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Winners directed by Hassan Nazer
Winners directed by Hassan Nazer

The Iranian film Winners directed by Hassan Nazer, won the Audience Award at the 75th anniversary edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival. In the film, set in a small Iranian town, nine-year-old Yahya finds an unclaimed Oscar statue, the curious item leading the boy into an adventure filled journey that doubles as a loving ode to the history of Iranian cinema.

Hassan Nazer, director of ‘Winners’ said “Winning the audience award at EIFF means everything to me. I have been working towards this since I decided to become a filmmaker. I make films for the audience and will continue to do so. It’s a great thing to be part of an ethnic minority living in Scotland where your vision is a mix of your background and new home. My aim is to always tie my cultures together and celebrate diversity through cinema. I’m very thankful our work has been recognized by Screen Scotland and EIFF.”

Other top prize, the Powell & Pressburger Award for Best Feature went to Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson’s A Cat Called Dom. Scottish animators Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson star in and co-direct this inventive documentary. Albeit framed as a film for Will’s mother, we too are invited to witness how Will deals with the grief of his mother’s cancer. Alone, Will turns to DOM, the animated cat that lives on his laptop screen.

Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, directors of ‘A Cat Called Dom’ said “To screen our first feature at EIFF was an honor… but to take away the first Powell & Pressburger Award is just so special. A Cat Called Dom is a film about embracing failure… after EIFF it now feels much more like a success.”

NORMAN MCLAREN JURY FOR BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

The Norman McLaren Jury for British Short Animation have chosen a deceptively simple, multilayered film with a powerful message. This film pushes the use of space in a visceral style that clearly communicates the pain of the filmmaker. Stunning in its simplicity, the award goes to Stay by Yu Sun.

NORMAN MCLAREN JURY FOR BRITISH SHORT FILM

In this film, the Norman McLaren Jury for British Short Film were struck by the use of camerawork, sound, and framing to evoke a haunting and unnerving atmosphere. It challenged our perspectives on arts spaces, immigration, and how we commodify other peoples’ experiences and continued to linger in our thoughts, long after the credits. The award goes to Canvas 5 by Karla Crome.

THE POWELL & PRESSBURGER AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM

“It’s better to miss Naples than to hit Margate” was Powell & Pressburger’s motto, suggesting the imagination, daring, risk taking and wit that marked their films. Their special collaboration was also grounded in deeply human stories and the belief that life can be magic.

For these reasons the jury award The Powell & Pressburger Award for Best Feature to Will Anderson & Ainslie Henderson’s A Cat Called Dom.

The Jury also gave a special mention to Maha Haj’s brilliantly realized black comedy, Mediterranean Fever.

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