Saturday 7 December 2019

Production work prepared me for film festival jury role, Kim Cattrall says

Kim Cattrall is on the jury to select the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the 70th EIFF
Kim Cattrall is on the jury to select the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the 70th EIFF

Actress Kim Cattrall says her recent work behind the camera has given her fresh insight into the art of storytelling - as she takes up a key role at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).

Cattrall, best-known for playing Samantha in Sex and the City, is on the jury to select the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the 70th EIFF.

Describing it as an honour to have the role, she told how her recent experience working as an executive producer on Canadian TV series Sensitive Skin - in which she also plays its lead character - has given her a new perspective on the craft of the film-maker.

She told Press Association Scotland: "I've been in the business for almost 45 years now and I've read a lot of scripts and seen a lot of movies, and I've worked with a lot of directors.

"Now I'm executive-producing myself, so I have a new appreciation, not just in front of the camera but behind the camera, of what it takes to tell a story and to do it well."

The UK-born actress who lives in New York was speaking on the day the second series starts airing on Sky Arts and said she is feeling "incredible excitement" at the prospect of the show returning to the UK small screen.

She said: "We filmed this last year and it was quite an ambitious schedule because our budget is quite limited. We film in Canada with all-Canadian talent.

"What I'm most excited about with the series is that I feel that it has a voice. (It has) a specific, unique point of view which is Canadian. I am very curious to hear the reaction."

The critically-acclaimed black comedy is an adaptation of the UK series of the same name and sees Cattrall playing Davina Jackson, a woman dealing with decisions and challenges in her life as she gets older.

She added: "I produced Sensitive Skin because the parts that I was being offered were just so two-dimensional, second or third plot lines that didn't completely make sense.

"I wanted to do this series as a form of reflection and self-examination of this period in a woman's life."

She described EIFF artistic director Mark Adams - a personal friend whom she met in Krakow three years ago - as "a great choice" for the post.

She said: "He just loves films, he loves film-makers.

"He sent me a direct message and said 'Would you come to Edinburgh?', and I thought I would really love to."

She also voiced her belief that film festivals still have an important role to play in the movie sector.

"When we were making the second season, especially (of Sensitive Skin) we were very conscious of an audience that is wanting more; wanting more out of the television shows, making them more cinematic," she said.

"In some ways, the film festivals have a more important role of defining and celebrating talent in the motion picture industry."

:: The 70th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from June 15 to 26.

Kim Cattrall will take part in an In Person Q&A on Thursday June 16 and is acting as a juror for The Michael Powell Award.

PA Media

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