UK short film, SAILCLOTH by Elfar Adalsteins and starring John Hurt has been awarded the highest accolade at the 15th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival - the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short. As a result of winning at Rhode Island the film automatically qualifies for consideration for an Oscar® by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences™.
'Sailcloth by Elfar Adalsteins is a brilliant and poignant work that touches at the core of the human experience. Brilliantly acted and expertly realized, leaves little doubt that a new creative voice in world cinema has burst upon the scene.' George T. Marshall, Chair of RIIFF Jury.
This year RIIFF received a record 4,537 submissions from filmmakers representing more than 60 countries worldwide. Sailcloth’s writer and director Elfar Adalsteins was on hand to receive the prize at the festival; which also marked the film’s World Premiere:
‘It is an absolute privilege to receive this award at Rhode Island – we couldn’t ask for a better platform to launch our film. It was a true honour to partake in a festival that really puts the interests of filmmakers first.’
The film tells the story of an elderly widower (played by John Hurt) who veils his disappearance from a nursing home to embark on one final journey on his beloved sailboat. Filmed on location in beautiful village of St Mawes in Cornwall, John Hurt was drawn to the project after reading Elfar Adalsteins’ script and was quick to spot his potential:
'I read the script, I liked the idea and I met Elfar and it was quite obvious that he was a player and that cemented it for me.'
The 17-minute short is completely non-dialogue and the Oscar-nominated actor usually famed for his dramatic speaking roles relished the chance to take on such a part:
'The spoken word is not essential in film - it can be useful but it's wonderful if it is not necessary.'