Cinema in the sun – Edinburgh Film Festival 2016

by Stephanie Allard

Nice weather appears to be slowly but surely making its way into Scotland’s capital (how long this will last is open to debate). Without jinxing anything, it feels like the start of Summer is gradually making an appearance as masses of locals and tourists alike flock to Princes Street Gardens to grab a spot in front of the castle and soak up this extremely rare occurrence of sunshine. The sun is also just in time for the start of the major festival season, as Edinburgh Film Festival is set to kick off next week. So, on a beautiful, and most importantly unusual sunny day in Edinburgh, will the masses sitting in the gardens be tempted to pull themselves away in order to sit in a dark cinema screen for a couple of hours? The likelihood is probably not (unless you’re one of those hermit types like me who could sit motionless in a cinema screen all day no matter what the weather). So, how do we rectify the issue between the want for not wasting the possible only hot day in Edinburgh ever, and the desire to immerse oneself in Edinburgh Film Festival 2016? Quite easily actually, with the re-appearance of this writers favourite event of the Edinburgh Film Festival: The outdoor screenings.

SharkLast year, I spent a warm-ish evening in St Andrews Square, sat on a picnic blanket, with a sneaky thermos full of wine, and an excitement in my stomach that could only be compared to a child at Disneyland. What was to be shown on the enormous big screen situated in the middle of the Square on this night? One of my all-time favourites, Spielberg’s big fish masterpiece, Jaws. Throughout the entire film, the Square was filled with harmonies of screams, laughter, and, of course, hollering of lines as they were spoken on screen. An example being the classic “You’re going to need a bigger boat”. I immediately named this night as my highlight of any Edinburgh Film Festival I had attended. The sense of community within the audience as we all sat on the edge of our blankets for every “Dun Um” was unlike any cinema experience I’ve had, and to top it off, the weather held out right to the end. A perfect pairing of Summer and Film Festival fun.

The outdoor screenings are back this year with a brand new programme of films for all ages and film fans to enjoy. From Finding Nemo to Mad Max, the return of Grease dance along screening to Star Wars, there’s something for everyone. Edinburgh Film Festival is a major event in the city’s cultural calendar, and the outdoor screenings are the best way of bringing people together. Whether you attend the film festival religiously every year, or it’s your first experience, these events are simple fun that get everyone and anyone involved in the festival. So, if you find yourself wanting to experience this wonderful film festival which is getting bigger and better every year, but don’t want to sit in a stuffy cinema screen on a sunny Scottish day, here’s your answer: Grab a picnic basket, a blanket, your friends (or just yourself if you prefer) and pick a film!



5:00pm MUPPETS (Cert U, 1hr 43mins, 2011)
7:00pm ANTMAN (Cert 12A, 1hr 57mins, 2015)
9:15pm THE BREAKFAST CLUB (Cert 15, 1hr 37mins, 1985)


10:30am MINIONS (Cert U, 1hr 31 mins, 2015)
12:15pm BIG HERO 6(Cert PG, 1hr 42mins, 2015)
2.15pm ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (Cert U, 1hr 40mins, 1966)
4.20pm GREASE (Cert PG, 1hr 50mins, 1978)
6.25pm JURASSIC PARK (Cert PG, 2hr 7mins, 1993)
9.00pm MAD MAX – FURY ROAD (Cert 15, 2hrs, 2015)


10:30am MOOMINS ON THE RIVIERA (Cert U, 1hr 20mins, 2014)
12:00pm FINDING NEMO (Cert U, 1hr 40mins, 2003)
2:00pm HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (Cert PG, 2hr, 22mins, 2004)
4:40pm 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (Cert 12, 1hr 39 mins, 1999)
6:35pm PITCH PERFECT (Cert 12A, 1hr 52mins, 2012)
8:45pm STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS (Cert PG, 2hr 16mins, 2015)

The outdoor screenings are running from Friday 10th-Sunday 12th of June. Find full details of screenings and times on the Edinburgh Film Festival website, or pick up a programme almost anywhere!

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