Launched today, the innovative Festival backstage project brings rarely seen insights into the people and stories behind the Festival, to be enjoyed by everyone through a series of online films created in partnership with students at Edinburgh Napier University. Scotland's fabulous violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the hottest young stars in opera Sophie Bevan, and commentator Kirsty Wark are just a few of the world-leading cultural figures set to star in the 2012 Standard Life Festival backstage films.
This year the Festival and its partners Standard Life and Edinburgh Napier University are also launching a competition offering one lucky young person aged between 12 and 17 the opportunity to join the Standard Life Festival backstage production team for a day during the height of the Festival.
Standard Life Festival backstage 2012 opens with a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at the life of a young dancer from Ballet Preljocaj, the brilliant Aix-en-Provence based dance company bringing three works to Festival 2012. Julien Thibault takes a break from rehearsals to talk about the challenges and the excitement of being a professional dancer.
In the run up to and during the Festival a series of fascinating new short films will be added. These include David Greig, Kirsty Wark and Mark Thomson enthusing about the excitement of live theatre; Nicola Benedetti filmed in Scotland discussing her work as a musician and the importance to her of sharing music with young people as part of their education; and Sophie Bevan, who will also perform at Festival 2012, giving a brilliant impromptu performance in a film looking at the power of opera.
Today also sees the launch of a competition offering aspiring filmmakers or presenters a chance to join the Standard Life Festival backstage team for a day during Festival 2012. Entrants are invited to make a short film reporting on their passion for or experience of something cultural, it could be anything from a weekly dance class, or their talented brother or sister, to a recent trip to the theatre.
The best of the films will be hosted on the Festival's digital channels and a panel of experts will choose a shortlist of 6 entrants from which a winner will be selected to join Standard Life Festival backstage for a day during this year's Edinburgh International Festival (9 August – 2 September) as well as winning tickets to a Festival show.