Welcome to “Project: New Cinephilia,” a cross-platform initiative of the Edinburgh International Film Festival open to critics, students, curators, archivists, filmmakers, film-industry professionals, publishers, educators, movie lovers, and the film-curious public. In the weeks ahead, we will publish original essays, roundtable discussions, and film-related artworks by a roster of international contributors. Today, we are proud to debut the official P:NC website, co-published and powered by our friends at MUBI, who will host P:NC-related discussion in their Forums.
When festival director James Mullighan phoned in late December and asked if we would co-curate a symposium on film criticism for the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival, we were honoured to accept. He then suggested that we rethink the ossified formats of such symposia—keynote speeches and panel talks—and imagine what could be done differently. How could we create something people would want to be part of, something that would draw the interest of critics and filmmakers and have an educational component as well? We welcomed that idea, and talked through some possibilities. “I want you to reinvent the whole idea of such a conference,” he told us, invoking the iconoclastic spirit that has historically defined the Edinburgh Festival. “Break all the rules.” It was in this hugely ambitious context that the seeds of “Project: New Cinephilia” were sown. Whether we succeed or not depends largely on you—our audience—whom we hope to thoroughly engage throughout the coming weeks. Continue reading