Credit: Alan Simpson/EIFF Edinburgh International Film Festival
Credit: Alan Simpson/EIFF Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival: Sir Sean Connery honoured with new prize backed by actor’s family

Sir Sean Connery is to be honoured with a new award in his name at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Sean Connery Prize for Feature Filmmaking Excellence is a collaboration between the festival and the Sean Connery Foundation.

A shortlist of 10 world-premiere feature films will be screened at the festival with the winner chosen via an audience vote. The winner of the £50,000 prize, which recognises ‘feature filmmaking excellence’, will be announced at the August event.

Sir Sean’s stepson Stephane said the late James Bond star would have ‘loved’ the prize.

‘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,’ Stephane said.

‘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.’

Sir Sean’s son Jason Connery, a foundation ambassador, added: ‘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.’

Festival director Paul Ridd said that the Oscar winner who died in October 2020, aged 90, had been a ‘vital patron’ of the event.

‘Sean Connery was a vital patron of EIFF, consistently showing up to support new talent and gracing countless red carpets,’ he said ,

‘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.’

The film festival will run from 15-21 August. In addition to the new prize the event is also launching a a short film competition, which will have a cash prize of £15,000.