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British gangster movie to get premiere at film festival

A British drama, Hyena, will open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Hyena, directed by Gerard Johnson and starring Peter Ferdinando, will open the 68th running of the festival on June 18.

The festival, which runs until June 29, will be giving the film, a gangster movie with an anti-hero lead, its world premiere.

Chris Fujiwara, the Festival's artistic director, said: "It's a powerful and beautifully directed thriller that clearly establishes director Gerard Johnson as a major talent in British filmmaking. It's also an exceptional example of the kind of film that our festival has traditionally supported: a work in which a director of artistic integrity takes a vigorous and imaginative approach to the renewal of a film genre."

Hyena will join eight other British films in competition for the prestigious Michael Powell Award at the festival.

These include Gillies Mackinnon's Castles in the Sky, the story of Scottish engineer and developer of radar, Robert Watson-Watt, played by Eddie Izzard, as well as Set Fire to the Stars, a drama following the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in 1950s New York.

The prize money for the Michael Powell Award will be increased to £20,000 this year and will be awarded on June 27 at the Filmhouse.

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