The Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews is back for its second edition, taking place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 April 2023. Festival Director Ania Trzebiatowska has once again curated an impressive lineup of contemporary films, industry talks, and special events that celebrate the art of cinema and showcase a diverse selection of talent.
Following the success of last year's inaugural festival, which marked Sands as a significant event in the Scottish cultural calendar, this year's edition aims to further solidify its place in the world film festival circuit. Notable attendees include Joe Russo, co-director of Avengers: Endgame, and The Gray Man, who will be returning to the festival and presenting a sneak peek of a highly anticipated project.
The Sands festival will also host a public discussion on the importance of gaming in contemporary storytelling, featuring Russo and Epic Games Chief Creative Officer Donald Mustard, the creative mind behind popular titles such as Fortnite. Additionally, veteran casting director Margery Simkin will share her extensive industry experience in a special talk.
Rooted in the University of St Andrews, Sands maintains strong ties with the prestigious Department of Film Studies, offering students unique opportunities to connect with the filmmaking community and festival curation. Furthermore, the festival seeks to bring fresh and innovative cinema to a broader audience, including local residents and surrounding communities.
The Byre Theatre will once again produce and host the festival, offering a boutique experience for attendees, who can immerse themselves in the enchanting town of St Andrews.
This year's film lineup includes a mix of exciting new titles fresh from major festivals such as Sundance and Berlinale. The selection process involved students from the Film Studies course at the University of St Andrews, who received mentorship and guidance from Ania Trzebiatowska, supporting the festival's commitment to nurturing new talent.
Some notable films include Klondike, Ukraine's official entry for the 95th Academy Awards; documentary Calendar Girls; Beth de Araújo's horror-thriller Soft and Quiet; Signe Baumane's animated feature My Love Affair with Marriage; Reinaldo Marcus Green's Monsters and Men; How to Save a Dead Friend; and Hidden Letters by directors Violet Du-Feng and Qing Zhao.
The family-friendly Marcel the Shell with Shoes On will charm parents and children alike, followed by a Q&A with producer Paul Mezey. Other guests include British movement director and intimacy coordinator Ita O'Brien and American costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.
Festival Director Ania Trzebiatowska expressed her excitement for the second annual Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews, emphasizing the diverse range of excellent films and the high caliber of special guests.