June 28, 2009 / 7:36 PM / 10 years ago

Connery blasts BBC at Edinburgh film awards ceremony

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Actor Sean Connery lashed out at the BBC for its coverage of the awards ceremony at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) on Sunday when he handed out the prizes.

Actor Sean Connery arrives at a "Dressed To Kilt" fashion event in New York March 30, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The EIFF award for the best new British feature film went to Moon, a “creepy, poignant and funny” sci-fi film directed by Duncan Jones. The film, which received a prize of 20,000 pounds, stars Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey.

Connery, a festival patron who gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of British secret agent James Bond, told a packed audience on the final day of the EIFF that the BBC had 300 technicians at the current Glastonbury pop and folk festival in southwest England.

“Not one (technician) at the Edinburgh International Film Festival,” he said.

“It affects us all, it certainly affects me, and I think we should do something about it.”

The BBC said in response: “BBC news outlets covered the Edinburgh International Film Festival on radio, TV and online. Obviously Glastonbury is a huge live music, arts and performance event and cannot be compared as like for like.”

It said the BBC would cover the Edinburgh international arts festival and T in the Park pop concert later this summer.

In Moon, Rockwell’s character has almost ended his three-year solitary posting mining fuel for earth on the moon with thoughts of returning to the planet and his family.

But as his return date approaches, life on his self-contained world takes a startling turn. The jury praised Moon for its “singular vision and remarkably assured direction”

The award for best performance in a British feature film went to Katie Jarvis for her role as 15-year-old Mia in Fish Tank, “an intense and surprising story of love, lust and family.”

Jarvis turned 18 last week and said this was her best birthday gift.

Easier With Practice, directed by American Kyle Patrick Alvarez took the best new international feature award featuring sex, love and loneliness over the phone.

Best documentary award was taken by Aliona Van der Horst of The Netherlands with a lament for cult Russian poet Boris Ryzhy, who committed suicide in 2001 aged 26.

American director and writer Cary Jojo Fukunaga won the new director award for Sin Nombre centered on Honduran teenager Sayra and her involvement with a dangerous gang member on the run.

The Edinburgh film festival, which opened on June 17, has as one of its major aims discovering and promoting new talent in the industry.

It has run annually since its launch alongside the Edinburgh International Festival of the arts and the Fringe in 1947.

Editing by Keith Weir

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