Calibre, the debut feature from UK writer-director Matt Palmer, has taken the top prize at the 72nd Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF, June 20-July 1).
The film, which received its world premiere at the festival and has a worldwide release on Netflix on Thursday (June 28), received the Michael Powell award for best British feature film.
“Palmer pitches the tension and emotional journey flawlessly. We are fully invested in the characters and their dilemmas as the choices they make lead to a shattering conclusion,” said the jury, which comprised actors Ana Ularu, Iain De Caestecker, and Jason Connery.
Set in the Scottish Highlands, Calibre stars Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) and Martin McCann (The Survivalist) as childhood friends who find themselves backed into a corner after a hunting trip is blighted by a tragic accident. Screen’s review said ‘the nervy hand-held camera brilliantly captures the mindset of two men struggling to contain the biggest secret of their lives’.
The award for best performance in a UK feature film was given to actors Liv Hill and Sinead Matthews jointly, for the roles in James Gardner’s debut feature Jellyfish.
Cyril Shäublin’s Those Who Are Fine won the award for best international feature film. The jury of Dublin Film Festival director Gráinne Humphreys, actor Simin Motamed-Arya and Yung Kha, head of press at Dogwoof, described it as ‘a playful and engaging commentary on contemporary society’. A special mention was given to Likarion Wainaina’s Supa Modo.
Best documentary feature film went to Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney, described by the jury as ‘an assured film which delivers on every count, from narrative momentum to superb journalism and flawless editing’. Gabrielle Brady’s Island Of The Hungry Ghosts received a special mention in this category.
Best short film was awarded to Emily Ann Hoffmann’s stop-motion animation Nevada, described by the jury as ’tackling an interesting and important subject in a unique and charming way.’ Special mentions were given to Souls Of Totality and Cosmic Kaleidoscope.
Winner of the Works in Progress pitching competition worth £2,500 ($3,300) was Martyn Robertson’s The Wave.
This year’s event featured 121 features, including 20 world premieres. It closes on Sunday (July 1) with the UK premiere of Oliver Parker’s Swimming With Men starring Rob Brydon.