Marianna Palka won the Skillset New Directors Award for her Sundance discovery Good Dick. Veteran Edinburgh regular Werner Herzog won the Best Documentary Award for Encounters At The End Of The World and the PPG Award For Best Performance in a British Feature Film went to Robert Carlyle in Summer. James Marsh's documentary Man On Wire was the winner of the Standard Life Audience Award beating off strong competition from WALL-E.
The festival is celebrating a successful relocation to the month of June and the first stage in their self-proclaimed mission to reinvent Edinburgh as the world's 'premiere Festival of discovery'.
A traditional fixture in August, the Festival shifted dates to avoid the city's overcrowded Festival season and to develop its own distinct space and audience. Powerful financial backing from the UK Film Council and Scottish Screen appears to have paid off with the Festival organisers predicting a 3% increase in the 2007 admission figure of 51,000 but a massive upswing in press and industry attendance. Latest figures confirm press attendance up from 500 to 600 and industry attendance up from 575 to about 800, a rise of around 20% in both cases.
There was a mixed critical response to a programme that included selections from Toronto, Sundance and Berlin and a number of world premieres that included Christopher Doyle's Warsaw Dark, The Kreutzer Sonata, Helen, the controversial Mum and Dad, the much admired Summer and the breezy subversive comedy Bigga Than Ben.
Strong support from Scottish talent included appearances from Festival patrons Sir Sean Connery and Tilda Swinton alongside stars Robert Carlyle and Brian Cox who gave this year's BAFTA Scotland Lecture.
2008 EIFF Winners
Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film, sponsored by
the UK Film Council
Somers Town - Directed by Shane Meadows
PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film
Robert Carlyle - Summer
Standard Life Audience Award
Man On Wire - Directed by James Marsh
Best Documentary Award
Encounters At The End Of The World - Directed by Werner Herzog
Skillset New Directors Award
Marianna Palka - Good Dick
UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film
Son - Directed by Daniel Mulloy
European Film Academy Short Film 2008 - Prix UIP
2 Birds - Directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson
Scottish Short Documentary Award supported by Baillie Gifford
Christmas With Dad - Directed by Conor McCormack
McLaren Award for New British Animation in partnership with BBC Film
Space Travel According To John - Directed by Jamie Stone & Anders
Mirrorball Best British Music Video Award
Happiness (Goldfrapp) - Directed by Dougal Wilson