The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has revealed the winners for this year’s 73rd edition.
The winner of the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to British filmmaker Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje for his directorial debut Farming, which received its UK premiere at the festival. The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell jury comprised of Antonia Campbell-Hughes, David Hayman and Philip John.
The jury said, “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 adrenalising. Visceral. Inspirational.”
Kate Beckinsale and Snowfall’s Damson Idris star in the film which is inspired by Akinnuoye-Agbaje real-life experience with the practice of farming, a term used in the 60s in reference to Nigerian immigrants coming to Britain who would foster their children out to poor white working-class families in order to create a better opportunity for themselves. Once they had accomplished what they set out to do, they would pick up their children and return to Africa to rebuild their lives.
Idris also won the Best Performance in a British Feature Film prize, which was also selected by the Michael Powell jurors.
The award for Best International Feature Film went to Miia Tervo’s Finnish comedy-drama Aurora, which received its UK premiere at this year’s festival. The winner was chosen by the international jury comprised of Natalie Brenner, Jack Lowden and Fred Tsui.
The Best Documentary Feature Film prize went to Ben Asamoah’s first feature film Sakawa with jurors comprising William Guentzler, Daniel Monzón and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh. Best short film went to Anca Damian’s The Call.
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.
The aforementioned winners were announced today ahead of Sunday’s closing night gala, which concludes the 12-day festival with the world premiere of Mrs Lowry & Son. The winner of both the McLaren Award and Audience Award will be announced at the gala.
In total the festival screened 121 new features, including 18 world premieres from 42 countries.