I saw it, out of the corner of my eye: a white badge hanging from the neck of an unknown by a tell-tale red strap.

Could it be? My face pulled up into a grin. I raced down Bread Street, feet hitting the pavement. There were more badge-holders now; I followed them like a trail of breadcrumbs, running up towards the familiar glass-fronted building. Storefront of dreams! Badge-holders, even the odd programme book tucked under an arm. Maybe I’d been mistaken; perhaps it wasn’t really over after all.

I pulled up to the Delegates’ Centre and, at once, my face fell again. Boxes. Folded-up signs. A team of people, badge-wearers all, packing it away, done with us for another year. Turncoats!

I rejoined my companion and, together, we sauntered off to the Best of the Fest: the last wheezing gasp of an emotional rollercoaster of a film festival.

Following its debut at the Göteborg International Film Festival earlier this year, Skeletons was this year’s winner of the Michael Powell award for Best New British Feature. (Powell, you will recall, was the legendary British director of The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death.) Will Adamsdale (fresh from The Boat That Rocked) and Andrew Buckley (Gobbler from Extras‘s sitcom-within-a-sitcom, When the Whistle Blows) are exorcists of a kind: they make a living by exhuming the skeletons from peoples’ closets.

Skeletons deftly defies expectations: it comes across, on paper and in its trailer, as a faintly low-key surrealist comedy, and that’s what you sit down expecting to be shown. Indeed, for the first half hour or so, it ably delivers some genuinely hilarious moments. It’s when we dive into our exorcists’ lives, however, that it comes into its own, eventually delivering an emotional wallop that it has no business being capable of.

It’s clear that the budget here is through the floor, but the production values are high. The supporting cast are surprising in themselves: Harry Potter‘s Jason Isaacs plays the exorcists’ boss, while Paprika Steen – Danish alumnus of Lars Von Trier films like Dancer in the Dark and The Idiots - is a woman who hires them to find her husband. Disparate as they are, the players pull together to create a seamlessly offbeat journey that’s hard to find fault with.

And so, Toy Story 3. Somehow this feels like a fitting end for my Edinburgh International Film Festival coverage: sure, it’s yet another film about loss, but it’s also one about moving on and fondly remembering what was so good about what we left behind.

Sequels are never a particularly attractive proposition, but Toy Story 2 defied expectations. It was a well-rounded, accomplished film that in many ways eclipsed the original. Ten years have passed since then, though, and fifteen since Toy Story. Back then, its position as the first ever full-length CG film was enough to blow us away; where do you go now that 3D animated toys are old hat?

There’s no need to worry: we’re in safe hands here. After all, Pixar’s films have always been more about heart than visuals; last year’s Up had me tearing up before the ten minute mark. Indeed, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo all managed to pull off something new, and despite being the third part in a series that has endeared its way into popular culture, Toy Story 3 does the same.

From the opening reference to Indiana Jones, it feels like it’s been pitched a little bit older than the previous two. There’s a laugh-out-loud subtitled segment, some body horror courtesy of Mr Potato Head and a tortilla, and even a shared touchpoint with eighties cult horror flick The Devil’s Gift. That’s not to say that it’s not suitable for children – this is still very much a kids’ film – but Pixar aren’t afraid to push the envelope a little bit.

The new actors all hint at the tone. Michael Keaton – you know, from Batman, Beetlejuice and Pacific Heights – is Ken (as in Barbie’s boyfriend). Ned Beatty – Network - is Lotso, a southern bear who smells of strawberries but secretly rules his daycare centre home as a sick kind of prison. Meanwhile, less threateningly, Timothy Dalton has a hilarious turn as a luvvie hedgehog, and Kristen Schaal (familiar to regular Flight of the Conchords and Daily Show viewers) is a chatroom-obsessed triceratops.

Toy Story 3 is fun, exciting and emotive: in other words, everything you’d expect from a Pixar film. It’s out here in the UK in July, and I recommend you go seek it out – with or without children.

On a final note, I’d like you to open this song in another tab. It’s mood music; a little background atmospherics for what I want to say. I’ll wait.

Done? Okay, good.

I’d like to thank Central Station for giving me the opportunity to cover this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. It’s been fun, exhausting and extremely satisfying. I hope my pieces have given you a little hint of the atmosphere here, as well as an insight into the kinds of films we’ve been seeing. This is one of the world’s most interesting arts events, and while there’s been the odd hiccup behind the scenes here and there, this year’s programme has been educational, challenging, diverse, surprising and incredibly entertaining. I’ll miss covering it for you.

I’ll continue to pop up on Central Station from time to time, but this marks the end of my official engagement. If you’re interested in web technology, my regular home is over at benwerd.com – but I’ll also be writing more along these lines at Off Topic. (I’m also always interested in new places to write, so if you’ve liked what I’ve written here and would like some content over at your place, please get in touch with me here at Central Station or at ben [at] benwerd.com.) Finally, you can always find me on Twitter as @benwerd.

Thanks for reading; hopefully I’ll catch you soon.

Oh, and you can turn the Celine Dion off now.