EIFF Awards under Control

Biopic scoops two prizes, plus a rundown of the other winners.

by Amber Wilkinson

Anton Corbijn's feature film debut Control has walked off with the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film at the 61st Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The black and white biopic also won Sam Riley the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film, for his portrayal of troubled Joy Division star Ian Curtis.

Paul Taylor's heartwarming documentary We Are Together - about a children's orphanage in South Africa - proved its crowd-pleasing credentials yet again, picking up the Standard Life Audience award to add to the one it won at Tribeca earlier in the year.

The Sky Movies Best Documentary, award, meanwhile went to Jennifer Venditti's Billy The Kid - which tracks a boy with learning difficulties as he looks for love.

The Skillset New Directors Award went to Lucia Puenzo's emotional coming-of-age drama XXY.

This year’s Michael Powell Award jury included Geoff Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival; Jonathan Coe - British novelist, journalist and biographer; Natalie Press - actress, star of Pawel Pawlikowski's Michael Powell Award-winner My Summer Of Love and BBC's Bleak House; Kate Dickie - acclaimed Scottish stage actress, star of Red Road, 2007 UK Shooting Star; and Jay Weissberg – world renowned American film critic.

The Jury said: “As members of the Michael Powell jury it was a great pleasure to be presented with such a diverse selection of new British films.

"The fact that eight of the 11 features we saw were debuts underscores our belief that there is no shortage of strong and distinctive new talents feeding the British film industry. Our winner, Control, struck us as being fully and brilliantly realised in every department.”

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council added: "Anton Corbijn has made an astoundingly beautiful and poetic, yet hard-edged and honest film drawing out the naivety and torment of Ian Curtis’s life from an awesome central performance by Sam Riley."

The Sky Movies Best Documentary Award jury, chaired by Jeffrey Blitz, said: "There were two films that were really strong contenders and it took us several hours to come to a conclusion.

"There was practically nothing between them: both films focused on strong and unusual protagonists. The filmmakers could have chosen to emphasise their marginality, but instead they succeeded in throwing light on the human condition with humour and affection."

"In the end we had to make a decision, so we would give a Special Jury Commendation to The Monastery: Mr Vig and the Nun, and the Sky Movies Best Documentary Award for 2007 to Billy The Kid."

Read about the short film winners.

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