Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews returns for its third edition this April

Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews will return for its much-anticipated third edition from 19 to 21 April 2024, with Special Guests including two-time Academy Award nominated composer Alan Silvestri, casting director Debra Zane and record-breaking director Joe Russo.

Building on the success of the 2023 edition, the festival is committed to bringing some of the most creative and innovative people working in the entertainment industries together with audiences to explore the different ways we can tell stories.

Legendary American composer and conductor Alan Silvestri will visit the festival for a talk about his career and performance at the University of St Andrews’ stunning new Laidlaw Music Centre on Sunday April 21. In his decades-long career, the two-time Academy Award Nominee, has worked on more than 100 films including Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, Polar Express, Forrest Gump, The Bodyguard, Predator, Ready Player One, Stuart Little, Night at the Museum and dozens more hits.

Another special guest this year is casting director Debra Zane, whose credits include The Hunger Games franchise, Ocean’s Eleven, Catch Me if You Can and American Beauty. Zane was actively involved in the effort to establish the newly created Oscar for Best Achievement in Casting.

Renowned Hollywood director Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame, The Gray Man) will also return to St Andrews for this year’s edition. As the Festival founder, Russo is expected to participate in a special conversation and host a mentoring session with local filmmakers.

Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews will present an exciting and diverse international showcase of contemporary and classic cinema alongside a range of supporting events.

Festival Director Ania Trzebiatowska brings a wealth of experience from the international film circuit, having served as the Artistic Director of the Off Camera Film Festival in Krakow for 12 years. Across the Atlantic, Trzebiatowska has been a Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival since 2019.

Sands celebrates the early work of established filmmakers by shining a spotlight on their first and second features, staging unique opportunities for these filmmakers to reflect on this key period in their creative life and creating a platform for different generations of artists to connect, share skills, and discuss the inspirations and challenges they have encountered.

Sands also aims to provoke discussion about screen cultures, help build filmmaking skills and capacity in Scotland, and create a forum for local and international industry connections.

Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews is produced by the Byre Theatre, University of St Andrews, with the University’s Department of Film Studies as a key partner.

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