Stanley Pickle, Baby and Rita among winning films at EIFF new talent awards
Edinburgh International Film Festival Blog
This article is from 2010.
Monday was quite a sedate affair. After a number of days where going to bed late and getting up early was the norm, I treated myself to a lie-in before heading into town to catch a few movies (Postales, at last, and Chase The Slut – interview on the way!), and to prep myself for the ultimate test of my filmic abilities: the EIFF Film Quiz! I thought my team tempted fate by invoking the name of EIFF patron and official living legend Sir Sean Connery, but sadly, it was not to be; perhaps next time we should pick a film that’s better critically regarded that 1974 superflop ‘Zardoz’. For those not in the know, it’s a must see, if only to admire a gun-toting Sean with ponytail, thigh-high boots and a red thong-and-suspenders combo that would make Milla Jovovich blush.
The main event on Saturday night (aside from a few more films, including the nicotine-stained dystopia of Cigarette Girl – again, interviews in the pipeline) was the Short Film Award Ceremony, honouring the best and brightest of the EIFF’s ten-minute wonders. Sadie McKinlay, Head of Development for the festival, and Short Film Programmer Gaia Meucci, were in charge of doling out the gongs, the first of which (in true awards ceremony style) went to an absent participant: Anne Milne, director of Maria’s Way, was chosen as winner of the Baillie Gifford Scottish Short Documentary Award; her film was also selected as the Short Film Nominee Edinburgh for the European Film Awards 2010. One person who was attending was the already-awarded David Tomlie, whose film YUPYIT won the VisitScotland’s Young Creative Network Student Award; part of the prize included screenings of his film on the BBC Big Screen at Festival Square.
I was lucky enough to talk to all three of the night’s winners who were around to accept awards. Victoria Mather won the McLaren Award for New British Animation for her film Stanley Pickle: ‘It’s a little animation about an agoraphobic little boy, who stays inside, and his life runs like clockwork, until he gets distracted by this mysterious girl outside, swishing about in the forest. She turns his world upside down!’
The UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film also went to an animated short: Daniel Mulloy’s Baby. The plot tells of a woman who, on her way home, witnesses a pickpocket at work, and is the sole bystander who speaks up about it. ‘She gets followed home by one of the guys who was involved, and it’s basically about what happens between them through the rest of the night,’ explains Mulloy. ‘It was inspired by a few different things coming together: travelling back home and getting off the tube in Brixton, and seeing some similar events and getting involved in a few of them myself. And also just life in general, kind of.’
The other winner of the evening was Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s film Rita, about ‘a blind girl and her meeting with a fugitive boy.’ He mentioned the recently-deceased and very controversial Portuguese author Jose Saramago as an influence – folks on these shores may know him best for his Nobel-prize winning novel Blindness, adapted for the screen in 2008 with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.
Sadie McKinlay was pleased with how the evening went. ‘It’s great that so many people turned up,’ she said, gesturing to the room full of folks milling about in front of the massive windows that afforded views across the city, with Edinburgh Castle looming up in the foreground. ‘It shows that this Festival is one of the best for discovering and encouraging the next generation of film makers.’