True story of Australian aboriginal girls' fantastic journey voted "most popular" film at the 56th Edinburgh International Film Festival Awards
The film which stars and was backed by actor Kenneth Branagh, is based on a true story from the Thirties about three aboriginal girls who, after being forced to assimilate into white society, make an incredible journey through the Australian outback to be reunited with their families.
The film has garnered widespread critical praise: iofilm critic The Wolf said: "The film has a simplicity that burns through the sole of cynicism". The film was an early front-runner for the EIFF audience award (see diary) and has a bright future ahead of it. In the previous three years the audience award has been won by Amelie, Billy Elliot and The Buena Vista Social Club.
The runner-up in the audience's top ten films, Dominic Savage's Out Of Control, also won the Michael Powell Award for Best New British feature. The film looks at the brutal life inside a young offenders' institution.
The Guardian New Director's Award went to Carlos Reygadas debut feature Japon, which depicts a man's search for redemption and death in Mexico.
In the shorts department, the panel of judges chimed with the view from Henry's Cat that as far as animation is concerned "British outfit Shynola are leagues above the competition" (see full review). The award went to An Eye For An Eye, which was produced and directed by Shynola with Ruth Lingford.
Director Joachim Trier won the Best British Short Award with Procter, about a man who discovers a burning car in a garage and a video camera that has filmed the entire incident. The film is one of eleven from participating film festivals that will be eligible for the annual European Film Award in Rome in December 2002.
Anna Jones Sky High won the Saltire Society Greierson Award for Short Documentary.
Rabbit Proof Fence
Directed by Philip Noyce
The Guardian New Director's Award
Carlos Reygadas for Japon
Special mention to Marius Holst for Dragonflies
The Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature
Winner: Out Of Control
Directed by Dominic Savage
The Kodak and Short Film Bureau Award for Best British Short Film
Directed by Joachim Trier
The European Short Film Award: Prix UIP
Directed by Joachim Trier
The McLaren Animation Award for New British Animation
An Eye For An Eye
Produced and directed by Shynola with Ruth Lingford.
Saltire Society Greierson Award for Short Documentary
Supported by Baillie Gifford
Winner: Sky High directed produced and edited by Anna Jones