Edmonton Film Prize“The Perfect Runner” and “The Man That Got Away” split the win in the very first Edmonton Film Prize announced on September 27 as part of the 2012 Edmonton International Film Festival. The film makers, Niobe Thompson and Trevor Anderson – both Edmontonians, shared the inaugural $10,000 prize, sponsored by the Edmonton Arts Council. With “The Perfect Runner” Thompson crafts a documentary telling the story of the human animal as a machine optimized for long-distance running, illustrated by pushing his own limits of endurance through a trip around the world.  In “The Man That Got Away” Anderson presents a fictionalized documentary musical and album telling the (mostly) true story of his great uncle Jimmy, with a wide cross-section of Edmonton actors, musicians and dancers.

Having these two radically dissimilar films share the inaugural Edmonton Film Prize speaks to both the excellence and the diversity of Edmonton’s filmmaking community and tradition, said jury member Marsh Murphy.

More than 20 Edmonton filmmakers were nominated this first year of the Prize.

The depth and ambitious vision of the Edmonton film community was demonstrated in the range of productions,” says Jane Bisbee of the film jury, “and the cliche proved true — we faced a very difficult decision. The winning films represent important breakthroughs. It’s fitting that two films from opposite ends of the story telling genres, demonstrate film community.

Calgary art consultant Melody Jacobson rounded out the Film Prize jury.

The Edmonton Arts Council announced the Edmonton Film Prize at last year’s Edmonton International Film Festival in support of Edmonton’s 10 year cultural plan.