After ten days of films, panels, parties, and some unusually lovely Scottish weather, the 63rd Edinburgh International Film Festival came to a close this weekend. The occasion was marked with both the international premiere of Max Mayer's "Adam," and the festival's annual award ceremony - where a jury bestowed the festival's top honor, the Michael Powell Award, on Duncan Jones' directorial debut, "Moon." The award, given to the best British film at the fest, carries a 20,000 pound prize, and has recently been handed out to the likes of Shane Meadows' "Somers Town," Anton Corbijn's "Control," and Pawel Pawlikowski's "My Summer Of Love."
“We award 'Moon' for its singular vision and remarkably assured direction as well as for the inspired manner in which it transcends genre," the jury - headed by director Joe Wright - stated. "The central performance by Sam Rockwell embodies the film’s emotional complexity and compelling philosophical perspective.”
"Moon" beat out a diverse crowd of films competing for the prize. Among them, Brian Percival’s coming-of-age story “A Boy Called Dad,” Duncan Ward’s art world satire “Boogie Woogie,” Jan Dunn’s look at the world of nun's convent, “The Calling,” hometown filmmaker Justin Molotinkov’s darkly comedic mystery “Crying With Laughter,” Lindy Heymann’s footballer obsession film “Kicks,” Avie Luthra’s family meltdown dramedy “Mad, Sad & Bad,” Julian Kemp’s clever rom com The Last Five Girlfriends,” Dale Corlett’s dark drama “Running In Traffic,” Alexis Dos Santos’ hipster anti-romance “Unmade Beds," and Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank."
"Fish Tank," which follows Mia (played by Katie Jarvis), a 15-year old girl as she forges a bond with her mother's boyfriend, was given the award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film for Jarvis' work.
“This has been an amazing year for me in more ways than one," Jarvis said at the ceremony. "I was lucky enough to spend my 18th birthday in Edinburgh last week, where 'Fish Tank' was shown, and this is such a great 18th present! It is a real honour to receive this award, both for myself and the film. I would like to thank Andrea for the opportunity and for believing in me."
Earlier in the week, Jarvis was also given an award as one of the festival's 25 "Trailblazers," emerging talent that the fest considered to have produced some of the most innovative and outstanding work this past year. Other honorees included many from Michael Powell Award finalists, from "Running In Traffic" actor and writer Bryan Larkin, "Kicks" actor Kerrie Hayes, "Crying With Laughter" director Justin Molotnikov, and "A Boy Called Dad"'s young star, Kyle Ward.
The festival's audience award also found its way to homegrown talent, as well as to a newcomer. Tomm Moore's animated fairytale "The Secret of Kells," his directorial debut, won the Standard Life Audience Award. As well, the festival also looked across to honor emerging talent. Kyle Patrick Alvarez's "Easier Than Practice" won the inaugural New Independent Feature Award, while Cary Fukunaga's "Sin Nombre" won the Skillset New Directors Award.
"I'm delighted by these results and I thank our juries for their hard work and their presence in Edinburgh, which helped to make this year's Festival so exciting," Hannah McGill said yesterday. "It says a lot about EIFF and its mission as a discovery festival that Duncan Jones, Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Tomm Moore and Cary Joji Fukunaga are all first-time feature directors. We have had a fantastic year and I'm thrilled that all of our prizewinners have been part of it, as well as, of course, all the other filmmakers who've attended and given us the privilege of screening their work. I hope their success here helps them go forward in their careers, and I hope we'll see them all back in Edinburgh in the future with further work."
For a full list of the festival's winners, please click over to the next page. You can also check out some of indieWIRE's previous coverage of the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival, including an interview with Hannah McGill, a report from Lord David Puttnam's keynote address, an interview with "Surrogate" director and emerging international talent Tali Shalom Ezer, a dispatch from the world premiere of Shane Meadows' "strange, little experiment", and a collection of iPOPS from on the scene.
The winners of the 63rd Edinburgh International Film Festival:
Michael Powell Award For Best New British Feature Film
Moon - Directed By Duncan Jones
Ppg Award For Best Performance In A British Feature Film
Katie Jarvis - Fish Tank
Best New International Feature Award
Easier With Practice - Directed By Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Standard Life Audience Award
The Secret Of Kells - Directed By Tomm Moore
Best Documentary Award
Boris Ryzhy - Directed By Aliona Van Der Horst
Skillset New Directors Award
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Sin Nombre
The Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus Award
Humpday - Directed By Lynn Shelton
Uk Film Council Award For Best British Short Film
After Tomorrow - Directed By Emma Sullivan
Best International Short Film Award
Princess Margaret Bld. - Directed By Kazik Radwanski
Scottish Short Documentary Award Supported By Baillie Gifford
Peter In Radioland - Directed By Johanna Wagner
Mclaren Award For New British Animation In Partnership With Bbc Film Network
Photograph Of Jesus - Directed By Laurie Hill