Get involved with EIFF: Industry opportunities at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is a great excuse to spend 11 days eating an ocean of popcorn and waching world-class cinema.

But if you're involved in filmmaking (or would like to be in the future) it's also a wonderful place to develop your skills, network with industry professionals and meet like-minded folk who could help take your career to the next level.

Here are three ways you can get involved with this year's festival.

EIFF Talent Lab

In a nutshell, EIFF Talent Lab gives up-and-coming filmmakers an amazing opportunity to learn from the world’s key film industry playersOver seven editions, it has suported over 200 filmmakers in the early stages of their career.

Taking place from 22-25 June 2018, this event leads 30 participants in group discussions, workshops and networking events. There's also an afternoon of one-to-one advice and information sessions with industry experts, where participants can find out more about their specific career paths.

EIFF Talent Lab

The aim of Talent Lab is to hone the skills of budding filmmakers, whilst building confidence and offering a supportive, creative environment.

Last year, upcoming filmmaker Morayo Akandé too part in the programme. She said: "It's been a great year since taking part in the EIFF Talent Lab 2017. The Lab really inspired me to keep pushing for my dreams and it has created brilliant opportunities for me. I will be directing my first short film, with a producer who also took part in the Lab and I signed with a top literary agent.”

She describes her experience in more detail in a short video on Talent Lab, which was produced by EIFF.

This Talent Lab programme is open to all filmmakers with a minimum of either a feature film or two short film credits as director, writer or producer. All applicants must be looking to make a fiction feature for their next project. Applications are encouraged from Scottish and UK filmmakers. There are a small number of places available for international participants who are applying with a project or team that has a UK/Scottish connection.

How to apply: The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 30 April 2018. More details on the application process can be found at

Works in Progress

EIFF Works in Progress (or EWiP, if you will) is a showcase event for UK films, supporting them in their ambitions to reach completion, festival selection or theatrical release.

This one-day event will be held on Sunday 24 June 2018. Ten eligible projects will be selected to take part in the event, which gives invited international sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers, the chance to get an ahead-of-the-game look at upcoming British feature films.

Projects must meet the following requirements to enter:

  • the film must be in production or post-production with any potential premiere taking place after EIFF 2018
  • the film must not have an international sales agent
  • the presentation must include a clip from the film or a trailer (maximum of three minutes)

Last year, Michal Sulima's real life road movie, Piano to Zanskar, was one of the chosen as the winner of the Works in Progress Award, having been selected from over 40 submissions.

The film's team said at the time: "We are delighted to have been selected for the EIFF Works in Progress Award this year. It was a real privilege to be part of the showcase and to pitch our documentary to an audience full of industry professionals, which resulted in a number of meetings and expressions of interest.

"It's only fair to say that we were heartily impressed by the quality of all the films presented, so the award comes to us as a great surprise! Given that our film has been entirely self-funded, it will go a long way towards helping us reach completion. We're very grateful to the wonderful team at the EIFF for giving us this opportunity."

How to apply: The deadline for applications is 12pm on Tuesday 01 May 2018. More details on the application process can be found at

Distribution Rewired

Distribution Rewired is a two-day event, which explores communication and collaboration between filmmakers and film distribution professionals working with new/emerging distribution methods.

2018's event will be the fourth iteration of the strand. This year, the event is dedicated to exploring a more creative approach to distribution. It will look at new developments in the distribution landscape, such as cinema-on-demand and event cinema, and with explore the role of VOD platforms, as well as digital and direct distribution.

Distribution Rewired

This article was published on 10 Apr 2018