Calibre wins Best British Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival

The debut feature from the Scottish director Matt Palmer, Calibre, has won the Michael Powell Award for the Best British Feature Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Martin McCann and Jack Lowden in Matt Palmer’s Calibre.

In a statement, the jury – including the actor Jason Connery – said: “Beautifully shot, technically accomplished, with a fantastic ensemble performance, director and screenwriter Matt Palmer pitches the tension and emotional journey flawlessly. We are fully invested in the characters and their dilemmas as the choices they make lead to a shattering conclusion.”

Palmer said he was honoured that his thriller had won the prestigious award. “We’ve been completely thrilled by the amazing response from Edinburgh International Film Festival audiences and had a fantastic experience at the Festival, which has been the perfect lead up to Calibre’s global release on Netflix.”

The same jury gave the award for the Best Performance in a British Feature Film to the co-stars in Jellyfish, Liv Hill and Sinead Matthews.

Hill said, “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award and even more delighted to be sharing it with the extraordinary Sinead Matthews.” Similar sentiments were expressed by Matthews, who said, “I am so completely thrilled and honoured to be given a prestigious award like this and to share it with Liv Hill makes it all the more special.”

The Swiss drama Those Who Are Fine was named the Best International Feature Film. Its director Cyril Shäublin welcomed the response of the Edinburgh audience to the screening: “It was great how people from the audience started talking to us about our film, after the screenings outside the cinema, questioning the movie and sharing with us their own ways of looking at things. That’s the best we can ask for. To get this award on top of that all is just wonderful.”

The International Jury also gave a Special Mention to the Kenyan film Supa Modo, praising its “excellent portrait of community and family.”

Kevin Macdonald’s documentary about Whitney Houston picked up an award in Edinburgh.

Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney, his examination of the tragic story of the singer Whitney Houston, was named the Best Documentary Feature at Edinburgh. The documentary jury said, “An assured film which delivers on every count, from narrative momentum to superb journalism and flawless editing, exposing a story which has timely and timeless resonance.”

Macdonald expressed his delight at the prize, saying, “It’s great to win Best Documentary at Edinburgh particularly as I started my life in documentaries at the Festival 20 years ago working as a documentary programmer. It means a lot to me.”

The jury also gave a Special Mention to Island of the Hungry Ghosts, complimenting Gabrielle Brady’s “fresh, radical, visually stunning take on the refugee crisis.”

The Best Short Film prize went to Emily Ann Hoffman’s stop-motion animation Nevada. The Short Film Jury commended its originality and its depiction of intimacy. “It tackled an interesting and important subject in a unique and charming way.” Hoffman said, “Nevada is about intimacy and vulnerability, but more importantly, it is about a woman exercising her right to govern her own body. I’m so happy to have this message be received and celebrated internationally.”

The jury also gave Special Mentions to Souls of Totality and Cosmic Kaleidoscope.

The festival also handed a £2,500 prize to a work in progress. It went to Riding The Wave, by Martyn Robertson, who said: “This award solves the problem of continuing filming a time sensitive documentary while we piece together completion financing. It’s also welcome recognition for a project that I’ve been working on for nearly two years now and gives me added confidence in my story and quest to complete this film.”

The 12 day long festival will draw to a close tomorrow with the UK Premiere of Swimming With Men.