EIFF announces jurors

Joe Wright, Frank Langella, Alan Cumming and Kirby Dick among those who will select winners

by Amber Wilkinson

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced the six juries that will pick the festival's awards.

President of this year's Michael Powell Jury - which celebrates imagination and creativity in British filmmaking - is Atonement director Joe Wright. He will be joined by journalist, broadcaster and author Janet Street-Porter; USA Today film critic Claudia Puig; Frost/Nixon star Frank Langella and Australian actor Sacha Horler (My Year Without Sex).

The Michael Powell Jury Award, won last year by Shane Meadows' Somers Town and sponsored by the UK Film Council, carries a cash prize of £20,000.

Wright said: "I am honoured to be in a such illustrious company as this year's jury and I am thrilled to be back at the Edinburgh Film Festival, which has always been the greatest melting pot of the British film industry and culture. Bring it on!"

The nominees for 2009's Michael Powell Award are: A Boy Called Dad (Brian Percival); Boogie Woogie(Duncan Ward); The Calling (Jan Dunn); Crying With Laughter (Justin Molotnikov); Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold); KICKS (Lindy Heymann); Mad, Sad & Bad(Avie Luthra); Moon (Duncan Jones); My Last Five Girlfriends (Julian Kemp); Running In Traffic (Dale Corlett) and Unmade Beds (Alexis Dos Santos).

The inaugural Best New International Feature Award will be deliberated by an international Jury of three: actor Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave); actor/director Alan Cumming (The Anniversary Party) and journalist and author Lee Marshall.

This award will be open to features originating outside of the UK, in all sections of the programme, which are receiving their world or international premiere at the Festival.

The nominees for the Best New International Feature Award are: Adam (Max Mayer); Atletu (the Athlete) (Davey Frankel & Rasselas Lakew); Baraboo(Mary Sweeney); Easier With Practice (Kyle Patrick Alvarez); Elkland (Per Hanefjord); Harmony And Me (Robert Byington); The Maiden Heist (Peter Hewitt); Modern Love Is Automatic (Zach Clark); My Year Without Sex (Sarah Watt); Romeo & Juliet Vs The Living Dead (Ryan Denmark); Spread (David Mackenzie); Surrogate(Tali Shalom Ezer); Thanks Maa (Irfan Kamal); Van Diemen's Land (Jonathan auf der Heide) and Wide Open Spaces (Tom Hall).

The Documentary Jury are: producers Margaret Matheson (sleep furiously), Nick Higgins from Lansdowne Productions (The New Ten Commandments) and Turner prize nominated Scottish artist Phil Collins.

The British Shorts Jury are actor Stephen McCole (Stone Of Destiny); Helen Anderson (Director, BAFTA Scotland) and Jan Naszewski (Shorts International).

The International Shorts Jury are: Mark Cosgrove (Watershed Media Centre), Academy Award® winning producer Melanie Coombs (Harvie Crumpete) and actor Harry Treadaway (Brothers Of The Head).

The Scottish short documentary Jury are director Kirby Dick (whose film Outrage will screen this year) and director Michael Whyte (Trial and Retribution XIV) as well as James and Morag Anderson representing the supporters of the award, Baillie Gifford.

EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill said: "I'm delighted to have such strong juries of internationally celebrated film and media practitioners.

"We are all especially delighted that Joe Wright, one of the UK's hottest young directors, has agreed to chair our Michael Powell jury, and that our brand new International Feature jury will comprise individuals as eminent as Kerry Fox, Alan Cumming and Lee Marshall.

"We thank also all of the other jurors, and the sponsors who so generously back our awards. An award at Edinburgh can be a huge boost to a filmmaker's future, and we really look forward to seeing what work these excellent juries will select."

The Festival has also recently announced the following additions to the line up: Lars von Trier's Antichrist (on Wednesday June 24), documentary Painting With Light about cinematographer Jack Cardiff on Friday June 19) and Family Gala Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (on Saturday June 27).

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