EIFF announces prize money increase to £20,000 for the Michael Powell Award & the return of the Best Documentary Award

 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced that it has increased its prize money for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film to £20,000 for 2014. In addition, the Festival will also see the return of the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film after a three-year hiatus.

 The increase for the Award at the 2014 Festival, which runs from 18 to 29 June, makes it one of the largest cash prizes to be won at a UK film festival and re-affirms the Festival’s commitment to supporting and nurturing homegrown talent.

The Michael Powell Award, named after one of Britain’s most original filmmakers, was inaugurated at EIFF in 1990 to honour imagination and creativity in British filmmaking. It is regarded as a mark of prestige both within the UK film industry and internationally. Films will be eligible from across the programme at the discretion of Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara and will be judged by an international jury. Previous winners of the award include: ‘Priest’ (Antonia Bird), ‘Somers Town’ (Shane Meadows), ‘Tsotsi’ (Gavin Hood), ‘My Summer of Love’ (Pawel Pawlikowski), ‘Young Adam’ (David Mackenzie), ‘Jude’ (Michael Winterbottom) and ‘Blue’ (Derek Jarman).

EIFF has championed documentary films ever since the Festival’s inception in 1947, and one of the first major filmmakers to have their work shown at the Festival was John Grierson, the founder of the British documentary movement. The re-introduction of the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film in 2014 reinforces the Festival’s long-standing support of documentaries and reflects the high number of entries the Festival receives every year from documentary filmmakers. Feature-length documentaries from around the world will be eligible for the award and the winner will receive a cash prize of £10,000. Notable filmmakers whose documentaries have previously screened at EIFF include Alex Gibney, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, James Marsh, Lucy Walker and Morgan Spurlock.

Chris Fujiwara said: “EIFF is committed to supporting the UK film industry, and as a sign of the strength of our commitment, we’re delighted to be able to increase the prize money for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film in 2014. At a time when so many directors of vision are emerging in the UK, we hope that the strengthening of the award - named after one of the greatest visionaries in film history, from whatever country - will act as a further impetus to the artistic renewal of British cinema. Documentary film is part of EIFF’s heritage, and in reinstating the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, we recognise the immense strength of documentary filmmaking, which is currently pioneering new ways of imagining the world while insisting with urgency, creativity and vigour on the vital relationship between film and reality.”

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony during the Festival.

The EIFF 2014 Awards are:

  • The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film
  • The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
  • The Award for Best International Feature Film
  • The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film
  • The Student Critics Jury Award
  • The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation
  • The Award for Best Short Film
  • The Award for Creative Innovation in a Short Film
  • The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Short Film
  • The Audience Award

 Download the full press release here.


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