Edinburgh International Film Festival will open with the UK premiere of Nora Fingscheidt's Orkney-set drama The Outrun starring Saoirse Ronan

The Festival also announces its shorts competition will be titled The Thelma Schoonmaker Prize for Short Filmmaking Excellence with the legendary film editor in attendance

The relaunched Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has today announced that this year’s 77th edition of the Festival will open with Nora Fingscheidt's adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s best-selling memoir, The Outrun .

The Outrunstars Saoirse Ronan (Ladybird, Brooklyn) as a young woman who finds herself washed up back home on the Scottish islands of Orkney as she battles to rebuild her life after a decade of addiction. Ronan, who also co-produced the film, will join filmmaker Nora Fingscheidt (System Crasher) in attendance at this year’s EIFF, alongside writer Amy Liptrot and the film’s producers Sarah Brocklehurst and Dominic Norris. The film had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and will be released by STUDIOCANAL in the UK and Ireland on September 27, 2024.

The Outrun was developed and produced by Sarah Brocklehurst of Brock Media, Dominic Norris of Arcade Pictures, Saoirse Ronan and Jack Lowden, with the support of BBC Film and Screen Scotland.

Executive Producers on The Outrun are Protagonist Pictures, BBC Film, Screen Scotland and MBK Productions.

EIFF has also revealed the name of its short film competition as The Thelma Schoonmaker Prize for Short Filmmaking Excellence . Thelma Schoonmaker is celebrated for her iconic work as an editor on landmark moments in cinema history and for her legendary collaborations with Martin Scorsese, includingRaging Bull, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall StreetandKillers of the Flower Moon. Thelma will be in attendance at this year’s festival. The award comes with a cash prize of £15,000.

The short film competition runs alongside four additional shorts programmes, 10 world-premiere feature films competing for The Sean Connery Prize for Feature Filmmaking Excellence and programming strands including Out of Competition - which includes international premieres, UK premieres and additional world premieres, a Midnight Madness strand showcasing the best in genre cinema from around the world and a retrospective strand honouring film history. Industry activity will run across the first weekend of the Festival with announcements around guests and activities to follow in the next weeks. Industry delegates will experience the wealth of the film programme and also access all that is on show in the wider festivals month via new collaborations with partners including Screen Fringe.

EIFF honours 70+ years of film festival history, showcasing the very best talent in filmmaking in a format rooted in a local Scottish context whilst embracing the international diversity of creative expression. The Film Festival encourages general audiences, film fans and industry professionals to make the trip this summer to Edinburgh, which is universally recognised as a place of beauty, history, discovery and adventure.

The full EIFF programme will be launched on Thursday 4 July when tickets will also go on sale.

EIFF Director, Paul Riddhas said: “The Outrunis a truly special film. Powered by an electric and fearless central performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is lyrical, momentous cinema of real rigour and intelligence, and exactly the kind of bold work we want to champion with our relaunched festival. I have been a fan of Nora Fingscheidt’s uncompromising, emotional filmmaking ever since her debut System Crasher and I can think of no more fitting combination of announcements than this wonderful film as our opening with the confirmation of the legendary Thelma Schoonmaker’s gracious support for our Shorts Prize. We are honoured to be working with such phenomenal women of cinema.”

Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland has said: “It’s great to see Paul set out his ambition for the relaunched EIFF with such a significant title for Scotland. Orkney’s primal beauty and unique natural landscape is at the heart of things, not only as the setting but as the source of redemption, courage and healing.

“Nora’s exceptional talent, combined with Amy Liptrot’s raw, imaginative writing and Saoirse Ronan’s breathtaking performance make for a compelling and emotional ride. And it seems fitting, for a festival that intends to work with its creative partners across the Fringe, Book, TV and International Festivals that this hugely successful creative collaboration should take centre stage.”

From August 15 to August 21 2024, the 77th edition of EIFF will take place at unique venues in Edinburgh, including Summerhall and the historic Cameo cinema, allowing audiences to seamlessly experience the best of the Fringe along with the world-class programme of cinema at EIFF. Submissions to EIFF have now closed with more information being found atwww.edfilmfest.org.

Helmed by Festival Director Paul Ridd and Festival Producer Emma Boa, the team aims to create a world-class showcase for independent film and filmmaking talent. Former Acquisitions Executive Ridd is supported by an expanding Board, including Chair Andrew Macdonald of DNA Films, producer of the iconic Edinburgh-based film Trainspotting; Peter Rice, former Chairman of General Entertainment at Disney and President of 21st Century Fox; and Amy Jackson, producer of last year’s BAFTA award-winning indie, Aftersun. EIFF 2024 is supported by Screen Scotland.