Danny Huston to head Edinburgh jury

3:36 AM PST 06/06/2008 by Stuart Kemp, AP

U.K. Film Council boosts fest prize money

LONDON -- Director Iain Softley and novelist Scarlett Thomas are two of the names joining this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival jury, which will be presided over by actor Danny Huston, organizers said Friday.

The jury also includes actress Joely Richardson and veteran international producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson.

The quintet will pick a winner for the fest's Michael Powell award for best British film, which has seen its prize purse rocket to 20,000 pounds ($39,000) this year, up from the previous year's 5,000 pounds ($9,800).

They also will select the winner of this year's PPG Award for best performance in a British feature.

Huston said he was "thrilled to be coming as president of the Michael Powell Jury to the Edinburgh Film Festival, partly because his father described the event as "the only festival worth a damn."

The Michael Powell Award is sponsored by the U.K. Film Council, which is bankrolling the prize rise.

The EIFF, which is set for June 18-29, also unveiled an increase in the Skillset new directors award to 5,000 pounds ($9,800), up from last year's 1,500 pounds.
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