April 21, 2024

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Scotland’s Sands International Film Festival Of St Andrews will open on April 19 with a double-bill screening of British writer-director Naqqash Khalid’s debut feature In Camera and Harry Holland’s short film Last Call, starring Tom Holland. 

The titles make up the lineup of the festival’s third edition, which runs April 19-21. The festival will close with Maggie Contreras’ debut feature documentary Maestra, in which five female conductors from across the globe prepare for and compete in La Maestra – the world’s only competition for female conductors. 

Elsewhere, Scottish actress and filmmaker Karen Gillan will take part in a talk on April 21 about her career, moderated by actor, playwright, and director Adura Onashile. Gillan is best known for working with the Russo brothers on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame. Her other film credits include Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, in which she starred alongside Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart, Gunpowder Milkshake, and sci-fi thriller, Dual. Sands will also screen two of Gillan’s short films: Conventional (2015) and The Hoarding (2020).

Sands will also run a series of talks on the subject of film. The on stage panel discussion The Art of Curation will take a closer look at the work of the film curator, and how to develop the skills necessary to become one. The festival has said the talk will also ask pertinent questions for the modern-day curator including what is the role of human taste in the digital age? Guests Gráinne Humphreys, of the Dublin Film Festival, and Josh Siegel, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Film, will take part in that session. 

The second session On Documentary will interrogate the idea that we are witnessing a golden age for documentaries and seek to explore what audiences really want to see in this day and age. Head of Documentaries and Non-Fiction for Apple TV+, Molly Thompson, and John Sloss, producer, and founder and CEO of Cinetic Media, will take part in the discussion, moderated by Oscar-winning producer Melanie Miller (Navalny, Maestra).

Other films screening at this year’s festival include Mami Wata from director C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, which imagines a fictional African village, not yet affected by the Western norms shaping the lands around them, but instead reliant upon the water goddess, Mami Wata, for survival and Orlando: My Political Biography (Orlando, ma biographie politique) which follows more than 20 trans and non-binary interviewees as they each discuss their identities about author Virginia Woolf’s original character of Orlando, a young man who grew up to be a woman.

“I’m excited to share the lineup of the 3rd edition of Sands. The curatorial process is unique, involving university students with a keen interest in film, and, together, we select films we are passionate about sharing with our communities,” said Festival Director Ania Trzebiatowska. “This year, we will showcase some extraordinary films and talent from around the world, and I cannot wait for our audiences to have the opportunity to discover those, as well as take part in some very special panel and Q&A opportunities with some of the world’s greatest auteurs and filmmakers.”

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