For last year’s 10th anniversary we journeyed back in time and looked at how cinema has changed over the past 120 years. This year’s festival has a completely different focus and rather than looking backwards, or forwards for that matter, we’ll be planting our feet firmly in the present day. IFF 2013 is all about great new films and I’m really delighted to have premieres from all around the world, including a special focus on new Middle Eastern cinema. For me, this region has been consistently producing the best in new cinema over the festival’s lifetime.

Because we are focusing this year on new cinema we’ve decided not to do our usual retrospective and instead we’ll be looking at re-appropriated cinema. This is work by film-makers/artists who have taken established films as their starting point and then re-worked the footage to create something new or to convey a message – a really exciting way to re-view films and question what cinema means to us all.

Each year we aim to balance work from great film-makers alongside up and coming film-makers and this year is no exception. We’ve got some stunning work from first and second time directors including Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Don Jon, J.C. Chandor – All Is Lost, John Krokidas – Kill Your Darlings, Buyar Alimani – Amnesty and Peter Landesman – Parkland. This wealth of new talent sits comfortably alongside work from some of the finest directors working in cinema today, including Alfonso Cuarón, François Ozon, Lukas Moodysson, Alexander Payne and Abdellatif Kechiche.

Don’t forget, you also have the chance to vote for your favourite film of the festival with our audience award. The last four awards have been won by films from Japan, Sweden, Australia and Hungary, so it’s up to you where the fifth award will go. I have a favourite film for the festival, but I won’t be telling what it is – sadly I don’t get a vote.

I hope that you enjoy the festival, I really do believe it’s the best line-up yet (even better than 2007, my previous favourite).

Paul Taylor, Festival Director and Eden Court Cinema Programmer

PS You will note that some of the screenings are certified ‘IFF’ rather than the conventional BBFC certificates. This just means that at the time of publication, the BBFC hadn’t given the film a certificate – so we‘ve made our best guess. If you are unsure as to the age suitability of any screening, please ask the Box Office staff, or visit the Inverness Film Festival website for up to date information.