Awards History

Feature Film Awards

The Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film

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 for films in the British Gala section, is judged by an international jury and the winner will receive a cash prize of £20,000.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Somers Town (Shane Meadows)
  • 2007 Control (Anton Corbijn)
  • 2006 Brothers of the Head (Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe)
  • 2005 Tsotsi (Gavin Hood)
  • 2004 My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski)
  • 2003 Young Adam (David Mackenzie)
  • 2002 Out of Control (Dominic Savage)
  • 2001 Gas Attack (Kenny Glenaan)
  • 2000 Last Resort (Pawel Pawlikowski)
  • 1999 The War Zone (Tim Roth)
  • 1998 Love Is The Devil (John Maybury)
  • 1997 Under The Skin (Carine Adler)
  • 1996 Jude (Michael Winterbottom)
  • 1995 Small Faces (Gillies MacKinnon)
  • 1994 Priest (Antonia Bird)
  • 1993 Blue (Derek Jarman)

Standard Life Audience Award

Sponsored by Standard Life since 1997, the winner is chosen by audience votes from the Gala and British Gala sections. The award celebrates mainstream cinema delights: narrative skill, characterisation, suspense, spectacle, comedy…

Past winners:

  • 2008 Man on Wire
  • 2007 We Are Together
  • 2006 Clerks II
  • 2005 Tsotsi
  • 2004 Inside I’m Dancing
  • 2003 Afterlife
  • 2002 Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • 2001 Amélie
  • 2000 Billy Elliot
  • 1999 Buena Vista Social Club
  • 1998 Get Real
  • 1997 The Full Monty

Skillset New Directors Award

This award, inaugurated in 1999, acknowledges new interpretation and innovation in filmmaking and underlines one of the basic tenets of the Film Festival, which is to be a festival of discovery.  The award is selected from first and second time filmmakers in the Rosebud and British Gala sections and the winner will receive a cash prize of £5,000.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Marianna Palka for Good Dick
  • 2007 Lucia Puenzo for XXY
  • 2006 Paul Andrew Williams for London to Brighton
  • 2005 Mike Mills for Thumbsucker
  • 2004 Morgan Spurlock for Super Size Me
  • 2003 Shari Springer Bergman & Robert Pulcini for American Splendor
  • 2002 Carlos Reygadas for Jápon
  • 2001 Joint winners Michael Cuesta for L.I.E. & Zacharias Kunuk for Atanarjut the Fast Runner
  • 2000 Alejandro González Iñárritu for Amores Perros
  • 1999 Lynne Ramsay for Ratcatcher

PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film

EIFF has hosted an illustrious guest list over the past 62 festivals. Thanks to the continued generous support of PPG, this is the third year of an award to honour the best performance in a British Feature Film. The award will be judged by the Michael Powell Award jury.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Robert Carlyle for Summer
  • 2007 Sam Riley for Control

Best Feature Documentary Award

This award will recognise a singular and compelling achievement in non-fiction filmmaking and is intended to honour work which reveals a fascination with a particular subject, rendered on screen with style, truthfulness and integrity to its sources. It celebrates the act of filmmaking for its own sake, divorced from commercial considerations, and driven instead by the desire to represent some aspect of life or experience, and, in so doing, to expand the horizons of its audience. The winner will receive a cash prize of £5,000.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Werner Herzog for Encounters at the End of the World
  • 2007 Jennifer Venditti for Billy The Kid
  • 2006 Jake Clennell for The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief

Best New International Feature Award

The EIFF’s newly-established Best New International Feature Award will be open to features originating outside of the UK, in all sections of the programme, which are receiving their world or international premiere at the Festival. The films will be judged by a three person jury. This new award has been put in place in order to honour and promote the international elements in the EIFF programme, alongside the British feature films that compete for the highly prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature. The new award is also intended to assist in EIFF's mission to lead the field in cinematic discovery, by stimulating filmmakers to select Edinburgh for their very first public screenings, or first public screenings beyond country of origin.  The award will carry a cash prize of £5,000.

The Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus Award

Introduced in 2008 and judged by a panel of leading UK film critics, the award is presented to a film chosen from the Directors Showcase section of the Festival.

  • 2008 winner: Let The Right One In

Short Film Awards

UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film

Judged by an international jury, the Best British Short Film Award is again supported by the UK Film Council. This award recognises new talent in UK filmmaking. The 2009 winner will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and £1,000 worth of Kodak film stock.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Daniel Mulloy for Son
  • 2007 James Griffiths for The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island
  • 2006 Dictynna Hood for The Other Man
  • 2005 John Williams for Hibernation
  • 2004 Iain B MacDonald for Billy’s Day Out and Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor for Who Killed Brown Owl
  • 2003 Duane Hopkins for Love Me or Leave Me Alone
  • 2002 Joachim Trier for Procter
  • 2001 Alicia Duffy for Crow Stone & Brian Percival for About a Girl
  • 2000 Martin Radich for A Good Man is Hard to Find and Alnoor Dewshi for Jomeo & Ruliet
  • 1999 Morag McKinnon for Home, Joern Utkilen for My Job and Martin Radich for In Memory of Dorothy Bennett
  • 1998 Jamie Thraves for I Just Want To Kiss You, Matt Hulse for Wee Three

Scottish Short Documentary Award supported by Baillie Gifford

Supporting Scottish talent, this award will reward first and second time short documentary filmmakers either working in, or from, Scotland. The award is judged by a jury and carries a cash prize of £1,000.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Conor McCormack for Christmas with Dad
  • 2007 Yasmin Fedda for Breadmakers
  • 2006 Edward Brooke Hitching for The Really Terrible Orchestra
  • 2005 Simon Hynd for Arts: The Catalyst
  • 2004 Jim Hickey for And So Goodbye
  • 2003 Craig Collinson for She Toon: City Of Bingo
  • 2002 Anna Jones for Sky High

The McLaren Award for New British Short Animation in Partnership with BBC Film Network

The award is named after Stirling-born and Glasgow School of Art-trained Norman McLaren. Well known for his innovative work with the GPO film unit in London, McLaren was a true pioneer. Throughout his career, he experimented with ideas and animation techniques, such as drawing images directly on to film and even drawing on the soundtrack. So it is particularly apt that McLaren should be remembered with this award, which provides a focus for new British animation and recognises the free spirit of creativity. This award will be supported in 2009 for the fourth year by BBC Film Network and carries a cash prize of £1,000.

Past winners:

  • 2008 Jamie Stone and Anders Jedenfors for Space Travel According to John
  • 2007 Peter Baynton for Over the Hill
  • 2006 Run Wrake for Rabbit
  • 2005 Elizabeth Hobbs for The True Story of Sawney Beane
  • 2004 Shynola for Blur’s Good Song and John-Paul Harney for Brand Spanking
  • 2003 Stephen McCollum for Pullin’ the Devil by the Tail
  • 2002 Shynola with Ruth Lingford for An Eye for an Eye
  • 2001 Suzie Templeton for Dog
  • 2000 John Williams for Robots, The Animated Docu-Soap

Best International Short Film Award

All short fiction of under 50 minutes' duration from a non-UK country of origin will be eligible for this new award, which is intended to affirm the Festival's long-established support of international short filmmakers and to provide profile and encouragement for the feature filmmakers of the future. Short film art is extremely important to EIFF both as a feature film training ground and as an art form in its own right, and the Festival looks forward to watching its international short filmmakers benefit from this new prize category. The award will carry a cash prize of £1,000.

In association with European Film Academy
Short Film Nominee Edinburgh for the European Film Awards 2009

An initiative by the European Film Academy in association with the Edinburgh International Film Festival and a series of other festivals throughout Europe.  One of the winning short films at EIFF will win a nomination for the European Film Academy Short Film 2009, to be presented at the 22nd European Film Awards on 5 December in Essen/Germany.

Festival Diary: June

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