Film Events for Summer

After a year of closures and lockdowns, this summer promises to be a re-awakening for film enthusiasts. Festivals are taking place, both online and in-person, whilst other events promise to bring audiences joy once more. Here are some film-related gatherings for the summer months of 2021.

The Cannes Film Festival | 6 – 17 July

Last year, the Cannes Film Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. So it’s no surprise there’s huge excitement surrounding the return of the most prestigious gathering in world cinema. The festival is set to open with Leos Carax’s Annette, a musical starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver. That is likely to be the tip of a very intriguing iceberg, with a backlog of art-house gems from the past twelve months ready to be unveiled. New films from Wes Anderson, Sean Baker and Mia Hansen-Løve feature.

Edinburgh International Film Festival | 18 – 25 August

Somewhat controversially, the EIFF moved from its long-standing August berth to a June slot in the calendar back in 2007. Some might say it’s never been the same since. But this year, the festival is moving back for a week-long event in August, a hybrid festival featuring UK-wide online screenings and indoor and outdoor screenings in Edinburgh. Taking place in Edinburgh’s busiest month – when the world-renowned Fringe will be on – it’s a hugely exciting move. The full-line up is announced on 28 July.

Sundance Film Festival London | 29 July – 1 August

Earlier this year, Sundance had to go (largely) online when it unveiled its movies in January. However, the annual Sundance Film Festival London is set to play in-person at the Picturehouse Central. The line-up of this sixth edition is set to include over 12 features, Q&As and special guests. The opening film is Edgar Wright’s new documentary The Sparks Brothers, a musical odyssey about the idiosyncratic musicial siblings Ron and Russell Mael. We’re excited to see ASFF’s Prano Bailey-Bond talking about her new horror, Censor.

Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki | 7 August

How much have you missed live music and big-screen movies this year? Well, here’s a chance to combine both at London’s SEE Arena Wembley. Japanese maestro Joe Hisaishi will lead the BBC Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus for a celebration of work by one of cinema’s great animators, Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. Hisaishi has produced music for nine Ghibli films including Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. It promises to be a very special night indeed.


James Mottram