The Edinburgh International Film Festival will screen the international premiere of Puzzle as its opening night gala. The drama from Marc Turtletaub stars Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan and will be released by Sony Pictures in the UK this summer. Puzzle is a portrait of Agnes, who has reached her early 40s without ever venturing far from home, family or the tight-knit immigrant community in which she was raised by her widowed father. That begins to change in a quietly dramatic fashion when Agnes receives a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift and experiences the heady thrill of not only doing something she enjoys, but being very, very good at it. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert, a wealthy, reclusive inventor who immediately recognizes her talent and recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world jigsaw tournament. The full program of the 72nd EIFF will be unveiled in May. The fest runs June 20-July 1.
The International Film Festival & Awards – Macao has set Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige as jury president for its international competition at the 3rd edition of the nascent and growing festival. The master remains the only Chinese helmer to have won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, taking it in 1993 for Farewell My Concubine. The competition is made up of films by first and second-time directors and comes with a purse of $60K for Best Feature. This year, the fest is expanding its overall program to include New Chinese Cinema, a showcase of four-six films representing the selection team’s choice of the best of Chinese language cinema first screened in 2018. In addition, the festival will screen a small collection of films which will appeal to a wide family audience in the For All the Family strand. The other strands include Gala, Flying Daggers, Best of Fest Panorama, Director’s Choice, In Focus and Special Presentations. The event runs December 8-14.
British Pathé and Reuters have entered a deal that will see the former rep Reuters historic footage that was filmed pre-1980. The pact brings together two of the greatest newsreel collections and more than doubles British Pathé’s content, increasing the total number of film items to 208,000. Included are the fully-digitized collections of early cinema newsreels from 1910 to 1959, with content from Gaumont Graphic, Empire News Bulletin, British Paramount and Gaumont British, as well as Visnews content from 1957 to 1979. The newsreels, cinemagazines and documentaries feature such highlights from the late-19th and 20th centuries such as the Titanic setting off from Belfast, the evacuation of Dunkirk, female workers in Britain’s factories during the wars, the coronation of Elizabeth II, the Beatles taking the world by storm, Vietnam, Watergate and Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power.