EDINBURGH International Film Festival artistic director Chris Fujiwara launched this year's programme yesterday with the promise of a "visionary" opening film, personal appearances by Elijah Wood, Ugly Betty's America Ferrara and Don Johnson of eighties cop drama Miami Vice, and retrospectives of German and Iranian cinema.

But it may be Anthony Baxter's A Dangerous Game, a documentary about Donald Trump's resort at the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire, and the UK premiere of Welcome to New York, Abel Ferrara's film about the former IMF managing ­director Dominique Strauss-Kahn starring Gerard ­Depardieu, that draw all of the heat this June.

The former is critical of Alex Salmond's role in the battle between residents and Mr Trump while the latter, though highly praised at Cannes this month, has also drawn talk of legal action from its subject while Mr Strauss-Kahn's former wife, Anne Sinclair, played in the film by Jacqueline Bissett, has described the film as "degrading and defamatory."

Now in his third year in charge, Mr Fujiwara said he believed that the festival had cemented its position as a champion of British film-makers and as a home for innovative international cinema.

"We're not just about showing films in front of a passive audience," he said.

"We want to create opportunities for people to really be challenged by films."

Mr Fujiwara added that the rising success of Glasgow's film festival was not a problem for Edinburgh.I think we serve different audiences. We're friends with Glasgow.

"This year's festival will show 156 films from 47 ­countries." The festival will open with London gangster thriller Hyena.