We interviewed Dr Jonny Murray, Director of Undergraduate Studies at Edinburgh College of Art. Dr Murray’s main research interests lie in the field of contemporary Scottish cinema and popular culture.
Dr Jonny Murray is involved in a number of Q&A sessions at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, including an event with Oliver Stone, and organised the annual Scottish Film Summit in partnership with the Film Festival.
You are hosting a Q&A with Oliver Stone this year – part of the Festival’s Special Events strand. What do you hope audiences will take away from this evening with the Academy Award-winning director, writer and producer?
We hope audiences will take away an understanding of Wall St (1987), one of Mr Stone’s best-known and most enduringly topical films. Political issues to do with corporate ethics and the extent to which multinational capital can be regulated by democratically elected governments seem as pertinent today as they did 30 years ago when Wall St was first released. EIFF’s Oliver Stone event this year offers a rare chance to hear an internationally acclaimed filmmaker discuss an Oscar-winning work in depth and at length.
Tell us about the annual Scotland Screen Summit, co-hosted by ECA and EIFF. Who attends and what is discussed at the event?
Scotland’s Screen Summit is an annual opportunity for professionals from all areas of the Scottish screen sector – from educators to distributors, directors to policymakers, university students to seasoned industry professionals – to come together and talk. We do so in order to survey developments within the sector over the past twelve months, and also to anticipate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Over 100 delegates attended this year’s Summit, which included contributions from the British Film Institute on the impact of Brexit on the screen industries and a keynote address from Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.
How else you are involved in this year’s Film Festival?
I’m hosting a total of 10 Q&As with visiting filmmakers during this year’s Festival. That guest list illustrates EIFF’s international scope and reach: the filmmakers I’ll be speaking over 10 days in Edinburgh have travelled from Bulgaria, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA to be with us, alongside emerging and established Scottish and British directors.
This is the Festival’s 70th year, and the University has had close links with EIFF since its inception. Why do you think it’s important for staff and students to collaborate with the Festival?
Edinburgh is arguably unique as a global city in being home to both a world-leading ancient university and a host of world-leading and long-established cultural festivals. Collaborating with EIFF allows staff and students annual access to a wealth of global cinematic talent and innovation. In addition, EIFF’s impressive industry and talent development programmes present university students with an on-the-doorstep opportunity to start developing a range of professional careers in film after ending their degree studies with us. Many of our university student attendees and volunteers of today’s EIFF will go on to become the visiting filmmakers who populate the Festival’s programme in future years.
Unfortunately the screening of Wall Atreet and the Q&A are now sold out. Click here to find out what else is on at The Edinburgh International Film Festival.