Film Festival launches Sean Connery award

Film - Sean Connery 1996The Sean Connery Foundation has joined with the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) to establish the Sean Connery Prize for Feature Filmmaking Excellence.

A shortlist of ten world-premiere feature films will be chosen, and will be shown at the EIFF when it returns on August 15-21. The winner will be chosen via an audience vote and will take home £50,000.

Paul Ridd, EIFF director said:

Sean Connery was a vital patron of EIFF, consistently showing up to support new talent and gracing countless red carpets. He loved Edinburgh and he loved the festival. We are thrilled to establish the prize to honour this iconic Scottish star and we are immensely moved by the generosity of the Sean Connery Foundation, an organisation which shares our respect for cinema history and excitement for its future.

Stephane Connery, Sean Connery Foundation chairman, and stepson of the late star, added:

From the moment we launched the Sean Connery Foundation, we have been focused on expanding opportunities for talented young people from Scotland to access rewarding careers in the film industry, particularly those who face disadvantage. Investing in a revitalised Edinburgh International Film Festival is another piece of that puzzle, providing a local showcase for global talent, where young Scots can find inspiration, mentors, and role-models to fuel their own film-education journey. My only wish is that Sean could join us to award the prize himself; he would have loved it.

Jason Connery, Sean Connery Foundation ambassador, and son of the late star, said:

Dad made it a priority to attend the Edinburgh Film Festival. He knew first-hand what it meant to work hard and struggle for opportunity. He also knew how hard it is to make an extraordinary film. With this prize, we link his legacy as a talent who rose from humble means to achieve global success with the next generation of artists forging that same path, and we do it by supporting the film festival he so loved, in the hometown he cherished.

Submission are now open - including for a further short film competition with a cash prize of £15,000 - with the Edinburgh International Film Festival running from 15 to 21 August 2024.

- Picture: EIFF Patron Sean Connery attending the Opening Gala of Dragonheart, in which he starred, at the Odeon cinema in 1996. Sir Sean also graced the poster for the Festival's historic 50th edition.

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