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International co-production by Lebanese filmmaker gets top award at Edinburgh

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NEW DELHI: Mahdi Fleifel‘s A world not ours (Lebanon/UAE/Denmark/UK) has received the best film award in the International Competition of the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The film had its British premiere at this year‘s festival. The award is given to filmmakers from outside United Kingdom in recognition of their imagination and innovation. Acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho chaired the international feature film competition jury, which also included actress Natalie Dormer and film critic Siobhan Synnot.

The award ceremony concluded the twelve-day festival, and the ceremony was hosted by Grant Lauchlan, producer and presenter of stv‘s Moviejuice. 

The jury also gave a special mention to Elias Giannakakis‘ Joy (Greece) and appreciated the outstanding performance by Amalia Moutousi.

The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel‘s Leviathan (UK/USA/France), which received its UK premiere at the festival. A visually stunning documentary, it wins one of the longest-running film awards in the UK, honouring imagination and creativity in British filmmaking.

The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury, chaired by eminent Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf and including actor and director Kevin McKidd and renowned film critic Derek Malcolm.

The jury awarded a special commendation to Paul Wright‘s For Those In Peril for its passionate portrayal of a young Scots survivor of a tragedy at sea.

The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film was shared by Jamie Blackley and Toby Regbo for their performances as the dysfunctional schoolboys in uwantme2killhim? The performance awards were voted for by the Michael Powell Award Competition Jury.

Reinstated in 2013 after a two-year absence, The Audience Award, supported by Sainsbury‘s Bank, went to Fire In The Night (UK) directed by Anthony Wonke for his deeply moving documentary detailing the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea. The film, which received its world premiere at the festival, skillfully combines archival footage, audio recordings and interviews with some of the 61 survivors of the disaster, some of whom are interviewed for the very first time.

GHL by Lotte Schreiber won the Award for Best Short Film in the shorts category. The prize was one of the three awards bestowed by the short film competition jury, which included International Film Festival Rotterdam programmer Inge de Leeuw (chair), film critic Christoph Huber and independent film programmer Ricardo Matos Cabo.

The award for creative innovation in a short film, given for the first time this year, was awarded to Doll Parts by Muzi Quawson, as voted for by the Shorts Jury.

Another newly introduced award within the shorts category, The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Short Film, which celebrates imaginative and innovative work in short cinema, was awarded to Josh Gibson as Director of Photography of Light Plate, which he also directed.

The jury also gave a special mention to three filmmakers whose work holds great promise for the future: Charlotte Rabate for Lucille In the Sky; Ivan Castineiras for The Border; and Anna Frances Ewert for Endless Day.

As voted for by the audience, The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation, supported by the British Council, went to Marilyn Myller by director Mikey Please and co-animator Dan Ojari. Named after Scottish-born filmmaker Norman McLaren, the McLaren Award is the longest running award celebrating creativity amongst UK animation talent. The award was presented by Richard Williams, widely regarded as one of the world‘s greatest animators.

The Student Critics Jury Award, supported by Morag and James Anderson, was awarded to Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari by Alexey Fedorchenko. The award was determined by a jury of seven aspiring film critics, Lewis Camley, Ruth Swift-Wood, Kathryn Craigmyle, Phil Kennedy, Catarina Mourao, Rebecca Lily Bowen and Vivek Santayana, who took part in a workshop on film criticism at EIFF under the guidance of Kate Taylor (Independent Cinema Office), Gabe Klinger (independent film critic and programmer) and Nick James (editor, Sight & Sound).

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