The Edinburgh International Film Festival closed out its landmark 60th edition Saturday with Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe‘s “Brothers of the Head” winning the event’s Michael Powell Award for Best New British Film, while Kevin Smith‘s “Clerks II” won the Standard Life Audience Award, and best documentary went to Jake Clennell‘s “The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief.” The announcements were made Saturday in the Scottish capital by the festival’s departing Artistic Director, Shane Danielsen.
“Brothers of the Head” is the story of shadowy cultural icons Tom and Barry Howe, conjoined twins from an isolated headland on the east coast of England. Taken from the safety of their isolation in the mid Seventies they were groomed by one of rock’s leading impresarios to be a boy band. The two, however, use their artistic rivalry and inner darkness to embrace their freakishness and the result is an explosive punk rock. The film stars Luke Treadaway, Harry Treadaway and Tania Emery. Previous Michael Powell Award winners include “My Summer of Love” and “Young Adam.”
In “Clerks II: The Second Coming,” New Jersey mini-mart clerks and best friends Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) are forced to find new jobs in the fast-food universe. The first “Clerks” installment screened at EIFF in 1994.
The “Great Happiness Space” is Osaka’s Rakkyo Cafe: a club, run by ambitious young entrepreneur Issei, where a core staff of 20 young men are groomed to become the top male escorts in the city. But contrary to expectations, these boy-toys are (mostly) heterosexual and their clients are strictly female.
Filmmaker Paul Andrew Williams, meanwhile, received the fest’s Skillset New Directors Award for urban thriller “London to Brighton.”
Among the highlights at this year’s Edinburgh were appearances by Academy Award winners Steven Soderbergh, Charlize Theron, Academy Award nominees Sigourney Weaver and Arthur Penn, as well as BAFTA Award winner Iain Smith and director Kevin Smith who all participated in the festival’s “Reel Life” interview sessions.