International award goes to 'Dry Land'

Nick Whitfield’s debut “Skeletons” won the Michael Powell award for new British feature at the 64th Edinburgh Film festival on Saturday.

The jury, chaired by Patrick Stewart, said the film, a quirky ghost comedy, “exemplifies the spirit of Michael Powell in its original vision and dark humor.”

The prize for international premiere went to American rookie helmer Ryan Piers Williams for “The Dry Land,” a drama about a returning war veteran.

“We thought this delicate and emotional film took a subject that could have been predictable and explored it with a refreshing subtlety of characterization, with universally beautiful performances and with a respect for the audience’s intelligence that made it not only a superbly told, gripping and relevant story, but a natural and unanimous winner,” said the jury of actors Jason Isaacs and Ben Miller, and producer Lynda Myles.

Bill Murray starrer “Get Low” took the audience prize. David Thewlis won the award for performance in a British film for his role in Bernard Rose’s “Mr. Nice.”

The new director’s prize went to Gareth Edward for his innovative f/x feature “Monsters.”

“The Oath” by Laura Poitras took the documentary award.

The fest, which opened June 16 with Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist,” closed Sunday with a day of “best of the fest” screenings.

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