Our top 5 from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018

29 Jun 2018 BY Maria Cabrera in Film Features

5 mins
Science Fair
Science Fair

Edinburgh International Film Festival is always one to catch. Bringing together some of the most anticipated films of the year, alongside international and local talent, there is always an eclectic programme to get stuck into. To celebrate Scotland's Year of Young People, the 2018 festival dedicated an entire strand to 'The Young and The Wild', films made by or about young people.

The films at the 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival explored a range of urgent issues such as discrimination, mental health and growing-up, with many highlighting filmmaking as a tool for sharing personal stories and sparking discussions among communities. Here are our top 5 films to look out for in the future (should they get releases), as selected by Film Curation Officer Maria.

Science Fair

Engaging for 14+

This funny and uplifting film follows passionate high school students preparing for the Intel's Science and Engineering Fair, a huge prestigious science fair where young people can showcase their research in return for awards and access to scholarships. The film goes beyond the awards and highlights the creativity held by young people and their determination to change the world. Following students from different nationalities and backgrounds, as well as their supportive teachers and parents, this is a joyful look at community, education and the power of science in our society.


Engaging for 16+

This powerful film from New Zeland is directed by eight filmmakers, all Māori women, who have each directed a scene in one take. Each one follows a woman from their point of view, dealing with the death of a young boy in their Māori community at the hands of his caregiver. The filmmakers' narrative choice draws attention to the collective nature of filmmaking, and by depicting the film from the perspective of both the community's young and its elders, Waru creates an incredibly intimate and nuanced story.

My Name Is Myeisha

Engaging for 14+

Inspired by the 1988 police shooting of a Black teenage girl called Tyisha Miller in California (and other similar cases), My Name is Myeisha mixes elements of musicals, hip-hop, poetry and performance to investigate police brutality and the lives that are taken too soon. Although it is a harrowing story, this is an incredibly creative film with humour, which explores the joys of African-American culture as well as the brutal realities faced by Black people. The film's lead actress, newcomer Rhaechyl Walker, takes complete command of the screen, talking directly to the audience.


Engaging for 14+

Set in Margate, Jellyfish follows 15 year-old Sarah as she struggles to keep up with everything in her life: looking after her younger siblings and bipolar mother, being bullied in school, and working part-time in an arcade to make enough money to support her family. Encouraged by her drama teacher, she turns to stand-up comedy to channel the chaos. This is a story about neglect and the struggles faced by working class children, however it also highlights how creativity can offer a space to reflect on difficult feelings and experiences.

Dirt Road to Lafayette

Engaging for 14+

15 year-old Murdo and his father, Tom, travel from Scotland to North Alabama to visit their American-Scottish relatives after the death of his mother. Murdo is an accordionist and has not played since her passing, but he gains confidence again when he meets an African-American family of musicians who play zydeco (blues) music. While learning about the Louisiana music, he reconnects with his own Scottish culture. Dirt Road to Lafayette is a film about grief, music and how small gestures can transforms others' lives.

Want to know what three of our young reporters made of the films at the 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival? How about some interviews with a range of the incredible directing and acting talent who attended the festival? Check out a different perspective on EIFF 2018 below.

Maria Cabrera news author image

Maria Cabrera , Curation Officer

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