Festival season is well upon us, as two significant film fests have already winded down and announced their awards. Neither has the prestige of Venice, Telluride or Toronto, each of which Cinematical will soon be covering in depth, but they are great, rather regional events. Edinburgh, which will be moving to an earlier Summer slot starting in 2008, had a number of UK premieres and even surprised audiences with a special screening of The Kingdom. The Sarajevo Film Festival concentrates on South European filmmakers -- this year was apparently well-populated with Turkish cinema -- and is aided by the support of famous actors and directors like Jeremy Irons, who headed the feature competition jury this year, and Steve Buscemi, who received a special honorary award.

Two top prizes at Edinburgh went to Anton Corbijn's debut, Control, about Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. The film premiered at Cannes, where our own James Rocchi called it surprisingly, "well-crafted, sympathetic and good." It also won a Special Mention at that festival. Corbijn is reportedly also surprised by his film's achievement and success. In Edinburgh, Corbijn picked up the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film and Sam Riley, who stars as Curtis, received the PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Film. The winner of the Standard Life Audience Award, which is voted on by festival-goers, was Paul Taylor's We Are Together (Thina Simunye). Supposedly the documentary, about a South African orphanage, just barely edged out Pixar's Ratatouille -- and nothing against the animated film, but I'm glad to see a less-known film get recognized here. Other awards went to Jennifer Vinditti's Billy the Kid (Sky Movies Best Documentary Award), which Monika reviewed at Hot Docs, Lucia Puenzo's XXY(Skillset New Directors Award), and the shorts The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island, Dog Altogether, Soft, Final Journey, Ottica Zero, Breadmakers, How to Save a Fish From Drowning and Over the Hill.
categories Awards, Cinematical