Edinburgh unveils juries as fest gears up

Mike Hodges, Rafi Pitts among Michael Powell jury

LONDON -- Former Bond girl Britt Ekland, director Mike Hodges, New York's Museum of Modern Art's senior film curator Laurence Kardish and Iranian director Rafi Pitts have all been called to jury duty as the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is due to kick off June 16.

The quartet have signed up for the festival's main draw jury, the Michael Powell jury, and will assemble under the panel's president Patrick Stewart, organizers said.

Named in homage to the U.K. filmmaker and inaugurated in 1993, the Michael Powell Award is sponsored by the U.K. Film Council and carries a prize of £15,000 ($22,000).

The prize aims to reward imagination and creativity in British filmmaking and 2009 saw Duncan Jones walk off with the prize for his debut "Moon," while the jury gave Katie Jarvis last year's best performance in a British film for "Fish Tank."

The winner of 2010's Michael Powell Award will come from Ashey Horner's "brilliantlove," "Cherry Tree Lane" directed by Paul Andrew Williams, Ben Miller's "Huge," "Jackboots on Whitehall" by Edward McHenry and Rory McHenry," Nick Moran's "The Kid," "Mr Nice" from Bernard Rose, "Ollie Kepler's Expanding Purple World" directed by Viv Fongenie, Karl Golden's "Pelican Blood" "Skeletons" by Nick Whitfield, Hattie Dalton's "Third Star" and "Soulboy" directed by Shimmy Marcus.

Actor Jason Isaacs, comedian/director Ben Miller and BAFTA-winning producer and former EIFF artistic director Lynda Myles will mull over who will win this year's best international feature award, which carries a purse of £5,000 ($7,300) and is open to features originating outside the U.K. across all sections of the Scottish capital-set shindig.

The festival also offers a new director award and a documentary prize each with a cheque for £5,000 ($7,300).

The EIFF opens June 16 with Sylvain Chomet's latest animated adventure, "The Illusionist" and closes June 27 with the world premiere of "Third Star," by newcomer Hattie Dalton.
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