The 75th anniversary edition came to a close on Saturday 20th August, the first under the new vision of Creative Director Kristy Matheson, with 3 Awards handed out during the Closing Gala of Kogonada’s ‘After Yang’. The EIFF can now exclusively reveal that the Audience Award, voted by the viewing public, was won by Hassan Nazer’s ‘Winners’, voting closed at 5pm on Monday 22nd August.
The bold, diverse and warmly-received programme of in-person screenings included 91 new features with 42 films in the EIFF 2022 programme by women, agender, non-binary directors or co-directors. A total of 263 in-person screenings, featuring over 37 languages took place across Filmhouse, Vue Omni Edinburgh, Everyman Edinburgh, Cameo Picturehouse and St Andrew Square. EIFF welcomed over 80 international guests to meet audiences this summer in Edinburgh.
NORMAN MCLAREN JURY FOR BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
The jury was composed of Oscar nominated animator Bastien Dubois; Belfast-raised Animation Director and Designer Jennifer Zheng; Animation Executive Producer and Director Sue Loughlin. Together they collectively announced:
The Norman McLaren Jury for British Short Animation have chosen a deceptively simple, multilayered film with a powerful message. This film pushes the use of space in a visceral style that clearly communicates the pain of the filmmaker. Stunning in its simplicity, the award goes to Stay by Yu Sun.
NORMAN MCLAREN JURY FOR BRITISH SHORT FILM
The jury was composed of Jury President Raul Niño Zambrano, Creative Director at Sheffield DocFest; Film Programmer and Curator Raymah Tariq and Director/Producer Sean Dunn. Together they collectively announced:
In this film, the Norman McLaren Jury for British Short Film were struck by the use of camerawork, sound, and framing to evoke a haunting and unnerving atmosphere. It challenged our perspectives on arts spaces, immigration, and how we commodify other peoples’ experiences and continued to linger in our thoughts, long after the credits. The award goes to Canvas 5 by Karla Crome.
THE POWELL & PRESSBURGER AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
The jury was composed of Jury President Gaylene Gould, broadcaster, writer and Founder & Creative Director of The Space To Come; Glasgow based film producer Rosie Crerar and actor turned award-winning author, Sarah Winman. Together they collectively announced:
“It’s better to miss Naples than to hit Margate” was Powell & Pressburger’s motto, suggesting the imagination, daring, risk taking and wit that marked their films. Their special collaboration was also grounded in deeply human stories and the belief that life can be magic.
For these reasons the jury are pleased to award The Powell & Pressburger Award for Best Feature to Will Anderson & Ainslie Henderson’s A Cat Called Dom.
The Jury would also like to give a special mention to Maha Haj’s brilliantly realised black comedy, Mediterranean Fever.
Will Anderson & Ainslie Henderson, Directors of ‘A Cat Called Dom’ said “To screen our first feature at EIFF was an honour… but to take away the first Powell & Pressburger Award is just so special. A Cat Called Dom is a film about embracing failure… after EIFF it now feels much more like a success.”
Scottish animators Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson star in and co-direct the EIFF World Premiere presentation of the inventive documentary A Cat Called Dom. Albeit framed as a film for Will’s mother, we too are invited to witness how Will deals with the grief of his mother’s illness. The duo work on their animations and face the frustrations of trying to make this documentary. Whilst alone, Will turns to DOM, the animated cat that lives on his laptop screen. A Cat Called Dom received production support from Screen Scotland.
Hassan Nazer, Director of ‘Winners’ said “Winning the audience award at EIFF means everything to me. I have been working towards this since I decided to become a filmmaker. I make films for the audience and will continue to do so. It’s a great thing to be part of an ethnic minority living in Scotland where your vision is a mix of your background and new home. My aim is to always tie my cultures together and celebrate diversity through cinema. I’m very thankful our work has been recognised by Screen Scotland and EIFF.”
Winners (Barandeha), directed by Aberdeen-based Hassan Nazer and produced by Scottish Uzbek Nadira Murray and Scot Paul Welsh, is set in a deprived area of a small Iranian town where children are required to work to help support their families. Nine-year-old Yahya is one such child, his little hands scouring through massive piles of junk in search of hidden treasures. One day, Yahya strikes literal gold by finding an unclaimed Oscar statue, the curious item leading the boy into an adventure-filled journey that doubles as a loving ode to the history of Iranian cinema in its EIFF World Premiere presentation. Production of Winners was completed with support from Screen Scotland.
