The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which kicks off its edition in June on the 18th, has announced the jury for the Michael Powell Award for best British film and the PPG Award for best performance in a British feature film.
Actor Danny Huston will head the jury (he also stars in festival selection The Kreutzer Sonata). Other jury members will be producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait), author Scarlett Thomas (The End Of Mr Y), actress Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) and director Iain Softley (Inkheart).
With new backing from the UK Film Council, the Powell Award has quadrupled its cash prize - now $39,000 (£20,000) instead of $9,800 (£5,000). Also, the Skillset New Directors Award has increased to $9,800 (£5,000) from $2,900 (£1,500).
The nominees fr 2008's Michael Powell Award Are: Better Things by Duane Hopkins; Donkey Punch by Oliver Blackburn; Dummy by Matthew Thompson; Faintheart by Vito Rocco; Helen by Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor; Somerstown by Shane Meadows; Stone Of Destiny by Charles Martin Smith; Summer by Kenny Glenaan, and The Edge Of Love by John Maybury.
Past winners of the Powell Award include Anton Corbijn for Control, Pawel Pawlikowski for My Summer Of Love and for Last Resort, David Mackenzie for Young Adam, Gavin Hood for Tsotsi, Antonia Bird for Priest and Derek Jarman for Blue.
Jury president Danny Huston said: ' am thrilled to be coming as President of the Michael Powell Jury to the Edinburgh Film Festival - A festival that my father [John Huston] described as'the only festival worth a damn'.'
John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, added:'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 runs June 18-29 and more info is available at edfilmfest.org.uk.