THE premier of an Orkney-set drama will open the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year, it has been announced.

Nora Fingscheidt's adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s best-selling memoir, The Outrun, will make its UK debut marking the beginning of the 77th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) on August 15.

Saoirse Ronan stars as a young woman who finds herself washed up back home on the Scottish islands of Orkney as she battles to rebuild her life after a decade of addiction.

The Outrun made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was produced with the support of BBC Film and Screen Scotland.

READ MORE: The Outrun director Nora Fingsheidt on filming in Orkney

EIFF director, Paul Ridd, praised the film, and particularly Ronan’s performance, which he calls “electric and fearless” and a phenomenal talent in the film industry.

He said: “The Outrun is a truly special film.

“Powered by an electric and fearless central performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is lyrical, momentous cinema of real rigour and intelligence, and exactly the kind of bold work we want to champion with our relaunched festival.

“I have been a fan of Nora Fingscheidt’s uncompromising, emotional filmmaking ever since her debut System Crasher and I can think of no more fitting combination of announcements than this wonderful film as our opening with the confirmation of the legendary Thelma Schoonmaker’s gracious support for our Shorts Prize.

“We are honoured to be working with such phenomenal women of cinema.”

The National: A still from The Outrun which features Saoirse Ronan

Adding to Ridd’s comments Isabel Davis, executive director of Screen Scotland, says Orkney is the perfect place to shoot a film about redemption as the beautiful landscape encourages healing.

She said: “It’s great to see Paul set out his ambition for the relaunched EIFF with such a significant title for Scotland.

“Orkney’s primal beauty and unique natural landscape is at the heart of things, not only as the setting but as the source of redemption, courage, and healing.

“Nora’s exceptional talent, combined with Amy Liptrot’s raw, imaginative writing and Saoirse Ronan’s breath-taking performance make for a compelling and emotional ride.

“And it seems fitting, for a festival that intends to work with its creative partners across the Fringe, Book, TV and International Festivals that this hugely successful creative collaboration should take centre stage.”

Alongside the announcement of The Outrun opening this year's festival the EIFF has also revealed the name of its short film competition as The Thelma Schoonmaker Prize for Short Filmmaking Excellence.

Thelma Schoonmaker was chosen this year for her legendary role as an editor in the film industry.

Landmark moments in her career include collaborations with Martin Scorsese, in iconic films such as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Killers of the Flower Moon.

READ MORE: New film brings Gianni Capaldi back to home turf in Scotland

The short film competition runs alongside the festival's main awards and comes with a cash prize of £15,000.

EIFF celebrates more than 70 years of film festival history while showcasing the best filmmaking talent in Scotland and embracing international diversity.

The full EIFF programme will be launched on Thursday July 4 when tickets will also go on sale.