The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has revealed the jury members for its most prestigious prize, the Michael Powell Award for the best British feature film.
Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf will chair the jury at the 67th EIFF, which opens tonight with the European Premiere of Breathe In at the Festival Theatre.
Scottish actor Kevin McKidd and film critic and historian Derek Malcolm will join Makhmalbaf in deciding the outcome of the prize.
A recognised star of Iranian New Wave cinema, Makhmalbaf enjoyed considerable success at the Cannes Film Festival with all three of her first feature films.
McKidd is a familiar face to Edinburgh audiences, thanks to his breakout role in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, and appearances in hit TV shows Rome and Grey’s Anatomy. He also lent his vocal talents to Disney-Pixar’s Brave, which was the closing film at last year’s EIFF.
Malcolm is chief film critic at the Evening Standard, and is the author of several books and a former director of the London Film Festival.
The jury will also select a winner for the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.
British films competing for the Michael Powell Award include 7 World premieres and 6 feature debuts.
Among the Michael Powell Award contenders are the captivating Scottish tale of belonging and loss Blackbird by Jamie Chambers; the black comedy Everyone’s Going To Die by the two-person collective ‘Jones’; the previously mention For Those In Peril from Paul Wright; Dummy Jim by Matt Hulse; Mister John by Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy; and John Hardwick’s Svengali. A Long Way Home by Virginia Gilbert stars Natalie Dormer, who serves on the International Feature Film Competition jury; while The Sea by Stephen Brown stars Ciarán Hinds and Charlotte Rampling. A documentary feature competing is Leviathan by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel. Completing the selection are UWantMe2KillHim? by Andrew Douglas, based on true events, We Are The Freaks by Justin Edgar, in which misfit teens go on an all-nighter, and the aforementioned Not Another Happy Ending, the Festival’s Closing Gala film, directed by John McKay.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival award for Best British film has been given to a documentary set aboard a North Atlantic fishing trawler.
Leviathan, directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor, was given the Michael Powell Award by a jury chaired by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf and including Scottish actor/ director Kevin McKidd and film critic Derek Malcolm.
The Audience Award, reinstated for 2013 after a two-year absence, went to another documentary. Fire In the Night, directed by Anthony Wonke, detailing the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea. EIFF artistic director Chris Fujiwara said: “The Audience Award is not only one of the most significant of EIFF’s initiatives designed to engage audiences with cinema, it’s also one of the most fun.”
A World Not Ours, directed by Mahdi Fleifel, won Best Film in the International competition. Fleifel said he hoped the award would “help bring our film to a wider audience in the UK and I would like to thank the jury for this wonderful honour.”
The festival will close on Sunday night with a screening of John McKay’s Not Another Happy Ending, featuring former Dr Who star Karen Gillan.
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