Entertainment & Arts

Surreal comedy wins top gong at Edinburgh film festival

A comedy about men described as "emotional exorcists" has been named best new British feature film at this year's Edinburgh Film Festival.

Skeletons, directed by Nick Whitfield, won an award named in honour of British film-maker Michael Powell at the close of this year's event.

Jason Isaacs appears in the film, which goes on limited release on Friday.

Fellow Harry Potter star David Thewlis won best actor for Mr Nice, a biopic of former drugs baron Howard Marks.

Rhys Ifans plays Marks in the film, while Thewlis appears as one of his drug-smuggling associates.

The latter said his prize was "a thrill and totally unexpected, and made all the more special by being honoured by one of my favourite cities in the world".

Image caption Swinton (l) led a "flash mob" event on Saturday in Edinburgh

Sir Patrick Stewart chaired this year's Michael Powell jury, which praised the "original vision and dark humour" of Whitfield's film.

It also gave a special mention to Jackboots on Whitehall, an animated film offering an alternate history of World War II.

Saturday's awards ceremony was preceded by a "flash mob" event organised by festival patron Tilda Swinton.

The Oscar-winning actress led a dance inspired by Laurel and Hardy as she launched a foundation to encourage young people to broaden their taste in movies.

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