Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has announced the Award Winners for this year’s 70th edition.
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.
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 directorial debut, PIKADERO, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival.
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 LLYFGELL). 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, Efthymis 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 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.