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British film about Afghanistan takes top prize at Raindance

The Patrol, Film of the Festival at Raindance 2013

A film about British soldiers serving in Afghanistan, The Patrol, has won the Film of the Festival prize at Raindance. Written and directed by former military-man Tom Petch, the film was chosen by a jury that included the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Welsh sci-fi thriller The Machine – the closing film of the 21st Raindance Film Festival – was chosen as the Best UK Feature. The director Caradog James said, “To be nominated alongside such great films and talented filmmakers was amazing, but to win makes our UK premiere the best launchpad for our UK release.” James, who screened his first short film at Raindance, said it was a great feeling to win the award on returning to the festival with his first feature.

Italy’s The Art of Happiness, about a taxi driver and the people he meets in his cab, won the Best Debut Feature award and the Best International Feature award went to the Balkan film Halima’s Path, about a muslim woman’s efforts to retrieve the body of her son, lost during the Bosnian war.

The Best Documentary Feature was SickFuckPeople, about homeless people in Austria.

In the short film categories, Germany’s A Good Story won both the Short Film of the Festival and the Best International Short award. The Best UK Short was Irreversible, the Best Animate Short was Ziegenort, from Poland, and Butter Lamp, about the photographing of Tibetan nomads, won the Best Documentary Short prize.

A Night and a Day won the Special Jury Prize.

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