The longest running International film festival, Edinburgh has announced it’s 2019 Award winners. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial debut Farming has scooped two awards including the festival’s top prize.
The film was making it’s UK Premiere at the festival . What better accolade for the film winning prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film, which honours imagination and creativity in British filmmaking.
The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury which was comprised of Antonia Campbell-Hughes, David Hayman and Philip John.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje said: “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 honour. I am equally delighted that Damson Idris won for Best Performance. Thank you so much to the Festival.”
The winning didn’t stop there for Farming, with Damson Idris winning The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.
The jury said: “Damson Idris takes us on an uncompromising journey. It was the most complete characterisation 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.”
Damson himself commented “I am truly blessed and honoured 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.”
The Award for Best International Feature Film went to Miia Tervo’s 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.
Miia Tervo said: “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.”
The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Ben Asamoah’s first feature film Sakawa. 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.
The winner of this year’s EIFF Works in Progress is the documentary Women Behind the Wheel: Unheard Voices on the Pamir Highway, produced and co- directed by Hannah Congdon and Catherine Haigh. The Processing Room by Cameron Lambert and Red Hill, made by Laura Carreira winning the EIFF Youth New Visions short film competition.
Edinburgh International Film Festival’s popular Best of the Fest programme will also return this year, featuring a selection of the Festival’s most sought-after films including Astronaut, Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk, Farming, Balance, Not Symmetry, Scheme Birds, I See You, Ode to Joy, The Amber Light, The Dead Don’t Die, Carmilla, The Emperor of Paris, Varda by Agnès, Boyz in the Wood and Aniara.
The winner of both the McLaren Award and Audience Award will be announced at the Closing Night Gala.