The 17th Edition of Fantasia Closes

It might seem like I’m making this stuff up, but once again Fantasia broke its attendance record.  Over the course of the 21 days of the festival over 125,000 people attended.  Even in these tough economic times they managed a 15% increase over last year’s 109,000.  It is a case of giving the people what they want and they will come.

In between the opening film (Shield of Straw by Takashi Miike) and the closing film (The World’s End by Edgar Wright) there were over 131 features from 31 countries and 220 shorts screened.  There was plenty of opportunity to see World, Canadian or North American premieres of films.  The programming was of a high calibre which was proven by the amount of sold out screenings and long line ups.

This year’s prize-winners:

New Flesh Award for Best First Feature: CHEAP THRILLS by E.L. Katz

Winner of this year’s SXSW’s Audience Award, the Fantasia jury calls CHEAP THRILLS, “Darkly humorous, smart and bloody in ways that will make many viewers squirm with glee. This abundantly confident first feature provides a thoroughly entertaining snapshot of modern blue collar desperation in a world addicted to easy money and childish amusement.”

Special Mention: HALLEY by Sebastian Hofmann

The jury for the First Feature Competition consisted of Jury President Charles de Lauzirika (Filmmaker), Ramachandra Borcar (Musician), Manon Dumais (Film Critic, Voir), Jason Lapeyre (Filmmaker) and Stéphane du Mesnildot (Film Critic, Les cahiers du cinema)

Cheval Noir Award for Best Film: BIG BAD WOLVES by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado

Statement: With elements of horror, crime thriller, revenge drama, and wicked black comedy, Big Bad Wolves takes genre-bending to bold new levels. This sense of originality, along with its subversive political subtext, assured visual style, and impeccable ensemble cast, is what separates the film from the rest of the pack.

Best Director: Hou Chi-Jan for WHEN A WOLF FALLS IN LOVE WITH A SHEEP

Best Screenplay: Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado for BIG BAD WOLVES

Best Actor: Cho Jae-hyun for THE WEIGHT by Jeon Kyu-hwan

Best Actress: Nathalie Boutefeu for LES GOUFFRES by Antoine Barraud

Special Mention: ACROSS THE RIVER by Lorenzo Bianchini & LES GOUFFRES by Antoine Barraud

The grand jury for the Cheval Noir Competition was comprised of Jury President Laura Kern (Managing Editor of Film Comment), Jean-Pierre Bergeron (Actor, Filmmaker), Samuel Jamier (Co-Director of the New York Asian Film Festival), Jarod Neece (Senior Programmer, South by Southwest Film Festival), Travis Stevens (Producer, CEO of Snowfort Pictures)

Audience Awards:

Best Asian Feature:

Gold HK/FORBIDDEN SUPER HERO by Yuichi Fukuda

Silver LESSON OF THE EVIL by Takashi Miike

Bronze HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS by Lee Wonsuk

Best International Feature:

Gold CURSE OF CHUCKY by Don Mancini

Silver OXV: THE MANUAL by Darren Paul Fisher

Bronze BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN by Felix Van Groeningen

Best Canadian or Quebec Feature:

LES 4 SOLDATS by Robert Morin

Best Animation Feature:

THE GARDEN OF WORDS by Makoto Shinkai

Guru Prize For Most Energetic Film:

HK/FORBIDDEN SUPER HERO by Yuishi Fukuda

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