The 2018 edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) closed on June 28, but not before it had announced this year’s award winners. Actor and festival patron Sean Connery was among those presenting the awards.
Sci-fi Movie Wins Top Prize
The festival’s top prize, the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film, which carries a cash sum of £20,000 (approximately $33,000), was awarded to Moon. Directed by Duncan Jones, the sci-fi movie stars Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. It was praised by the jury for its vision and assured direction.
Newcomer Katie Jarvis was awarded the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film for her portrayal of fifteen-year-old Mia in the coming-of-age tale Fish Tank.
Kyle Patrick Alvarez picked up the award for Best New International Feature for Easier With Practice, his film about sex, love and loneliness over the phone.
Dutch director Aliona Van Der Horst received the Best Documentary award for her tribute to Russian poet Boris Ryzhy, who committed suicide at the age of 26.
This year’s Standard Life Audience Award, voted for by festival visitors, went to the animated The Secret of Kells by Tomm Moore.
Best New Director and Short Film Awards
The Skillset New Directors Award was presented to Cary Joji Fukunaga. This director-to-watch first attracted attention for his short Victoria Para Chino, screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. His first feature-length effort, Sin Nombre, is an often violent but always vibrant story of illegal immigrants trying to make their way from Honduras to the United States.
After Tomorrow by director Emma Sullivan won the UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film; while the award for Best International Short Film went to Kazik Radwanksi’s Princess Margaret BLVD.
Other awards included The Scottish Short Documentary Award, presented to Johanna Wagner for Peter In Radioland, and the McLaren Award for New British Animation, which went to Laurie Hill’s Photograph Of Jesus.
Longest Continuously Running Festival
The EIFF has been held annually since its launch alongside the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. This makes it the longest continuously running festival in the world.
The festival started out with the aim of bringing documentaries to a wider audience. While documentaries remain important, the festival has expanded to include feature films, shorts and animation, with a strong emphasis on work by new talent and the development of the UK and Scottish film industries.
The 2018 EIFF opened on June 17 with British director Sam Mendes’ new feature Away We Go, a much lighter look at family life than his claustrophobic Revolutionary Road. Also in UK premiere was Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience and Max Mayer’s Adam, a touching romantic comedy featuring a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.