Top 5 – Edinburgh Film Fest 2014 Highlights

After two weeks of films, interviews, and gallons of lunchtime beers its over. This years Edinburgh Film Festival has ended and I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. The excitement of seeing a movie that you know nothing about and hardly anyone else has seen never gets boring. Therefore after sifting through all of the audio, print, and video that I’ve captured during the festival I can bring you my top five highlights of EIFF 2014.

5. Bumping into Mark Kermode with a fake bloody gash down my face

Yes, that happened. After many drinks and a session at a zombie makeup class me and Screenkicker’s head of video Chris staggered down the street straight into the path of Britain’s best loved known film critic Mark Kermode. Being the unprofessional losers we are, we both forced Kermode into photos with us. Turns out the good doctor is a cool guy he posed for pics and answered our inane questions:

Chris: Do you stand by your opinion that Transcendence isn’t shit?
Kermode: Yes

Me: I almost never agree with your reviews Mark
Kermode: Most people don’t so you’re not alone

Here’s me and MK!

Not sure who’s worse at smiling


4. My interview with America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams

This needs some back story. I’ve never done a proper interview before. I’ve drunkenly walked up to quasi-famous people at conventions etc. but never actually sat down to seriously interview anyone. So this was quite a scary experience. The first interview I’ve ever landed and its with Ugly Betty and How To Train Your Dragon star America Ferrera and her director husband Ryan Piers Williams.

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Not a bad looking couple

The interview was scheduled for 11am so in preparation I downed a double whiskey in the pub across the road and then knocked the interview out of the park! Well, maybe I wasn’t that great but I got through it without upsetting anyone. Look out for the full interview soon but until then you can listen to a snippet of it here:


3. I hit the red carpet at the Braveheart Commemorative Screening

I swiftly dispatched the guy on the right shortly after this pic was taken. His family have been notified

Somehow I blagged a spot on the press section of the red carpet at a screening to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of Braveheart. Me, Chris, and intern Suzy (this was her big break, would she rise to the challenge?) arrived with a microphone and a camera and proceeded to redefine the art of asking people who were in stuff questions. I got the chance to talk to Braveheart stars Brian Cox, Stephen Billington, and the legend that is Peter Mullan. Peter demonstrated those classic Scottish traits of constant swearing and lighting cigarettes in situations it would be normally frowned upon.

You can watch our full report of the event here!

P.s Suzy fell in a puddle when it came her chance to shine. That’s strike one in the Screenkicker internship program.


2. I meet Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo

By this point I was pretty much an expert interviewer after having carried out a massive four interviews! However this was going to be tough one. Firstly this was famous horror director Eli Roth. Secondly it was also the distractingly attractive Chilean actress Lorenza Izzo. Making matters even worse was that I had attended a screening of The Green Inferno plus a Q&A with the pair the night before. This would normally be a good thing but some assholes went and asked all of the questions I had prepared for the interview. So I went in with the that old motto – when in doubt, talk about football. And guess what? It worked!

You can hear that football related chat here:

Look out for the full interview when The Green Inferno gets its full release in the UK. Here’s the review too!


1. Screenkicker helps a debut director win a major award

Well kind of. The full tale goes something like this: I interviewed director Joanna Coates and her husband and co-writer Daniel Metz about their new film Hide and Seek. Anyway on the day of the awards I bumped into the pair in the bar at the awards show. I said hello and Joanna sat down. Turned out her lucky necklace was tangled and in a diva-like strop she wouldn’t go on without it (it’s here I should mention that it wasn’t actually a lucky necklace and there was no strop but its a better story the way I tell it). In a stroke of luck Screenkicker intern and general dogsbody Suzy was there. In an effort to make up for falling into a puddle at the Braveheart thing Suzy nimbly fixed the necklace. Joanna went on to win the Best British Film award and history was made.

You’re welcome

You can read my interview with Joanna and Daniel here and just remember that they owe me a portion of all profits from the movie.

That’s it all over for another year. Its been fun but tiring and I need to go sleep for a while. Don’t worry, the blog won’t grind to a halt as there’s some cool stuff coming soon including an interview with someone from the Star Wars films. Here’s a clue, the character begins with a B. First one to answer correctly gets a big slap on the back. Good luck.


  1. Awesome Mikey! Great highlights here, how fun that you got to meet famous celebs at the film fest. Ha! I love that pic of you w/ Mark Kermode.


  2. Yaaayyy I’m all caught up! Sounds like you had quite a time, bro. I’m so happy (and jealous) that you got to do this!! You’re becoming quite legit. It’s putting the rest of us to shame. 😉


    • You should ask for a press pass for whatever you’re interested. Nowadays blogs are the biggest source for peoples entertainment info so these events are pretty welcoming.

      I’ve got the Edinburgh Book Festival coming up so I might need your expertise on a few things 🙂


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