Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2019

What is the future for the Edinburgh International Film Festival?

The Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Filmhouse and the Belmont cinema in Aberdeen have all stopped trading with immediate effect.

The parent charity that runs them — Centre for the Moving Image — announced it had called in administrators after what it described as a "perfect storm".

It said it had seen sharply rising costs alongside reduced trade due to the effects of the Covid pandemic.

It also announced 102 staff had lost their jobs as a result of the closures.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs she was "hugely concerned" by the news.

It puts in doubt the future of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is the world's oldest continually running festival, and comes just weeks after it celebrated its 75th anniversary.

In a statement, CMI’s board said: “The charity is facing the perfect storm of sharply rising costs, in particular energy costs, alongside reduced trade due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. The combination and scale of these challenges is unprecedented and means that there was no option but to take immediate action.”

Entertainment website Variety said they are 'the first high-profile victim of the looming recession currently gripping the U.K, which follows the two-year COVID-19 pandemic'.

There was a raft of dismayed reaction to the news on social media, and a petition to save the Filmhouse, Belmont and Film Festival has already been launched. As at 11am on 13th October, this petition had already reached over 19,500 signatures.

About David Petherick

David Petherick is the owner and publisher of edinburghfestival.org and was born in, and lives, in Edinburgh. He is a writer, marketer and tweeter and is also a LinkedIn Profile Doctor. Follow @edinburghfest for festival news and updates and @petherick for personal news and views.

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