Fantasia 2010 Wrap-Up

At the beginning of this year's Fantasia film festival I was thinking to myself, "Twenty-one days?! That's too much!" Boy, was I ever wrong. It seemed like I just blinked and it was July 28th. There were so many good films this year that I could have done with another week of it. I definitely missed some that I wanted to see. But, all in all, it was a great experience once again this year.

I attend, as you can imagine or read about, many film festivals over the course of each year and Fantasia is the one that has consistently been the best. The films are great, they do things a little differently, the audiences are great, and they just do things a little differently. Real fans of film are found at this one.

What I noticed about the program right off the bat were the number of "big" films being screened this year. More commercial films or at least ones that were going to get released in Montreal were shown. From the festival opener "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" to "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and on to Eli Roth's "The Last Exorcism", Fantasia did not shy away from big films.

And that brings me to what I really love about this festival. I love that they do not shy away and their attitude is that anything goes. No film is too big or too small for these guys. No such thing as too gory or controversial. They just bring us great films.

Speaking of great films, the winning films this year came from a wide variety of countries showing that filmmaking around the world continues to be strong despite (or maybe because) of these hard economic times. Winners came from South Korea, Japan, U.S., Serbia, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, Spain, Hong Kong, and Denmark.

Fantasia this year also brought back my faith in films which has been lagging this year. After a full year of not seeing one quality film (then I say "The Kids Are All Right") I was wondering what the point of going to the theatre was anymore. Then I saw some great films from the UK and elsewhere and was reinvigorated. I caught the bug once again to venture out and see films. Thank you, Fantasia and I will see you again next year.

Prize Winners:
BEST FEATURE FILM: Yuya Ishii's SAWAKO DECIDES (Japan)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Lee Hae-jun's CASTAWAY ON THE MOON (South Korea)
BEST ACTOR: Noah Taylor – RED, WHITE & BLUE (United States)
BEST ACTRESS – UNANIMOUSLY : Hikari Mitsushima – SAWAKO DECIDES (Japan)
BEST DIRECTOR : Lee Jun-ik – BLADES OF BLOOD (South Korea)
BEST SCREENPLAY: Mladen Djordjevic – LIFE AND DEATH OF A PORNO GANG (Serbia)
BEST FIRST FEATURE: Eli Craig's TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Sunao Katabuchi's MAI MAI MIRACLE
SPECIAL MENTION: Shinsuke Sato's OBLIVION ISLAND
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Bastien Dubois' MADAGASCAR
SPECIAL MENTION: Don Hertzfeldt's WISDOM TEETH
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORTS – GRAND PRIZE: Firas Momani's THE ADDER'S BITE
SPECIAL MENTION: Mian Adnan Ahmad's HEAL
BEST QUEBEC SHORT – BEST SHORT: Serge Marcotte's THE GREENS
BEST DIRECTION : Cynthia Tremblay's À VIF
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Pedro Pires' DANSE MACABRE
BEST PERFORMANCE (tie) : Laurence Leboeuf in SANS TITRE (the young girl with the matress) and Brent Marrale in THE GREENS
BEST SCREENPLAY: Simon Olivier Fecteau's LE TECHNICIEN
JURY'S PICK: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais' MARIUS BORODINE
AUDIENCE AWARDS:
BEST ASIAN FILM
Gold – IP MAN 2 (Hong Kong)
Silver – SELL OUT! (Malaisia)
Bronze (ex-aequo) – CASTAWAY ON THE MOON (Corée du Sud), DREAM HOME (Hong Kong)

BEST EUROPEAN, NORTH AMERICAN OR SOUTH AMERICAN FILM
Gold – A SERBIAN FILM (Serbia)
Silver – AT WORLD'S END (Denmark)
Bronze – REC 2 (Spain)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Gold – SUMMER WARS (Japan)
Silver – TECHNOTISE: EDIT AND I (Serbia)
Bronze (ex-aequo) – KING OF THORNS (Japan), SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO: RESURRECTION (Japan)

BEST CANADIAN OR QUEBECOIS FEATURE
Gold – THE SHRINE
Silver – SUCK
Bronze (tie) – FRANKENSTEIN UNLIMITED (Quebec) NEVERLOST (Canada)

GURU PRIZE FOR MOST ENERGENTIC FILM
Gold – IP MAN 2 (Hong Kong)
Silver – REC 2 (Spain)
Bronze – SYMBOL (Japan)

MOST INNOVATIVE FILM
Gold (tie) – SYMBOL (Japan), A SERBIAN FILM (Serbia)
Silver – SELL OUT! (Malaisia)
Bronze – RUBBER (France)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
MARWENCOL (United States)

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORTS
Gold – CLEAN CAROUSEL (Denmark)
Silver (tie) – JACK (Canada), NINJAS (Brasil), TOUS LES HOMMES S'APPELLENT ROBERT (Quebec)
Bronze – LAMBS (United States)

BEST DIY QUEBEC SHORT
Francis Gélinas' L'HISTOIRE DU MÉCHANT DRAGON

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