This morning new festival Artistic Director Mark Adams announced the lineup for this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

As always, it’s a packed year with plenty to offer from all sorts of different genres and countries. There are a total of 164 films showing from a whopping 36 different countries, including 24 world premieres, 85 UK premieres, 8 international premieres, 16 European premieres and 2 Scottish premieres.

This year the various different Strands include: Best of British, American Dreams, New Perspectives, Night Moves, Focus On Mexico, The Young and the Wild and many more.

So what are the highlights we can look forward to at this year’s fest? Here are our picks:

  • Pixar returns to Edinburgh after 2013 Monster’s University with their latest inventive adventure Inside Out, which visualizes the emotions of a little girl in the form individual characters i.e. sadness, disgust etc.
  • Following its World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, the post-apocalyptic zombie drama Maggie is playing, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in what some have described as his best ever performance, alongside Abigail Breslin.
  • After getting rave reviews at Cannes, the Amy Winehouse doc ‘Amy’ from ‘Senna’ director Asif Kapadia. This will surely be one of the most popular choices for film lovers at Edinburgh.
  • Ewan McGregor returns to the festival with his new religious drama Last Days in the Desert, in which he plays Jesus in an imagined chapter of his life during his last 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert.
  • American comedy star Kristin Wiig has two films at the festival; Welcome to Me, in which she plays a woman who wins the lottery and decides to buy her own TV show, and The Diary of a Teenage Artist, about a teenage artist in ’70s New York who starts an affair with his mother’s boyfriend.
  • The already announced festival Opening Gala is The Legend of Barney Thomson, the directorial debut of festival favourite Robert Carlyle. Similarly, the Closing Gala was already announced in the form of Iona, a Scottish drama from ‘Shell’ director Scott Graham.
  • Oliver Hirschbeigel (‘Downfall’) has his WWII drama ’13 Minutes’, a big nominee at the German Film Awards.
  • Following his hit indie drama ‘Joe’, director David Gordon Green has Manglehorn, a drama starring Al Pacino and Holly Hunter.
  • Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are reportedly excellent in ’45 Years’, the latest film from acclaimed ‘Weekend’ director Andrew Haigh, which is already a strong contender for this year’s Michael Powell Award.
  • On the horror front, director Corin Hardy (who’s directing the upcoming reboot of The Crow) has his scary-looking “in the woods” horror The Hallow.
  • As always, the festival has a Retrospective segment and this year it’s “Little Big Screen,” which celebrates the best of ’60s and ’70s TV movies and the lineup includes: Steven Spielberg’s Duel, Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot and Michael Mann’s The Jericho Mile.

In addition to the films themselves, there’s also a plethora of exciting in-person events including interviews live on stage with the likes of Ewan McGregor, Malcolm McDowell, Jane Seymour and Hong Kong action maestro Johnny To.

Adams had this to say about this year’s lineup:

We are delighted to be presenting such a thrilling, fun, challenging, provocative, exciting and balanced programme. There really is something for everyone and we hope that filmgoers will get a lot of pleasure out of this year’s Festival.

That’s it for our preview. Of course those are just a few choice selections of the many more things this year’s EIFF has to offer. For a full look at the lineup take a look at the EIFF 2015 brochure over on the official website where you can also book your tickets now!

The festival takes place between 17-28 June in cinemas across the city. As always, Thoughts On Film will be at the festival to cover as many films as possible. Watch this space!