Edinburgh International Film festival to boost prize money

Edinburgh International Film Festival The Edinburgh International Film Festival is to give a significant boost to its cash prizes

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The Edinburgh International Film Festival is to increase the prize money for its film awards and double the number of gala screenings.

It said prize money for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film would quadruple to £20,000.

The Award for Best Documentary Feature Film also returns after a three-year hiatus with a £10,000 prize.

The 2014 festival, which runs from 18 to 29 June, now has one of the largest cash prizes at a UK film festival.

The Michael Powell Award, named after one of Britain's most original filmmakers, was inaugurated at EIFF in 1990 to "honour imagination and creativity in British filmmaking".

'Strengthening award'

Previous winners of the award include: Priest (Antonia Bird), Somers Town (Shane Meadows), Tsotsi (Gavin Hood), My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski), Young Adam (David Mackenzie), Jude (Michael Winterbottom) and Blue (Derek Jarman).

Chris Fujiwara, Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) artistic director, said: "EIFF is committed to supporting the UK film industry, and as a sign of the strength of our commitment, we're delighted to be able to increase the prize money for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film in 2014.

"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.

"Documentary film is part of EIFF's heritage, and in reinstating the Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, we recognise 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."

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