congratulations to all concerned for this terrific win. "Dead Man's Shoes" was pipped to the post for this prestigious prize back in 2004. Good to see that justice has now been done!
UNDER STRICT EMBARGO ACROSS ALL MEDIA UNTIL 17:30 SUNDAY 29 JUNE 2008
AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT 62nd EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Edinburgh, Scotland, 29 June... The Edinburgh International Film Festival today announced the winners in the ten competition categories for both feature and short films. The awards were presented to the winners by EIFF Patron Sir Sean Connery on the closing day of the Festival at a public ceremony in Filmhouse.
Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film, sponsored by the UK Film Council
SOMERS TOWN – Directed by Shane Meadows
This year’s Michael Powell Jury were actor Danny Huston (THE KREUTZER SONATA, THE CONSTANT GARDENER) who presided over the five-strong Jury, international producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (ZIDANE: A 21st CENTURY PORTRAIT); Orange Prize nominated author Scarlett Thomas (The End of Mr. Y); Golden Globe Best Actress nominee Joely Richardson (NIP\TUCK) and acclaimed director Iain Softley (INKHEART; K-PAX).
The Jury citation read: “It is a great pleasure to recognise SOMERS TOWN as the freshest, most imaginative, maverick work deserving of the Michael Powell Award. After viewing an impressive selection of films and a long deliberation we the Jury unanimously agreed that the award would go to SOMERS TOWN.”
This year the Michael Powell Award was significantly increased from £5000 to £20,000.
a bit of background about the award and Michael Powell...
winners 1993 Derek Jarman - Blue 1994 Antonia Bird - Priest 1995 Gillies MacKinnon - Small Faces 1996 Michael Winterbottom - Jude 1997 Carine Adler - Under the Skin 1998 John Maybury - Love is the Devil 1999 Tim Roth - The War Zone 2000 Pawel Pawlikowski - Last Resort (GREAT FILM, btw) 2001 Kenny Glenaan - Gas Attack 2002 Dominic Savage - Out of Control 2003 David MacKenzie - Young Adam 2004 Pawel Pawlikowski - My Summer of Love (beat DMS... ) 2005 Gavin Hood - Tsotsi 2006 K Fulton & L Pepe - Brothers of the Head 2007 Anton Corbijn - Control (ALSO GREAT) 2008 Shane Meadows - Somers Town (!)
"Named in homage to one of Britain's most original filmmakers and inaugurated in 1993, the Michael Powell Award is sponsored by the UK Film Council. Rewarding imagination and creativity in British filmmaking, the award is judged by an international jury and carries a substantial cash prize." -- Edinburgh catalogue
Michael Powell made some of the greatest works of British cinema, often in collaboration with Emeric Pressburger. For me their masterpiece is 'A Canterbury Tale' (1944)
but 'Black Narcissus' and 'The Red Shoes' are also pretty special. Solo, Powell was responsible for the wildly controversial 'Peeping Tom' (1959).
The prize named after him is a big deal internationally and is well known and respected in the film world. This is terrific news for 'Somers Town' and all those connected with it - and to think back in Berlin in February it looked like the movie might go straight to TV and DVD!
In Edinburgh the "smart" money was on Duane Hopkins 'Better Things' or Kenny Glenaan's 'Summer', with 'Somers Town' more of a "dark horse" candidate. The star of 'Summer', Robert Carlyle, won the Best Performance prize awarded by the Powell jury -- he's good in the movie, but really they should have given it to T.Turgoose and P.Jagiello (last year 'Control' won the Powell award and star Sam Riley rightly picked up the performance gong.)