EIFF New Visions Short Film Competition returned this year, with the purpose of discovering the newest voices in Scottish film and bring their visions to the global stage. This year's winners were...
Category 1: Filmmakers aged 15-18 - The Fields by Ezra Course.
Category 2: Filmmakers aged 19-25: for films made as part of a formal education course - The Dead Cat Strategy by Laura Wiggett.
Category 3: Filmmakers aged 19-25: for films made independently or as part of an informal course - Let The Sunshine In | Eva Magdić Govedarica.
Of their win, Course said "To me, being a winning filmmaker in the competition is a huge confidence boost and has affirmed my artistic confidence and has encouraged me to pursue my new films with a lot more passion then I began them with."
Govedarica commented "It's a huge honour to have my film awarded in the category I was in as I always thought experimental films just aren't meant for these kinds of awards. The open mindedness to select my film was enough for me, hearing my name called out left me speechless."
Wiggett said "I want to thank EIFF new visions. It made me want to continue making films and so when I received the prize, it was wonderful. The screening gives you the confidence to make another film and the prize gives you the means."
The EIFF industry programme worked with a number of new partners this year including Unboxed and Back to Back Theatre, to offer a selection of events looking at the wider creative conversation around accessibility and engagement. Dr Kulraj Phullar, along with filmmakers Basil Khalil, Raisah Ahmed and Hammad Khan looked at the ethics of telling stories which aren’t your lived experience; and comedian Lucy Porter led a discussion around the challenges of making a living as a comedy writer. Still to come via a partnership with the TV Festival is a presentation of the new season of His Dark Materials with a Filmhouse based discussion featuring both cast and crew.
The Works in Progress presented eleven new feature projects from both the UK and Ukraine, with Ukrainian filmmakers attending to present their projects. The core talent development activity of the Industry programme ran throughout the Festival dates supporting curators, critics, producers, directors and screenwriters at sessions with guests including Senior Director, Film Programs at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Bernardo Rondeau, Screen International’s Finn Halligan, Awards & Publicity + Marketing Strategy Consultant Julie La’Bassiere, writer/director Francis Lee, Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Head of Acquisitions and Development for Bankside Films Sophie Green, and Mubi’s Co-Director of Global Acquisitions Cate Kane.
The EIFF are also delighted to announce the festival dates for 2023, the festival will run from Friday 18th August - Saturday 26th August 2023.
Holly Daniel, Head of Industry at EIFF said: “The quality of talent and expertise taking part in our industry programmes this year was a fantastic way to reintroduce EIFF back into the August calendar and we look forward to seeing how the connections made here continue to develop into the future”.
Kristy Matheson, Creative Director of EIFF said: “75 years ago the Edinburgh Festivals were established in the shadow of the Second World War as a means of fostering connection, understanding and friendship across nations. To place cinema back in the middle of the Edinburgh Festivals this year has been a joyous experience, and my colleagues and I have delighted in welcoming audiences, artists and industry to Edinburgh to experience cinema together and meet storytellers from the UK and across the globe.”
Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said: “Congratulations to Kristy on her first edition of EIFF and for curating such a strong programme. Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, as opening film, set the tone for a high-quality and buzzy festival which has sustained throughout. The move back to August has been universally welcomed and allowed far greater connection across artforms for creatives and audiences alike.”
EIFF 2022 Festival Theme: In 1972, the Edinburgh International Film Festival presented the first global film event entirely dedicated to the cinematic achievements of female directors, curated by Claire Johnston, Lynda Myles, and Laura Mulvey. Honouring the spirit of this original programme provocation, EIFF’s 2022 Theme will acknowledge the multiplicity and variety of feminisms in contemporary society across our entire programme with a focus on: contemporary directorial works, two large-scale retrospectives, training, and targeted professional programmes.
EIFF 2022 Programming Team: Alongside Kristy Matheson, the EIFF Programming Team consists of Manish Agarwal, Anna Bogutskaya, Rafa Sales Ross, Kate Taylor. Short Film Programmers – Jenny Clarke (narrative) Rohan Crickmar (non-fiction), Black Box Programmer – Lydia Beilby, Animation Programmer – Abigail Addison, Retrospective Curator (2022 Theme) Kim Knowles.