Joanna Coates’ ‘Hide and Seek’ Wins Prize for Best Brit Pic at Edinburgh

Joanna Coates' 'Hide and Seek' Wins

LONDON — Joanna Coates’ “Hide and Seek,” which looks at a modern attempt at living a utopian ideal, won the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival on Friday. The pic received its world premiere at the festival.

The film, which stars Josh O’Connor, Hannah Arterton, Rea Mole, Daniel Metz and Joe Banks, is set in an English country house, where four young people from London move in together, seeking to challenge social conventions by engaging in scheduled partner-swapping.

Coates said: “We set out to make a film that uses beauty and playfulness to speak about our deeper feelings and contemporary dilemmas.”

The jury, chaired by director Amos Gitai, said it found the film to be “very innovative in form and in which all those involved, from the director to the cinematographer and the actors, we believe to be very talented.” The jury added that “the younger generation have a right to re-challenge and re-configure what cinema means to them.”

The award for performance in a British feature film went to Eddie Marsan for Uberto Pasolini’s “Still Life,” which centers on a lonely city hall worker whose job it is to find the relatives and friends of the recently deceased. A special commendation went to Zoe Telford for her performance in “Greyhawk.”

The award for international feature film was picked up by Midi Z’s “Ice Poison.” The pic, which is a Taiwan-Myanmar co-production, stars Patty Wu and Wang Hsing-Hong. The pic follows Sanmei, a young woman who has left her native Myanmar to endure an arranged marriage in China. Returning to her hometown, she takes a job as a drug runner and persuades a naive young man to become her driver.

The international jury, which was chaired by filmmaker, actor and writer Niki Karimi, said the award was given for the film’s “meticulously observed and perfectly crafted look at economic despair in the rural and developing landscape of Myanmar, the temptation of easy money and the consequence of ruinous choices… and for the assured tone and quiet melancholy of this re-telling of the fall from Eden.”

Farida Pacha’s “My Name Is Salt” took the award for documentary feature film.

The student critics’ jury award was awarded to Dietrich Brueggemann’s “Stations of the Cross.”

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