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Moon triumphs at Edinburgh Festival

Sam Rockwell in Moon

Story by Jack Foley

A NEW science fiction thriller from debut British director Duncan Jones, son of David and Angela Bowie, has taken the top award at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Moon won the Michael Powell Award for new British feature as the 63rd Festival came to a close on Sunday night.

The film, starring Sam Rockwell, follows the fortunes of a lone astronaut as he prepares to return to Earth after three years of working on the moon, only to make a grim discovery.

The film, which came second in the audience award and was a festival sell-out, also features the voice of Kevin Spacey as a robot who provides Rockwell’s character with support and assistance.

Commenting on the award, the Jury citation read: “We award Moon for its singular vision and remarkably assured direction as well as for the inspired manner in which it transcends genre. The central performance by Sam Rockwell embodies the film’s emotional complexity and compelling philosophical perspective.”

Other winners at the awards ceremony included Tomm Moore’s animated The Secret of Kells, which took the audience award, and Cannes favourite Fish Tank, which saw its star Katie Jarvis honoured for performance in a British film.

Cary Joji Fukanaga took the Skillset new directors award for his acclaimed Mexican drama Sin Nombre.

Explaining Jarvis’ award, the Jury cited: “We award Katie Jarvis’ performance in Fish Tank for her portrayal of obsessive first love and visceral alienation. The moral ambiguity is illuminated by this extraordinary debut.”

Jarvis herself commented: “This has been an amazing year for me in more ways than one. I was lucky enough to spend my 18th birthday in Edinburgh last week, where Fish Tank was shown, and this is such a great 18th present!

“It is a real honour to receive this award, both for myself and the film. I would like to thank Andrea for the opportunity and for believing in me.”

UK audiences will get the chance to see Moon when it opens on July 17.

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Edinburgh Award Winners in Full….

Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film, sponsored by the UK Film Council
MOON – Directed by Duncan Jones

PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film

Best New International Feature Award
EASIER WITH PRACTICE – Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez

Standard Life Audience Award
THE SECRET OF KELLS – Directed by Tomm Moore

Best Documentary Award
BORIS RYZHY – Directed by Aliona Van der Horst

Skillset New Directors Award

The Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus Award
HUMPDAY – Directed by Lynn Shelton

UK Film Council Award for Best British Short Film
AFTER TOMORROW – Directed by Emma Sullivan

Best International Short Film Award
PRINCESS MARGARET BLD. – Directed by Kazik Radwanski

Scottish Short Documentary Award supported by Baillie Gifford
PETER IN RADIOLAND – Directed by Johanna Wagner

McLaren Award for New British Animation in partnership with BBC Film Network
PHOTOGRAPH OF JESUS – Directed by Laurie Hill