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EIFF 2014 Award Juries Announced

Posted By : Mukesh Dube    At 11-06-2014 10:27:39

Tags : EIFF 2014 Award Juries Announced    

Edinburgh – 10 June 2014 –Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to reveal details of 2014’s Juries: the Michael Powell Award Competition Jury; the International Competition Jury; the Documentary Competition Jury; the Short Film Competition Jury and the Student Critics Jury.

The Jury for the Michael Powell Award Competition for Best British Feature Film:

Amos Gitai (Director; Chair)

Nina Hoss (Actor)

Michael Smiley (Actor/Writer/Comedian)

The Michael Powell Award was inaugurated at EIFF in 1990 to honour imagination and creativity in British filmmaking. The award carries a cash prize of £20,000. The Michael Powell Jury will also select a winner for the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.

The Jury for the Best International Feature Film Competition:

Niki Karimi (Actor/Writer/Filmmaker/Photographer; Chair)

Michael Fitzgerald (Producer)

Mark Rabinowitz (Journalist)

EIFF seeks to represent global trends in cinema by introducing important new films and new filmmaking directions. This award is intended to highlight filmmaking from outside the UK that is imaginative, innovative and deserving of wider recognition. The award carries a cash prize of £10,000.

The Jury for the Best Documentary Feature Film Competition, supported by Al Jazeera: 

Cynthia Beatt (Director; Chair)

Dominique Auvray (Editor/Director)

Sunmin Park (Producer/Director/Writer)

Feature-length documentaries from around the world are eligible for this award, which is being re-introduced at EIFF 2014 after a three-year hiatus. The award carries a cash prize of £10,000.

Serving on the Jury for the Short Film Competition, supported by Virgin Atlantic, are:

Linda Ruth Williams (Academic/Curator/Journalist; Chair)

Lenora Crichlow (Actor)

Nicole Gerhards (Producer)

The Student Critics Jury programme, supported by James and Morag Anderson and now in its third year, brings to Edinburgh a jury of seven aspiring film critics selected from applications received from Scotland’s colleges and universities. The students will work under the guidance of international film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum, former critic for the Chicago Reader; Dana Linssen, chief film critic of leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and editor-in-chief of the Dutch monthly De Filmkrant; and London Evening Standard critic Derek Malcolm. The students will write short essays about films and the Festival and determine the winner of the Student Critics Jury Award. The Student Critics Jury 2014 are: Alastair Livesley, Hanna Kubicka and Liam Bartie from the University of Glasgow; Helen Aitken and Rebecca Raab from the University of Edinburgh; Harrison Kelly from the University of Dundee and Ross Hamilton from the University of St Andrews.

EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara said, “The experience and discernment of our juries are crucial in helping our Festival play a meaningful role in encouraging exceptional filmmaking. We’re excited about the quality of the work in all our competitions this year, and we’re honoured to have such distinguished jury members come to Edinburgh to judge this work. We’re also thrilled to have with us such outstanding mentors for our Students Critics Jury, a programme that contributes to the development of a cultivated and articulate commentary on cinema in Scotland.”

Further Awards at the Festival are The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation, supported by the British Council; The AWFJEDA Award for Best Female-Directed Narrative; the AWFJEDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary and the Audience Award. The EIFF Awards Ceremony, a free event open to the public, will take place on Friday 27 June at Filmhouse. All the EIFF Awards will be announced at this ceremony, with the exception of the Audience Award, which will be announced at the Closing Gala on Sunday 29 June.


Amos Gitai (Michael Powell Jury – Chair)
In a prolific career spanning 40 years, Amos Gitai has become one of Israeli cinema’s most diverse yet distinctive voices. His filmmaking has explored everything from the socio-economic climate of his homeland to a Eurythmics tour of Japan. Gitai’s continued interest in capturing the apparent minutiae of any subject matter regardless of location or language provides us with a unique and impartial method of capturing and commenting upon the human condition. This is also apparent in the director’s most recent feature, Ana Arabia (screening at EIFF 2014), a technically audacious film set in a small Jaffa community where Jews and Arabs live in relative harmony.

Nina Hoss (Michael Powell Jury)
Known for her extensive career in both theatre and film, Nina Hoss won the Silver Bear at the 2007 Berlinale for her performance in Christian Petzold’s Yella and returned to the festival in 2011 as one of their jurors. A year later she collaborated with Petzold again in the multi-award winning film Barbara, a role for which she received international acclaim. This year she has returned to the stage at Schaubuehne Berlin and will next be seen on screen in Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN (screening at EIFF 2014) and Christian Petzold’s Phoenix.

