, Press and Industry screenings and an exclusive Young Talents events programme as well as selected parts of the public programme. Young Talents is supported by Creative Scotland and through The Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

Young Talents was launched at the 2011 Festival and involved 21 young people who participated in over 30 events and screenings, including private Q&A sessions with actor Ewen Bremner (PERFECT SENSE; TRAINSPOTTING) and director Dominic Allan (CALVET). Designed to inspire young people with an interest in film to pursue a career in the industry, Young Talents explores film analysis, performance and craft, and reveals the routes young people can take into the UK film industry.

2011 participant Laurence Williams, 18, said:-“There were so many events to take advantage of and I hope that I will make use of all the information and advice given. It was amazing meeting, talking to, and hearing from people with experience and knowledge in the film industry.”

Laura Glennie, 16, added:- “I got to experience so much more than I could otherwise, I learned so much valuable information that I couldn’t have experienced first hand. I have also been inspired – after meeting filmmakers – to make a short film for my Advanced Higher Art and Design portfolio!”

Douglas Greenwood, 17, added:- “EIFF Young Talents is possibly the most rewarding programme directed towards young people interested in the film industry. You’re surrounded by professionals, meet real actors and directors, and are allowed to explore the Festival’s varied and enriching programme. I cannot wait to return in 2012!”

EIFF is now accepting applications for Young Talents 2012 and welcomes all applicants aged 16 – 18 years old with an interest in film and who are able to be in Edinburgh during the Festival dates 20 June – 1 July 2012. The deadline for applications is 23 May 2012 and can be accessed at

For those in Further and Higher Education, EIFF is delighted to announce the Student Critics Award Jury that will offer three places for aspiring film critics to attend EIFF and view a shortlisted programme of films. Working with two established critics as mentors, the Jury will develop their writing and critical skills during their time at EIFF. The Jury will select the winner of the inaugural Student Critics Award at EIFF’s Awards Ceremony on 30 June. Applicants for the Student Critics Award Jury will be asked to submit 400 words on a particular film or an aspect of cinema. Further details are available from

EIFF 2012 also sees the return of Edinburgh Schools Film Competition in partnership with Screen Education Edinburgh and Arts & Learning and The City of Edinburgh Council.

Open to all pupils in Council run nurseries, primaries, secondary and special education schools, the competition will see selected films share the Festival limelight with leading filmmakers from around the world. Work is viewed and selected by a young people’s Jury who also coordinate and present the Schools Film Competition Award Ceremonies during the Festival.

David Barras, filmmaker and Jury Coordinator, said:- “Having worked with groups who have submitted films and now being behind the scenes on the Jury, I can honestly say that the ideas, creativity and imagination of young people in Edinburgh is always startling and the films represent an amazing breadth of inventiveness and originality. It’s great that the competition and its eventual winners are all decided by other young people.”

The chosen films will screen to the public on Saturday 23 June for Primary, and Sunday 24 June for Secondary Schools.

For school audiences, there will be a range of screenings, including two Media Days for High Schools, containing short and feature film screenings, master-classes and the chance to meet filmmakers and industry professionals on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 June. There will also be opportunities for primary schools and students of Modern Studies to attend film screenings.

Film screenings support teachers and students in their learning and each film is carefully chosen from the main programme to support the Curriculum for Excellence. Full details of the schools programme are available at or by contacting

Martin Cairns, Media Studies and English teacher, Broughton High School, said:- “EIFF Media Days for Schools are one of the highlights of the year for my students. The opportunity to meet cast and crew from the movie world is inspiring and invaluable, whether it be Lucius Malfoy or DA Pennebaker, this is a fantastic event which is geared towards supporting teachers’ work in school. The resources provided are a great way to get stuck into a Media Studies course at the start of the year.”

Paul Laird, Media Studies and English teacher, Leith Academy, said:- “The Media Days at EIFF provide pupils with the chance to attend a film festival that has international recognition and that has been the launching pad for some of the biggest names in the business.  With a new artistic director and with the chance to meet with industry insiders, directors, writers and academics this is one experience that is not to be missed.  My own pupils found the whole experience educational, entertaining and inspiring…who doesn’t want to offer their pupils that?”