Edinburgh Film Festival closes with awards fest

A FILM about conjoined twins who front a punk rock band has won a prestigious award at the climax of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Brothers of the Head, directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, was named yesterday as the winner of the esteemed Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film.

The story, produced and written by the man behind 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tony Grisoni, is set in the 1970s and follows twins, Tom and Barry Howe, as they are plucked from obscurity on the east coast of England and groomed to take on the British punk music scene.

The award, which is sponsored by the UK Film Council, was announced at an exclusive reception hosted by EIFF artistic director, Shane Danielsen.

Audiences keen to see if the jury, chaired by actor John Hurt, had made the right decision, were treated to an extra screening of the film on Saturday night at the capital’s Cameo cinema.

Meanwhile, Clerks II was revealed as the most popular film at this year’s festival amongst the viewing public, as it was awarded the Standard Life Audience Award.

In its review of the film, Spike was worried that die-hard fans of director Kevin Smith’s low-budget previous outings, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, would be put off by the slicker feel to this later offering. But the side-splitting gags and return of favourite characters, such as Jay and Silent Bob, seem to have won the audience over.

Elsewhere, Brit, Paul Andrew Williams, took home a New Directors Award sponsored by audio-visual strategic training organisation, Skillset, for London to Brighton, described by Judy Counihan, Skillset’s director of Film as “cinematic, emotionally powerful and simply and beautifully shot”.

Finally, The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief, a look at a Japanese club which trains male escorts, took the Best Documentary Feature Award.