The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) announced today that William Friedkin’s shockingly cool and blackly comic noir thriller Killer Joe will be the Opening Gala at the 66th edition of the Festival on Wednesday, 20 June. The EIFF runs from 20 June to 1 July 2012.
Released in the UK by Entertainment One UK, Killer Joe is directed by William Friedkin (The French Connection; The Exorcist) and stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.
Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: "We’re delighted to be opening this year’s Festival with Killer Joe. For my first year as Artistic Director, I intend to deliver a diverse programme that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction.
William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition."
The film will have its UK premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Wednesday, 20 June, with William Friedkin and cast in attendance, and will open nationwide on 29 June.
Killer Joe director William Friedkin said: "Killer Joe is about the Good and Evil in everyone, the struggle for our better angels to triumph over our demons. Often lost. The thin line between the policeman and the criminal.
It's also a riff on the Cinderella story, wherein she finds her prince, but he turns out to be a hired killer. I would also like to thank the Edinburgh International Film Festival for honouring our film with this screening, uncut. Of a film the Motion Picture Association of America has expressed a desire to censor."
22 year-old Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch: Into The Wild; Milk) is a drug dealer down on his luck, but things are about to go from bad to worse when he hires the unexpectedly charming hit man Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey: The Lincoln Lawyer; How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days; A Time To Kill) to murder his own mother for her $50,000 life insurance policy.
With barely a dollar to his name Chris agrees to offer up his younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple: upcoming Dirty Girl; The Dark Knight Rises; Atonement), as sexual collateral in exchange for Joe’s services until he receives the insurance money. That is, if it ever does come in.
Killer Joe will be released by Entertainment One on 29 June. As previously announced, EIFF’s Closing Gala will be the European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s Brave on 30 June.