The prize money for the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature has been boosted to £20,000 for 2014.
The festival’s creative director, Chris Fujiwara, said the increase was “a sign of the strength of our commitment” to supporting the UK film industry. He added: “At a time when so many directors of vision are emerging in the UK, we hope that the strengthening of the award – named after one of the greatest visionaries in film history, from whatever country – will act as a further impetus to the artistic renewal of British cinema.”
The Michael Powell Award was inaugurated in 1990 and has been awarded by an international jury every year since, with the sole exception of 2011, when it was briefly suspended. It returned in 2012 when Fujiwara came to the helm of the festival, and documentaries became eligible for the first time. The prestigious award was won this year by celebrated documentary Leviathan.
However, documentaries will not be eligible for the award from next year, owing to the reinstating of the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film with a cash prize of £10,000. Fujiwara said the reinstated award recognises “the immense strength of documentary filmmaking, which is currently pioneering new ways of imagining the world while insisting with urgency, creativity and vigour on the vital relationship between film and reality”.
All ten awards at the festival will be awarded during a special ceremony.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival will run in 2014 between 18-29 June. More information is available on the festival’s official website here.