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Danny Huston head Edinburgh's jury

Today the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), in association with the UK Film Council, announced 2008’s Michael Powell Jury as well as a substantial increase in the Award’s financial reward for Best British Film.

President of this year’s Michael Powell Jury is actor Danny Huston (THE CONSTANT GARDENER; 21 GRAMS), who will also attend the world premiere of THE KREUTZER SONATA at the Festival. Joining him on the Jury are international producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (ZIDANE: A 21st CENTURY PORTRAIT; A THOUSAND ACRES); 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).

Bringing together two members of great filmmaking dynasties; an industry veteran with a history of producing over 30 feature films; an author and academic of narrative theory and practice and one of the UK’s foremost directing talents, the Jury preside over the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film as well as the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.

Jury President, Danny Huston, commented: ‘I am thrilled to be coming as President of the Michael Powell Jury to the Edinburgh Film Festival – A festival that my father described as “the only festival worth a damn”’.

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, and this year the Award increases in value to £20,000 cash prize (previously £5000). Rewarding imagination and creativity in British filmmaking, 2007 saw Anton Corbijn and Sam Riley win The Michael Powell Award and Best Performance Award respectively, both for CONTROL. In addition, the EIFF is delighted to also announce an increase for the Skillset New Directors Award to £5000 (from £1500).

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, sponsor of the Michael Powell Award says, ‘Through the Michael Powell Award, the Festival recognises inspiring films from established filmmakers and newcomers reflecting the breadth and vibrancy of British filmmaking. This is part of our cash support to help turn the EIFF into a magnet for the best films and at the same time to support filmmakers in making their next film.’

EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill adds: 'This is a wonderful Jury befitting a very exciting year for the Michael Powell Award. Scarlett Thomas is easily one of the country's finest and most ambitious young writers, and Joni Sigvahtsson is that rare beast: a Hollywood power broker with a sustained and passionate interest in quality world cinema. Danny Huston and Joely Richardson, meanwhile, are charismatic stars in their own right as well as inheritors of two of their industries' most enviable sets of genes. John Huston, Danny's father, was a President of EIFF back in the 1960s; and we are actually showing a film by Tony Richardson, Joely's father, as part of our Jeanne Moreau retrospective. Iain Softley is a director I really respect, who has done fantastic

work in both the UK and Hollywood, going back to his brilliant debut Backbeat in 1994 and his great adaptation of Henry James' The Wings of the Dove (which starred another EIFF 2008 guest, Linus Roache). We are so looking forward to having these individuals join us in Edinburgh, and we await their thoughts on the films with great curiosity!'

The nominees for 2008’s Michael Powell Award are: BETTER THINGS (Duane Hopkins); DONKEY PUNCH (Oliver Blackburn); DUMMY (Matthew Thompson); FAINTHEART (Vito Rocco); HELEN (Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor); SOMERS TOWN (Shane Meadows); STONE OF DESTINY (Charles Martin Smith); SUMMER (Kenny Glenaan) and THE EDGE OF LOVE (John Maybury).
Previous winners of The Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival are: CONTROL (Anton Corbijn); BROTHERS OF THE HEAD (Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe); TSOTSI (Gavin Hood); MY SUMMER OF LOVE (Pawel Pawlikowski); YOUNG ADAM (David MacKenzie); OUT OF CONTROL (Dominic Savage); GAS ATTACK (Kenny Glenaan); LAST RESORT (Pawel Pawlikowski); THE WAR ZONE (Tim Roth); LOVE IS THE DEVIL (John Maybury); UNDER THE SKIN (Carine Adler); JUDE (Michael Winterbottom); SMALL FACES (Gillies Mackinnon); PRIEST (Antonia Bird); BLUE (Derek Jarman).

Box office is open and tickets are available either online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk or from the credit card hotline: 0131 623 8030

EIFF 2008 takes place this year from 18 – 29 June.
Industry and Press Accreditation is now open at www.edfilmfest.org.uk
The full EIFF programme is now available in print or online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk
Join our e-list to receive news and info about EIFF 2008 here: www.edfilmfest.org.uk/email/subscribe

About the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
Started in 1947, the EIFF is one of the true homes of innovative and exciting cinema. For over half-a-century, the Festival has presented some of cinema's most important and exciting moments and played host to the world's greatest filmmakers.

The EIFF is the longest continually running Film Festival in the world and has screened notable films over the last few years including, CONTROL, THE COUNTERFEITERS, KNOCKED UP, A MIGHTY HEART, RATATOUILLE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, LONDON TO BRIGHTON, TSOTSI, THE FULL MONTY, RATCATCHER, EAST IS EAST, RUN LOLA RUN, BILLY ELLIOT, AMORES PERROS, AMÉLIE, YOUNG ADAM, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, OLD BOY and HERO.

The EIFF is funded by:
The UK Film Council through its Lottery supported Film Festival Fund.
The UK Film Council is the Government backed lead agency for film in the UK. They aim to make sure that the UK has a dynamic film industry fit for the digital age and to help UK audiences enjoy the best of British and world cinema.
Scottish Screen – the national development agency for the screen industries in Scotland.
Event Scotland - working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations.
City of Edinburgh Council Culture & Leisure Department
The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund


The Edinburgh International Film Festival 18 - 29 June 2008



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