Skeletons, The Dry Land, Get Low and Monsters among EIFF Award Winners

This article is from 2010

Skeletons, The Dry Land, Get Low and Monsters among EIFF Award Winners

Nick Whitfield, director of Skeletons, which won the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film

Brit comedy Skeletons bagged one of the top gongs at the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival awards.

The winners were announced at Cineworld prior to the screening of Third Star at the closing Gala last weekend, with EIFF patrons Tilda Swinton and Seamus McGarvey in attendance to present some of the awards.

Skeletons, directed by Nick Whitfield, won the Michael Powell for Best New British Feature Film, following rave reviews from audiences and critics.

The 5- strong jury was chaired by Sir Patrick Stewart and included director Mike Hodges; film curator Laurence Kardish; director Rafi Pitts and actress Britt Ekland.

The citation read: "The Michael Powell Jury, having considered the eleven films in competition for the Best New British Feature Film, is pleased to announce two unanimous decisions.

"A Special Mention to Edward and Rory McHenry for their animated revision of modern British history, Jackboots on Whitehall, and the Michael Powell Award goes to writer/director Nick Whitfield whose debut feature Skeletons best exemplifies the spirit of Michael Powell in its original vision and dark humour.”

The PPG award for best performance in a British Film was given to David Thewlis for his performance as Jim McCann in Bernard Rose's Mr Nice.

The actor commented: "This is a thrill and totally unexpected, and made all the more special by being honoured by one of my favourite cities in the world. Thank you.”

Lizzie Francke, Senior Production Executive with the UK Film Council, sponsor of the Michael Powell and Best British Short Film awards said: "The UK Film Council’s support for Edinburgh's film festival and the Michael Powell award underlines our commitment to promote and nurture new British film talent.

Nick Whitfield's Skeletons is an imaginative and touching debut film and winning the Michael Powell award confirms he is a talent to look out for. And in looking at new talent coming through short filmmaking, Daniel Mulloy's Baby proves he is a writer/director with enormous promise."

The Best International Feature Award was presented to The Dry Land, starring Ugly Betty's America Ferrera.

The jury citation read: " We thought this delicate and emotional film took a subject that could have been predictable and explored it with a refreshing subtlety of characterisation, with universally beautiful performances and with a respect for the audience’s intelligence that made it not only a superbly told, gripping and relevant story, but a natural and unanimous winner."

The Standard Life Audience Award went to Get Low, starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.

The UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film was presented to Daniel Mulloy for Baby.

The Moët New Directors Award went to Gareth Edwards for his brilliant science fiction film, Monsters.

The Best Feature Documentary Award was given to Laura Poitras for her portrayal of al Qaeda in The Oath, with a special mention going to Restrepo.

The Best International Short Film Award sponsored by Steedman & Company went to directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza for Rita.

The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation, in partnership with the BBC Film Network, went to Victoria Mather, director of Stanley Pickle.

Director Anne Milne picked up two awards on the night, the Scottish Short Documentary Award, supported by Baillie Gifford, and the Edinburgh Short Film Nomination for the European Film Awards 2010 with Maria’s Way.

Artistic Director, Hannah McGill commented:

"I warmly congratulate all of our award-winners, as well as the generous supporters of those awards; and I thank the wonderful people on our juries for their enthusiasm and dedication.”