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The winners of the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival awards (EIFF) were announced at the festival ceremony, with the top award, the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film going to Pikadero directed by Scottish filmmaker Ben Sharrock.

2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival Awards

Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film

The prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to Scottish filmmaker Ben Sharrock’s directorial debut, Pikadero, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival.

The film follows the fumbling attempts by would-be lovers Gorka (Joseba Usabiaga) and Ane (Barbera Geonaga) as they seek to find a private place (‘pikadero’ is Spanish slang for public place for ‘romance’) only to be blocked or interrupted at every attempt.

Ben Sharrock said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive the Michael Powell Award. It is an incredible feeling. It is so valuable to have this kind of recognition for Pikadero in the UK. It is awards and recognition like this that help us get the film out to as wide an audience as possible. We have been lucky enough to screen Pikadero in different countries around the world but it has been a very special experience having the UK premiere here at EIFF and showing it to audiences in my home city. I am extremely grateful and I would like to thank the jury, the festival team and Mark Adams. Finally, I want to thank everyone who was involved in this film for all their talent and hard work. What a journey!”

The jurors also gave a special mention to Brakes, directed by Mercedes Grower, which received its world premiere at the Festival.

Best Performance In A British Feature Film

The award for Best Performance In A British Feature Film went to actress Catrin Stewart for her role in The Library Suicides.

The jury also gave a special mention to David Sillars for his role in Seat in Shadow.

Best International Feature Film

The award for Best International Feature Film went to Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ Suntan, which received its UK premiere at this year’s Festival.

Messy and muddled sexual shenanigans are at the core of the third film from talented Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos. Fortysomething doctor Kostis (Efthymus Papadimitriou) arrives on the holiday resort island of Antiparos and becomes increasingly obsessed with a group of hedonistic young tourists and 21 year-old Anna (Elli Triggou) in particular. They are beautiful and cruel to him, toying with his emotional and sexual needs, as Kostis is drawn into the clubs on warm summer nights desperately looking for some kind of love, at any cost.

Argyris Papadimitropoulos said: “Back in the late ’90s I was a student in the UK. All the films that were awarded in the Edinburgh International Film Festival were part of the conversation among us. We would go and watch everything with an Edinburgh laurel on the poster. Little did I know that 15 years later I would be so honoured as to be the recipient of such an award. I can’t wait to print new posters. Thank you to the lovely people of the Festival and the amazing jury, I could not be happier.”

Best Documentary Feature Film

The award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Johan Grimonprez’s eye-opening documentary Shadow World, which dwelt on the shocking realities of the global arms trade.

A cinematic documentary that reveals the shocking realities of the global arms trade – the only business that counts its profits in billions and its losses in human lives – based on Andrew Feinstein’s globally acclaimed book The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade. In shedding light on how our realities are being constructed, the film offers a way for audiences to see through this horror, in the hopes of creating a better future.

Johan Grimonprez said: “In an interview James Baldwin once said: ‘What we call history is perhaps a way of avoiding responsibility for what has happened, is happening, in time.’ I hope that Shadow World somewhat is able to point at how we can actually rewrite that reality. And it’s so wonderful that EIFF honors the effort of so many people, not in the least Andrew Feinstein, the writer of The Shadow World, but also the whole team that was able to get this different story out there. A big tanx, truly!!!”

Best Short Film

The award for Best Short Film went to Before Love, directed by Igor Kovalyov, with Gavin Scott Whitfield’s Murderous Injustice receiving a special mention from the jurors.

Best British Animation

Voted for by the Festival audience, the McLaren Award for Best British Animation, supported by the British Council, this year goes to Simon’s Cat – Off to the Vet by director Simon Tofield.

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