AWARD WINNERS AT LANDMARK 70TH EDITION OF THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced the Award Winners for this year’s 70th edition as well as confirming the Best of the Fest films.
Over 160 features and 130 shorts from 55 countries screened at this year’s Festival, with the jurors viewing an extensive and varied selection of shorts, documentaries and features since the start of the Festival.
Commenting on the incredibly high standard of entries at this year’s festival and the quality of the submissions they were judging, the juries stressed that they had some tough decisions to make in choosing one winner in each category, and gave special mentions to several films.
THE MICHAEL POWELL AWARD FOR BEST BRITISH FEATURE FILM
The winner of the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to Scottish filmmaker Ben Sharrock’s (pictured) directorial debut, Pikadero, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival. The Michael Powell Award honours imagination and creativity in British filmmaking. Last year’s winner was Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years.
The jurors also gave a special mention to Brakes, directed by Mercedes Grower, which received its world premiere at the Festival.
The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury comprised of acclaimed actress Kim Cattrall, Edinburgh-based Spanish filmmaker and actress Icíar Bollaín, and the iconic actor Clancy Brown.
The Michael Powell Jury said:
“We wanted to recognise the very personal and individual voice of director Ben Sharrock for his film Pikadero. In a year when the jury viewed a selection of very distinctive and different films his film really stood out.”
Ben Sharrock said:
“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive the Michael Powell Award. It is an incredible feeling. It is so valuable to have this kind of recognition for Pikadero in the UK. It is awards and recognition like this that help us get the film out to as wide an audience as possible. We have been lucky enough to screen Pikadero in different countries around the world but it has been a very special experience having the UK premiere here at EIFF and showing it to audiences in my home city. I am extremely grateful and I would like to thank the jury, the festival team and Mark Adams. Finally, I want to thank everyone who was involved in this film for all their talent and hard work. What a journey!”
THE AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A BRITISH FEATURE FILM
This award went to actress Catrin Stewart for her role in THE LIBRARY SUICIDES and was also selected by The Michael Powell jurors.
The Michael Powell Jury said:
“We wanted to recognise the striking performance by Catrin Stewart in The Library Suicides (Y Llyfrgell). The complexities and subtleties of playing twin characters is challenging and she managed to achieve the rare feat of making each of the two roles she played truly distinctive.”
Catrin Stewart, said: “Thank you EIFF! I feel hugely honoured to be given this award. It was my first feature film role and a fantastic challenge to play two characters side by side. I loved working with the wonderful Euros Lyn and Fflur Dafydd's exciting script. It was also very special for me to make a film in Welsh, and I'm very proud of what we have achieved. Diolch yn fawr!”
The jury also gave a special mention to David Sillars for his role in Seat in Shadow.
THE AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
The award for Best International Feature Film went to Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ Suntan, which received its UK premiere at this year’s Festival. The winner was chosen by the International Jury comprised of actor Angus Macfadyen, actress and producer Sadie Frost and Editor of Screen International, Matt Mueller.
The International Jury said:
“While there were many outstanding films in the international competition, Suntan is the title that really resonated with us. Argyris Papadimitropolous’s film is a compelling and unflinching portrait of one man’s journey from infatuation to desperation, marked out by a truly great performance from its lead actor, Makis Papadimitriou.”
Argyris Papadimitropoulos said:
"Back in the late '90s I was a student in the UK. All the films that were awarded in the Edinburgh International Film Festival were part of the conversation among us. We would go and watch everything with an Edinburgh laurel on the poster. Little did I know that 15 years later I would be so honoured as to be the recipient of such an award. I can't wait to print new posters. Thank you to the lovely people of the Festival and the amazing jury, I could not be happier."
THE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
The award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Johan Grimonprez’s eye-opening documentary Shadow World, which dwelt on the shocking realities of the global arms trade. This year’s jury comprised veteran producer Steve Abbott, Fife-native actor Dougray Scott and film executive Tejinder Jouhal.
The Documentary Jury said:
“The jury felt there was an exceptionally high quality of films presented in the documentary section this year but, for us, the clear winner was Shadow World. Quite simply, it is an extraordinary film. A particularly powerful, poignant and provocative documentary, this film asked critical questions that continue to resonate. Director Johan Grimonprez and writer Andrew Feinstein pose the essential question: will we be allowed to choose peace over the business of war?”
Johan Grimonprez said:
“In an interview James Baldwin once said: ‘What we call history is perhaps a way of avoiding responsibility for what has happened, is happening, in time.’ I hope that Shadow World somewhat is able to point at how we can actually rewrite that reality. And it’s so wonderful that EIFF honours the effort of so many people, not in the least Andrew Feinstein, the writer of The Shadow World, but also the whole team that was able to get this different story out there. A big tanx, truly!!!”
THE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM
The award for Best Short Film went to Before Love, directed by Igor Kovalyov, with Gavin Scott Whitfield’s Murderous Injustice receiving a special mention from the jurors. The jury was comprised of short film producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson, film development executive Hilary Davis, and filmmaker Ashley Horner.
The Short Film Jury said:
“The film stood out to the jury because the director gave us a unique cinematic experience. Beautiful and stylish animation explored a bizarre love triangle with a fascinating female lead.”
The Award winners were announced today ahead of Sunday’s Closing Night Gala, which concludes the spectacular 12-day Festival with the World Premiere of Gillies MacKinnon’s highly anticipated WHISKY GALORE!
THE MCLAREN AWARD FOR BEST BRITISH ANIMATION
Voted for by the Festival audience, the McLaren Award for Best British Animation, supported by the British Council, this year goes to Simon's Cat - Off to the Vet by director Simon Tofield.
The winner of the Festival’s Audience Award will be announced at the Closing Night ceremony.
BEST OF THE FEST ANNOUNCED
Best of the Fest 2016 is here! All of the films in this selection have been hugely popular throughout the Festival and EIFF is giving audiences a final chance to see them for just £7 per ticket.
Every year audience members look forward to watching their favourite films again during the Best of the Fest, taking place on Sunday, 26 June. The films screening in this year’s Best of the Fest are: Meg Ryan's directorial debut, the touching Ithaca; The Carer, with Brian Cox at his magnificent best; Timothy Spall and Juno Temple as two lost souls wandering through Blackpool in Away; Icíar Bollaín's gently moving family drama The Olive Tree; Maggie's Plan, Rebecca Miller's charming New York rom-com starring Ethan Hawke, Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore; and The First Monday in May, an enthralling documentary which goes behind the scenes of the Met Gala.
Also screening are Taika Waititi's delightful Hunt for the Wilderpeople; Philip John's stylish and sexy Scottish coming of age story Moon Dogs; a rare screening of 1973 cult anime classic Belladonna of Sadness; fun and frantic rom-com Mr. Right, starring Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick; and Russell Mulcahy's newly restored cult classic 1986 film Highlander.
All films are screening on Sunday 26 June, and tickets are available online, in person, or by calling 0131 623 8030.
2016 Festival Diary:
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