British filmmaker Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje took the top prize, the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival, for his directorial debut Farming, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival.
The film also won the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film which went to Damson Idris for his role in Farming.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje commented, “I am absolutely thrilled to have received this prestigious award, named after one of my cinematic heroes, for my first film. It is a huge and humbling honor. I am equally delighted that Damson Idris won for Best Performance. Thank you so much to the Festival.”
The Award for Best International Feature Film went to Miia Tervo’s Aurora, which received its UK Premiere at this year’s Festival; and the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Ben Asamoah’s first feature film Sakawa.
THE MICHAEL POWELL AWARD FOR BEST BRITISH FEATURE FILM
The winner of the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film, which honors imagination and creativity in British filmmaking, went to British filmmaker Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje for his directorial debut Farming, which received its UK Premiere at the Festival.
“The unanimous decision of the Michael Powell Jury goes to an important, powerful and disturbing film from Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. This story forces us to confront an unfamiliar, uncomfortable reality. Farming keeps you invested in its brutal world. Culturally adrenalizing. Visceral. Inspirational.” – The Michael Powell Jury
THE AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A BRITISH FEATURE FILM
The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film went to Damson Idris for his role in Farming.
“Damson Idris takes us on an uncompromising journey. It was the most complete characterization the Michael Powell Jury saw, bringing emotional truth to every frame. Idris creates a visceral yet disciplined performance taking us into the world of a deeply conflicted individual in search of his identity.” – The Michael Powell Jury
“I am truly blessed and honored to receive such a prestigious award. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s life and triumph was shared with me in the most intimate manner and I am so pleased it is now being shared and celebrated by the world.” – Damson Idris
THE AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
The Award for Best International Feature Film went to Miia Tervo’s Aurora, which received its UK Premiere at this year’s Festival.
“We have chosen Aurora. In this International section, we couldn’t have asked for a more distinctive, varied and thought-provoking selection. It was wonderful to see a particular focus on women directors and female lead characters in stories that provoked plenty of discussion, reflection and debate. From this fascinating selection we have unanimously chosen Aurora: beautifully shot and executed, with brilliant performances from the entire cast. Our main reason for choosing Aurora is for its uniqueness and originality. We completely fell in love with every single character, big or small, all flawed yet beautiful and set in a world that we were reluctant to leave. Made with such a strong voice, with clever humor and a big heart. A true gem and, for us, the discovery of the Festival.” – The International Jury
“I am very grateful and delighted to hear about this wonderful news! I am so happy to hear that our work has given something to you. That is the most important thing – that the film gives something meaningful to people. Giving and receiving – so I receive this prize as wholeheartedly as I did the film.” – Miia Tervo
THE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Ben Asamoah’s first feature film Sakawa.
“The award for best documentary at the Edinburgh International Film Festival goes to Sakawa. The highly sophisticated debut from Belgian-Ghanaian filmmaker Ben Asamoah is a timely and unsettling metaphor for our interconnected world.” – The Documentary Jury
”Film festivals like the EIFF are the ones that encourage people like myself to think outside the box when it comes to storytelling” – Director Ben Asamoah
THE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM
The Award for Best Short Feature Film went to Anca Damian’s The Call. Special Mentions were also given to The Fabric of You and Red Film.
“We decided to give the Best Short Film Award to The Call by Anca Damian for the highly imaginative, unique and poetic way of using animation to show what we can’t see; to get the important and relevant topics of loss and grief in families across in a very short period of time. The Call is a powerful, moving, engaging and visually exceptional film.” – The Short Film Jury
“I am really delighted to hear that my 10-minute film about eternity resonated in the jurors’ hearts.” – Anca Damian
Special Mentions went to The Fabric of You, from Josephine Lohoar Self, and Red Film from Sara Cwynar.
“I am so grateful to receive a Special Mention from the Short Film Jury at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. I had such a great time making this film and am so excited for it to have its World Premiere at this year’s Festival.’ – Josephine Lohoar Self
THE EIFF WORKS IN PROGRESS WINNER
The winner of this year’s EIFF Works in Progress and recipient of the £2,500 prize is the documentary Women Behind the Wheel: Unheard Voices on the Pamir Highway, produced and co- directed by Hannah Congdon and Catherine Haigh.
“We’re thrilled to have won this award among so many impressive projects! As first time filmmakers the money will be invaluable in helping us edit our documentary and share the stories of these inspirational women in Central Asia. Thank you Edinburgh International Film Festival!” – Hannah Congdon and Catherine Haigh
THE NEW VISIONS WINNERS
The EIFF Youth New Visions short film competition in the 14-18 age category was won this year by The Processing Room by Cameron Lambert and Red Hill, made by Laura Carreira, in the 19-25 age group.
They each win a £300 cash prize.