Michael Smiley (Michael Powell Jury)
Actor, writer and comedian Michael Smiley is well known for his 2011 role as hit man Gal, in Ben Wheatley’s Kill List (for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Actor at the Total Film Frightfest) and cycle courier Tyres, in cult TV series Spaced. Other roles include the devilish O’Neill in A Field In England (2013), computer expert Benny, in BBC 1’s multi-award-winning Luther, George Lusk in the BBC’s Ripper Street and Baxter in Channel 4 series Black Mirror, White Bear. A successful stand-up for 20 years, Michael was an award-winning international headliner, and his trilogy of self-penned one man plays brought him acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe. His play, The Immigrant, premiered at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast in May 201 and his BBC series, Something to Ride Home About, about Smiley cycling around his native Northern Ireland, screened in 2014. In 2014, he will be appearing as Reynolds with Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn in Kevin McDonald’s Black Sea, and as Shannon alongside Stephen Graham in David Leon’s Orthodox.

Niki Karimi (International Jury – Chair)
Niki Karimi is an Iranian filmmaker, actress, writer and photographer. Appearing in more than forty films, she has garnered many national and international awards including the San Sebastian Film Festival award for best actress.  Her feature directorial debut Yek Shab (One Night) was in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and her second feature film, Chand rooze baad (A few days later), premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2007.  In 2011 she directed Soote Payan (Final Whistle) which opened at the Pusan Film Festival and is playing this year as part of EIFF’s Focus on Iran. Karimi has also appeared on juries at Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Thessaloniki and many other festivals.

Michael Fitzgerald (International Jury)
An esteemed producer, Michael Fitzgerald’s first forays into feature filmmaking came with John Huston’s Wise Blood (1979), a film he also co-wrote.  His second feature with Huston was the Academy Award nominated Under The Volcano (1984) and since then Fitzgerald has collaborated with directors such as Bruce Beresford, Sean Penn and Tommy Lee Jones.  His latest work with Jones, The Homesman (2013) was in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Mark Rabinowitz (International Jury)
Mark Rabinowitz is the co-founder of and has been a journalist, producer, film festival pro, and media consultant since 1995.  He is currently Account Director at Los Angeles-based publicity & marketing firm Platform Media Group. An expert in the operations and programming of film festivals, he has attended over 150 around the world, including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, and Berlin. He is also co-producer on Darren Dean's in-development adaptation of Will Eisner's landmark graphic novel A Contract With God and on the Jon Cryer & Richard Schenkman-penned Cosmodrome. To date his writing credits include CNN, Variety, and Screen International, among many others.

Cynthia Beatt (Documentary Jury – Chair)
While Cynthia Beatt’s filmmaking career has been predominantly based in her adopted home of Germany, time spent in the UK, Middle East and Asia has ensured that her cinematic achievements are anything but parochial. With Cycling the Frame in 1988 Beatt presented us with an intimate portrait of a divided country on the cusp of reunification, while over twenty years later in The Invisible Frame, 2009 she chose to examine the fallout of this earlier division. Both films were bold, socio-political statements tempered by an intimate approach, asking important questions without ever resorting to rhetoric. Beatt continues to explore these themes in A HOUSE IN BERLIN (screening at EIFF 2014) which examines the ways in which historical events have shaped 20th Century Germany through one woman’s personal journey in the present day.

Dominique Auvray (Documentary Jury)
Dominique Auvray began her career as an editor with Marguerite Duras on the films Baxter, Vera Baxter (1976), The Truck (1977) and Le Navire Night (1978).  Since then frequent collaborators have included Philippe Garrel, Wim Wenders, Claire Denis, Pedro Costa and Vincent Dieutre.  In 2002, however, she made her directorial debut with a portrait of Duras, entitled Marguerite, Telle Qu’en Elle Même.

Sunmin Park (Documentary Jury)
Sunmin Park is an American producer/writer/director of Korean origin who, at an early age, won prestigious national competitions with her song lyrics and original stories. In 2002, she premiered her directorial debut Too Pure at the Tribeca Film festival in the main competition. While attending Columbia University in New York, she founded Maxmedia and started collaborating with renowned filmmakers. Park's producing credits include films such as The Others (directed by Alejandro Amenabar and starring Nicole Kidman), Emperor And The Assassins (directed by Chen Kaige, starring Gong Li), Mushishi (directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, starring Joe Odagiri), and most recently, A NIGHT IN OLD MEXICO (directed by Emilio Aragon, starring Robert Duvall and screening at EIFF 2014). Park attended UCLA and Seoul National University for undergraduate studies in Political Science, and currently Park is a candidate for masters at the University of Oxford.  Park also lectures in creative writing, international co-productions and visual anthropology of world cinema at leading academic institutions including USC, Harvard, Le Femis of France, and Film Akademie of Ludwigsburg and Berlin in Germany.

