'Trainspotting' producer appointed chair of Edinburgh International Film Festival

Andrew Macdonald
Andrew Macdonald Copyright Edinburgh International Film Festival
By Jonny Walfisz
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'Trainspotting' producer Andrew Macdonald has been announced as the new Chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Last year, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) looked like it would disappear. In October, the festival announced it would shut down due to rising costs and lowered attendance.

Fortunately, 2023 brought news that EIFF would return for a special one-year iteration as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Now, it’s future seems more assured with the appointment of Andrew Macdonald as chair of the organisation from 2024 onwards.

Macdonald rose to prominence as the producer of Danny Boyle’s debut feature, 1994’s Shallow Grave. Alongside Duncan Kenworthy, he formed the production company DNA Films.

Macdonald’s DNA Films has since worked closely with Boyle, producing features including the two Trainspotting films, The Beach and 28 Days Later. Macdonald is also known for working with Boyle’s regular collaborator Alex Garland, producing his directorial efforts Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men, and the upcoming Civil War.

Screen Scotland’s Executive Director, Isabel Davis said Macdonald’s appointment “is a clear indication of the ambition we all share for the festival’s future. He was one of the first to offer support when the previous organisation collapsed and with his customary vigour, Andrew has already been instrumental in bringing people together to build an exciting new vision for what Edinburgh International Film Festival can become.”

“Andrew’s internationally acclaimed body of work speaks for itself, and his long-standing relationship with Edinburgh and EIFF, his entrepreneurial mindset and producer’s can-do attitude makes him ideal for this role,” Davis added.

Macdonald’s relationship with EIFF began in 1992 when he created a video diary about his work to finance Shallow Grave, which had its international debut at the festival in 1994.

“Edinburgh International Film Festival played a huge part in my own early producing career; it’s held dear by filmmakers and audiences and admired by so many around the world,” Macdonald said of his appointment.

“Working together with fellow filmmakers, funders and festival experts on a proposition for the future of EIFF from 2024 has been altogether compelling and in this new role, I’m looking forward to helping to build long-term success for EIFF in the years to come,” he continued.

As preparations begin for the 76th edition of EIFF, Macdonald’s appointment assures the future of the festival after a long period of uncertainty. Macdonald will now recruit a board and executive team to facilitate the creative identity and financial stability of the festival for 2024.

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