The bold and experimental documentary Leviathan scooped the Michael Powell Award at the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival, beating out eleven other UK independent features to the prestigious title. The awards ceremony, which was held at the Filmhouse earlier this afternoon, was presented by Grant Lauchlan, who hosts and produces STV’s dedicated film series Moviejuice.
Leviathan, co-directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, is a striking and deeply immersive study of the commercial fishing industry that’s filled with skilful cinematography that plungers the audience head first into the fisherman’s dangerous lives. Castaing-Taylor, who was on hand to collect the award, said he was “totally bowled over by the news of this award.”
The jury of the Michael Powell Award also commended director Paul Wright for his feature debut For Those In Peril, which centers on the lone surviver of a freak fishing accident who struggles to cope with the death of his brother. It was labelled a “passionate portrait of a young Scots survivor of a tragedy at sea” by jury member and Scottish actor Kevin McKidd.
Elsewhere, the award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film went to Jamie Blackley and Toby Regbo for their performances in uwantme2killhim?, while Mahdi Fleifel’s intimate, and sometimes humorous, documentary A World Not Ours was named Best Film in the International Competition by jury members Bong Joon-Ho, Natalie Dormer and Siobhan Synnot.
The Audience Award, this year sponsored by Sainsbury’s Bank, went to Fire in the Night, director Anthony Wonke’s hard-hitting, intimate and fascinating documentary about the 1988 disaster on the North Sea oil rig Piper Alpha. I Am Breathing, Frances Ha and Blackbird were among those that were highly recommended by EIFF audience members.