"Skeletons" wins Edinburgh fest best new Brit film

EDINBURGH Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:06am IST

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EDINBURGH (Reuters) - The dark British comedy "Skeletons," directed by Nick Whitfield, was handed the Michael Powell award for best new British feature film at the weekend close of the 11-day Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The film, a sideways take on science fiction, concerns two on-call exorcists traveling the country under the direction of the shadowy Colonel to clear skeletons of former misdeeds from the cupboards of their clients. Fine, until their own skeletons start to emerge.

It stars Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley, with Jason Isaacs from the Harry Potter films as the Colonel.

David Thewlis, another graduate from the Harry Potter series, won the PPG Award for best performance in a British feature film for his role as IRA gun-runner Jim McCann in "Mr Nice," based on the autobiography of Welsh-born and Oxford-educated Howard Marks who graduated to become Britain's most infamous drug runner in the 1970s and 1980s.

The jury said it had unanimously agreed on the award for Thewlis "for his energetic and electrifying performance as Jim McCann."

The Projector.tv award for best international film went to the U.S. production "The Dry Land," directed by Ryan Piers Williams.

The film is a study of the after-effects of war when a veteran, James played by newcomer Ryan O'Nan, returns from a tour of duty in Iraq an seeks to reintegrate himself in his small town in Texas.

The new directors award went to Britain's Gareth Edwards for "Monsters," a combination love story and monster movie which includes massive octopuses from space.

It was almost a one-man band, with Edwards writing, shooting, directing and creating the visuals for the film.

The American production "The Oath," directed by Laura Poitras took the best feature documentary award. In the film, Poitras, who received an Oscar nomination for her acclaimed "My Country My Country," turns her attention to al Qaeda through the life of a former bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

The awards were presented by film festival artistic director Hannah McGill and festival patrons Tilda Swinton and Seamus NcGarvey.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

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