Critical enthusiasm for a new wave of British filmmaking was reflected in the prizes announced Sunday night at the 54th Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Pawel Pawlikowski's lyrical, Venice-bound Last Resort received the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature whilst the Standard Life Audience Award confirmed the crowd-pleasing qualities of Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot (previously known as Dancer). Previous recipients of the latter award include Buena Vista Social Club and The Full Monty.
Rising star Aidan Gillen received the Pathe British Performance Award for his role in Jamie Thraves' twentysomething comedy The Low Down, while the Fox Searchlight Award for Best British Short Film was shared by Martin Radich for A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Alnoor Dewshi for Jomeo & Ruliet. The McLaren Award for New British Animation went to John Williams for Robots -The Animated Docu-Soap.
One of the most widely admired features of the Festival, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros received the Guardian New Director's Award and may now secure a British distribution deal on the back of its reception in Edinburgh. Special mentions in this category were also made to Bahman Ghobadi for Zamani Baraye Ashba (A Time For Drunken Horses), Pablo Trapero for Crane World and David Gordon Green for George Washington.