Edinburgh Festival: “clap de fin”


The 62nd EIFF’s closing ceremony saw concluded saw Somers Town winning the Michael Powell Award, and Robert Carlyle walking away as best actor for his performance in Summer.

Bittersweet drama Somers Town scooped EIFF’s top prize this year at today’s awards ceremony presented by patron Sir Sean Connery.

The Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film quadrupled in value this year.

The Michael Powell Jury, led by actor Danny Huston, recognised Shane Meadows’ latest as “the freshest, most imaginative maverick work, deserving of the Award.”

“After viewing an impressive selection of films and a long deliberation we, the Jury, unanimously agreed that the award would go to Somers Town.”

The prestigious PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film was handed to the multifaceted Robert Carlyle for his striking rendering of a man in conflict with his past in Summer. The Jury commended his work as “a flawless performance in a great, uncompromising film that touches the heart.”

The champion that emerged from the historically hefty documentary strand was Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World. The Best Documentary Award Jury, chaired by Seamus McGarvey, commented: “the documentaries competing for this award were, in many cases, exemplary.”

“It was a powerful shortlist of contrasting styles and experience, but in the end there was one film which we all agreed was the outstanding entry, a poetic vision but one with an unflinching gaze focusing on an area which should concern us all.”

But it was another documentary that won over the public’s heart and the Standard Life Audience Award.

Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh, is a thrilling reconstruction of daredevil Philippe Petit’s scheme to walk a high-wire strung between the twin towers of the former World Trade Centre.

Its first European screening on Thursday received a standing ovation and it was with equal enthusiasm that its audiences rewarded the film in their votes.

 See below for the full list of award winners.

Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film sponsored by the UK Film Council
Somers Town (dir. Shane Meadows)

PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
Robert Carlyle for Summer

Standard Life Audience Award
Man on Wire (dir. James Marsh)

Best Documentary Award
Encounters at the End of the World (dir. Werner Herzog)

Skillset New Directors Award
Marianna Palka for Good Dick

UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film
Son (dir. Daniel Mulloy)

European Film Academy Short Film 2008 – Prix UIP
2 Birds (dir. Rúnar Rúnarsson)

Scottish Short Documentary Award supported by Baillie Gifford
Christmas with Dad (dir. Conor McCormack)

McLaren Award for New British Animation in partnership with BBC Film Network
Space Travel According to John (dir. Jamie Stone & Anders Jedenfors)

Mirrorball Best British Music Video Award
Happiness by Goldfrapp (dir. Dougal W

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