'A World Not Ours' Wins Edinburgh International Film Festival Prize
LONDON -- Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours won the best film in the international competition at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The festival's awards were dished out Friday ahead of Sunday’s closing night gala Not Another Happy Ending, which brings the curtain down on this year's 12-day event in the Scottish capital.
Fleifel’s movie, a Lebanon/UAE/Denmark/U.K. co-production, was awarded the plaudit by an international jury chaired by South Korean director Bong Joon and that included actress Natalie Dormer and film critic Siobhan Synnot.
Fleifel said: "I have lived, studied and worked in the U.K. for 13 years, but I've never managed to screen any of my work at a single British film event - not even my short films which were pretty successful internationally."
He said he hopes the recognition "will help bring our film to a wider audience in the U.K. and I would like to thank the jury for this wonderful honor."
The festival's Michael Powell award for best British film went to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s documentary Leviathan, a U.K./USA/France production.
The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell jury, chaired by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf and including actor and director Kevin McKidd and film critic Derek Malcolm.
Castaing-Taylor and Paravel said the award would give them "the courage and conviction to continue to keep pushing at the envelope - of cinema, of documentary, of art."
The nod for best performance in a British movie was shared by Jamie Blackley and Toby Regbo for their performances as the dysfunctional schoolboys in uwantme2killhim?
Reinstated in 2013 after a two-year absence, the audience award went to Fire In the Night (U.K.) directed by Anthony Wonke for his documentary detailing the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea.
Wonke said: "It’s 25 years ago this July that Piper Alpha exploded and sunk into the North Sea and we hope that with this film the memory of that fateful night that affected so many lives will act as a suitable remembrance."
EIFF artistic director Chris Fujiwara said: "The Audience Award, which we reinstated this year after a two-year hiatus, is not only one of the most significant of EIFF’s initiatives designed to engage audiences with cinema, it’s also one of the most fun."