Edinburgh's international film festival (EIFF) will move to June in 2008 to encourage more high-profile movie figures to attend the event.

It is currently held in August to coincide with other arts festivals but it also clashes with film festivals in Venice and Toronto.

It is hoped that with a new date more Hollywood movies might be attracted to the event, which will now run from June 18th to 29th.

Sir Sean Connery, a patron of the EIFF, said: "Changing the dates of the film festival will create space for a modern, forward-thinking event that offers higher status and an individual identity to film culture."

John McCormick, chair of the EIFF, said that a possible change had been considered for about three years.

"Over the past three years the festival's board has been considering the long-term future of the festival and the strategic direction it should take," he said.

"All the evidence pointed to a move to June being in the best interests of the festival and of the city of Edinburgh.

"The change will help the festival to grow and develop, and strengthen its position in the calendar of international film festivals."

This year's festival showcases a number of independent films, including the premiere of Andy Serkis' Sugarhouse.

08/08/2007 12:01:44