Edinburgh Winners: Eurostar's Somers Town, Man on a Wire, Herzog's Encounters at End of the World

Written by Nic Wistreich on . Posted in Festivals

wall-e_3.jpgSorry for the shortage of updates recently, I've watched too many inpsiring films in the past few weeks, with not enough time to do them justice with a good enough review. And after seeing Wall-E on Thursday - towards the end of an enlightening Edinburgh - business as usual doesn't seem possible either. In the meantime here's the award winners from Sunday's ceremony.

EuroStar's Somers Town won the £20,000 Michael Powell Best British Film Award, a film directed by Shane Meadows through a £500k financing deal set up by ad agency Mother, the company behind the Orange Film Funding Board adverts.

This year’s Michael Powell Jury were actor Danny Huston (Ivans Xtc) as president, international producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (ZIDANE: A 21st CENTURY PORTRAIT); Orange Prize nominated author Scarlett Thomas (The End of Mr. Y); Golden Globe Best Actress nominee Joely Richardson (NIP\TUCK) and acclaimed director Iain Softley (INKHEART; K-PAX).

The Jury citation read: “It is a great pleasure to recognise SOMERS TOWN as the freshest, most imaginative, maverick work deserving of the Michael Powell 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.” 

Full winners and jury comments below

shanesomers.jpgMichael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film, sponsored by the UK Film Council
SOMERS TOWN – Directed by Shane Meadows
PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
Standard Life Audience Award
MAN ON WIRE – Directed by James Marsh
Best Documentary Award
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD – Directed by Werner Herzog
Skillset New Directors Award
UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film
SON – Directed by Daniel Mulloy
European Film Academy Short Film 2008 - Prix UIP
2 BIRDS – Directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson
Scottish Short Documentary Award supported by Baillie Gifford
CHRISTMAS WITH DAD – Directed by Conor McCormack
McLaren Award for New British Animation in partnership with BBC Film Network
SPACE TRAVEL ACCORDING TO JOHN – Directed by Jamie Stone & Anders Jedenfors.
Mirrorball Best British Music Video Award
HAPPINESS (Goldfrapp) – Directed by Dougal Wilson
On awarding Robert Carlyle The PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film, the Jury cited: “It is our great pleasure in the category of best actor/actress to recognise a flawless performance in a great, uncompromising film, a film that touches the heart - and at the film’s heart a triumph of a performance by an actor who inspired all of us. The vote was unanimous.”
The Best Documentary Award Jury, chaired by Seamus McGarvey, said “The documentaries competing for this award were, in many cases, exemplary.  It was a powerful shortlist of contrasting styles and experience.  Our deliberations were lengthy; each of us had favourites about which we were passionate.  In the end, however, 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.  This film is ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD directed by Werner Herzog. The film is about discovery.  Herzog uses his camera as a writer might use a pen, making notes as he goes along, allowing the audience to share the discoveries he makes through the lens.  Many of the shortlisted films confront important issues in the world today. ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD approaches equally important issues but draws its authority from its quiet assurance.  It is a challenging film and reveals, sometimes obliquely, sometimes directly, profound insights into the state we're in.  We felt it was a celebration of documentary filmmaking that thoroughly deserves to win the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival Best Documentary Award.”
The Scottish Short Documentary Jury said: “The jury was very impressed by the overall quality of the films, particularly the extremely high technical standard and the stunning cinematography. The winning film, the jury felt, told a beautifully structured story, introducing the viewer to a situation through subtly observed scenes and gradually revealing unexpected details that combined to produce an unforgettable portrait of a modern family.”