Control wins List screenplay award
We announce the winner of an important new film award.
Forget all the other festival awards: there is only one that counted this year and that was The List and The Writers’ Guild’s Edinburgh Writing Award for Best Screenplay of a New British Film. There were 11 UK films at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival and contenders for the prize included crowd-pleasers like And When Did You Last See Your Father and Hallam Foe, as well as Gallic language film Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Scottish comedy My Life as a Bus Stop. Competition was fierce and the decision was not an easy one.
This is the first year that the prize has been given and the inaugural jury was made up of, among others, Paul Dale, film editor of The List, screenwriter Andrea Gibb (Dear Frankie, Nina’s Heavenly Delights) and film critic and screenwriter Eddie Harrison.
After a long and at times heated debate, the jury chose Matt Greenhalgh’s screenplay for Control, a film about the short life of Joy Division front man Ian Curtis, starring newcomer Sam Riley and Samantha Morton. Harrison explains the reasoning behind the decision: ‘Placing Curtis’ songs firmly within the context of the singer’s fractured off-stage relationships with his wife, manager, bandmates and the media, Greenhalgh’s script is laced with dark Mancunian humour and mordant wit. It captures a fierce sense of the late-70s period, and tells a tragic story with precisely the detached compassion that Joy Division’s music output demands.’
Greenhalgh said: ‘This is my first film and my first award, so thank you for popping my cherry! Thanks to all those who voted for Control, and to The Writers’ Guild and The List for recognising the writer’s role in this strange industry; cast as one of the main parts in the beginning of the process, we usually find ourselves almost forgotten by the end. It amazes me that a script I wrote in late 2004 is now taking on a life of its own. I dedicate this award to Tony Wilson, a one-off and true friend of the creative mind. Rave on mate.’
Greenhalgh will be presented with the award at a special ceremony at Bafta HQ in London on Sunday 18 November.