Linda Ruth Williams (Shorts Jury - Chair)
Linda Ruth Williams is Professor of Film at Southampton University, and has written a number of academic books on film and cultural issues, with focusing particularly on contemporary cinema, gender, sexuality and censorship. Since 2008 she has co-curated (with the film critic Mark Kermode) Screenplay, the annual Shetland Film Festival, and was project patron of A Hansel of Film, Shetland Arts' round-UK filmic relay which formed part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Linda also co-curated the New Forest Film Festival in 2010 and 2011. In September 2014 she will start a large-scale AHRC-funded project with Dr Shelley Cobb entitled "Calling the Shots: Woman and Contemporary Film Culture in the UK, 2000-2015", investigating filmmaking opportunities and production by women this century. She writes for popular journals and newspapers, and contributes to radio and TV programmes when she can.

Lenora Crichlow (Shorts Jury)
Lenora Crichlow’s professional acting career began alongside Billie Piper in the Century Films/BBC drama Bella & The Boys. The role that brought her wider acclaim and attention was that of Sugar in the International Emmy award-winning series Sugar Rush, which was also BAFTA-nominated. On stage she played Claudine in Michael Attenborough’s “Big White Fog” at the Almeida and Delisha in the Royal Court's original production of 93.2 FM. Lenora was critically acclaimed for her next role, the portrayal of Annie in the award-winning BBC series, Being Human and the lead role in ITV drama Collision. She went on to film the series lead role of Ali Redcliffe in Carnival Film's Material Girl for BBC One. In 2010 Lenora filmed the comedy pilot Dapper for the BBC and also travelled to South Africa to film the documentary, Who Is Nelson Mandela for BBC, as well as filming series three of Being Human. In 2011 Lenora played the guest lead as Lily Thomson in new BBC series Death in Paradise and she wrapped on series four of Being Human. In 2012 she played the lead role of sprinter Shania Edwards in Fast Girls, described as ‘the most inspiring film of the year’. She also appeared in the romantic comedy Doors Open, a one off film for ITV, starring alongside Stephen Fry and Dougie Henshall, in an adaptation of Ian Rankin’s thriller set in Edinburgh, and completed the year appearing in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Emmy Award winning series Black Mirror for Channel 4, playing Toni, in White Bear, one of three stand-alone dramas which explore our modern reality. In 2013 Lenora starred in the US series Back in the Game on ABC, and her new pilot A to Z has just been picked up to series for NBC. She is currently starring in the independent film Electricity, directed by Bryn Higgins.

Nicole Gerhards (Shorts Jury)
A renowned producer of both fiction and documentary work, Nicole Gerhards studied Film Production at the DFFB (Deutsche Film and Fernsehakademie) in Berlin.  Her graduation piece Charlotte screened in both the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes and Perspektive Deutsches Kino at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004. Two years later she founded NiKo Film with which she has produced successful, award-winning films such as Lumber Kings, The Stranger in Me and Kill Me. Gerhards has also co-produced Every Day Is a Holiday, Double Take and The Prize, which won two Silver Bears at the Berlinale in 2011, amongst other accolades.

Jonathan Rosenbaum (Student Critics Jury Mentor)
Jonathan Rosenbaum is an American film critic. He was formerly the chief film critic of the Chicago Reader and is the author or editor of numerous books on film, including Moving Places: A Life in the Movies, Midnight Movies (with J. Hoberman), Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism, Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons, Discovering Orson Welles, and Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition.

Derek Malcolm (Student Critics Jury Mentor)
Derek Malcolm was film critic for The Guardian for over 25 years, after which he succeeded Alexander Walker as film critic of the Evening Standard. His awards include the IPC Critic of the Year, and he has been director of the London Film Festival, a Governor of the BFI, President of the International Association of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and President of the British Federation of Film Societies.

Dana Linssen (Student Critics Jury Mentor)
Dana Linssen has been chief film critic of the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad since 1997 and editor-in-chief (and later co-publisher) of the Dutch independent film monthly De Filmkrant since 1998. She is also a critic for Radio 1 Journaal and Opium Radio. In 2009, she launched the Slow Criticism Project as a counterbalance against the commodification of film criticism.

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