EDINBURGH– “Here, Then” by Chinese director Mao Mao won best international feature at the 66th Edinburgh Film Festival, while Penny Woolcock’s doc “One Mile Away” took the Michael Powell Award for best British film.
Both pics world preemed at the 12-day fest, which wrapped Sunday, following the European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s Scottish-themed “Brave.”
“Here, Then” tells three interlinked stories of contempo Chinese life: a reindeer herder, a restaurant worker in Shanghai and a Chinese student in Paris. “One Mile Away” charts an attempt to reconcile two gangs in Birmingham, England.
In the international competition, the jury headed by Elliot Gould also gave a special mention to “Papirosen,” by Argentine documaker Gaston Solnicki, which records the lives of his Jewish family over a decade.
In its citation, the international jury praised Edinburgh’s new artistic director Chris Fujiwara for “an outstanding, challenging and brave selection of films that included both fiction and documentaries, and enabled us to watch the best of the world’s new cinema.”
That opinion echoed the views of many critics and cinephiles at this year’s fest, who lauded its return to its traditionally high artistic standards after years of decline.
The Michael Powell jury, headed by Jim Broadbent, said “One Mile Away” is a “brave and honest film tackling a huge problem with sensitivity and skill.”
The Student Critics Jury Award went to Jang Kun-Jae’s Korean feature “Sleepless Night,” about a married couple in their 30s deciding whether to have a baby.