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Ice Poison named best film at 68th Edinburgh International Filmfest

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NEW DELHI: Midi Z’s Ice Poison (Taiwan, Myanmar), which had its British premiere, was named as the best film in the international section of the 68th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The award is given to filmmakers from outside of the United Kingdom in recognition of their imagination and innovation.

Filmmaker, actor and writer Niki Karimi chaired the International Feature Film Competition Jury with producer Michael Fitzgerald and journalist Mark Rabinowitz.

The ceremony concluded the 12-day festival with the international premiere of We'll never Have Paris.

The award for ‘Best Documentary Feature Film’, supported by Al Jazeera was awarded to Farida Pacha’s My Name Is Salt. Re-introduced in 2014, the award underlines the festival’s long-standing support of documentaries, and the competition saw feature-length documentaries from around the world competing for the cash prize of ?10,000.

The winner was selected by the Best Documentary Feature Film Jury, chaired by director Cynthia Beatt, with director and editor Dominique Auvray and producer Sunmin Park. The Best Documentary Feature Film Jury said: "It is a beautifully shot and edited film that details the cyclical nature of salt harvesting in Gujarat, India. The film itself mirrors this cycle with delicacy and restraint. Between scenes are spaces to imagine what we do not see during the eight months of filming. This one family of salt harvesters represents the 40,000 other families whom one senses on the horizon, closer or farther away, all doing the same work, all burdened by the same fears of whether this harvest will bring enough for them to survive until the cycle begins again."

The Michael Powell award for ‘Best British Feature Film’ was awarded to Joanna Coates’s Hide And Seek which received its world premiere at the festival. Her innovative utopian drama wins one of the longest-running film awards in the UK, honouring imagination and creativity in British filmmaking. The award carries a cash prize of ?20,000.

The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury, chaired by director Amos Gitai with actor Nina Hoss and actor/writer/comedian Michael Smiley.

The award for ‘Best Performance in a British Feature Film’ went to Eddie Marsan for his performance in Still Life. The performance award was also selected by the Michael Powell Jury who further awarded a special commendation to Zoe Telford for her performance in Greyhawk.

Slap directed by Nick Rowland won the Virgin Atlantic Little Red Award for ‘Best Short Film’. The prize was one of three short film awards supported by Virgin Atlantic Little Red bestowed by the Short Films Jury which was chaired by academic, curator and journalist Linda Ruth Williams with actor Lenora Crichlow and producer Nicole Gerhards.

The award for ‘Creative Innovation in a Short Film’, now in its second year, was awarded by the Short Films Jury to The Bigger Picture directed by Daisy Jacobs.

Another award in its second year 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 Ainslie Henderson and Will Anderson for their screenwriting and direction of the short film Monkey Love Experiments.

As voted for by the audience, the McLaren award for ‘Best New British Animation’, supported by the British Council, went to My Stuffed Granny by director Effie Pappa. Named after Scottish-born filmmaker Norman McLaren, the McLaren Award is the longest running award celebrating creativity amongst UK animation talent which this year saw it celebrating its 25th anniversary, alongside the year-long celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Norman McLaren. The award was presented by Sue Loughlin, the first ever recipient of the McLaren Award in 1990.

The Student Critics Jury Award, supported by James and Morag Anderson, was awarded to Stations Of The Cross, directed by Dietrich Brüggemann.                                         

Also awarded during the ceremony were AWFJ EDA Award for ‘Best Female-Directed Narrative’ and AWFJ EDA Award for ‘Best Female-Directed Documentary’. Alliance for Women Film Journalists president Jennifer Merin, presented the two awards to Frauke Finsterwalder’s Finsterworld and Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s Manakamana respectively, with a special documentary award commendation to Farida Pacha’s My Name Is Salt

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