We came, we saw, we decided - I was honoured (and pretty surprised, to be honest!) to be invited to sit on the jury at the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival to select the winner of the Silver Melies competition. Leeds is the only UK film festival affiliated with the Melies award, where ten films are selected at festivals across Europe which then go on to compete for the prestigious Melies D'Or.
And this year? The Silver Melies for the UK goes to Philip Ridley's Heartless, chosen by director Simon Rumley (Twitch favourite for his highly acclaimed The Living and the Dead, and the forthcoming Red, White and Blue); myself, Matthew Lee aka Eight Rooks, contributing writer for ScreenAnarchy, and Doctor Alison Peirse, lecturer in film studies at Northumbria University.
The Dacaillon Brothers' Sodium Babies also picked up our special commendation. Not part of the Melies award as such, but they're a very talented pair and deserve all the attention they can get - review and further information coming on that one.
The announcement and our jury statement can be found on the festival's Facebook page here.