The twenty-fifth edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival came to a close last night with a sold-out in-person screening of Takashi Miike’s The Great Yokai War - The Guardians. The festival was a hybrid in-person and online event, once again allowing for virtual screenings in light of COVID-19. Winners have been announced, highlights include Hellbender, Martyrs Lane, The Sadness and Cryptozoo.
Shudder has acquired Martyrs Lane, Hellbender and The Last Thing Mary Saw from the Fantasia selection, which means we have those to look forward to!
Read below for more highlights and visit the official Fantasia Festival website for a complete list of winners.
► CHEVAL NOIR AWARD FOR FEATURE FILMS
The 2021 Cheval Noir jury was presided over by award-winning Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczyńska, director of the 2016 Sundance breakout THE LURE, which was awarded a Cheval Noir Special Jury Prize at Fantasia for “being a timeless cinematic fairytale - an instant cult classic!,” and the 2018 Cannes’ Critics Week selection FUGUE.
Further jury members include Kambole Campbell (freelance writer and critic), Paula Devonshire (producer on Clarice, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, REMEMBER), Mónica García Massagué (author and General Manager of the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival), and Simon Rumley (FASHIONISTA, RED WHITE AND BLUE).
BEST SCORE: John Adams (HELLBENDER, USA)
“The jury is thrilled to present the award for best score to a very talented family, in front of and behind the camera. The award for this nightmarishly cool music goes to John Adams for HELLBENDER.”
BEST ACTRESS: Zelda Adams (HELLBENDER, USA)
“The power in her performance and her overwhelming presence confirm the award for this young actress. The award for best actress goes to Zelda Adams, main character of HELLBENDER.”
JURY SPECIAL MENTION - RISING STAR: Sienna Sayer (MARTYRS LANE, UK)
“Her captivating performance both broke and chilled our hearts. The jury unanimously wishes to acknowledge this talent to watch with a Rising Star award for Sienna Sayer from MARTYRS LANE.”
► NEW FLESH AWARD FOR DEBUT FILM
The New Flesh jury, which awards debut feature films and their creators, was presided over by UK author, critic, and broadcaster Kim Newman and comprised of Jill Gevargizian (THE STYLIST), Gigi Saul Guerrero (Blumhouse and Hulu’s Into The Dark entry CULTURE SHOCK, upcoming BINGO HELL), Brian O'Malley (LET US PREY, THE LODGERS), and Myriam Sassine (Co-Founder of the Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival and producer of AMAL, A SON, ALL THIS VICTORY).
BEST FILM: THE SADNESS (Taiwan, d. Rob Jabbaz)
“We are pleased to present THE SADNESS with the New Flesh jury award! Though the jury had their jaws dropped to the floor, they were incredibly impressed with such a slickly produced rampage of gore. A wild ride that doesn’t stop! Sadists, cannibalism, lust… one could say it has been a while since a film has managed to horrify and scare them in the level this film did. THE SADNESS was not afraid to take risks and go beyond any infection film we have seen to date, touching on political themes that our world isn’t too far off of, but still maintaining thrilling entertainment for the viewer. Congratulations to the entire team of THE SADNESS!”
SPECIAL JURY MENTION: BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES (Japan, d. Junta Yamaguchi)
”BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES receives a special jury award for its 'outstanding achievement in filmmaking'. Remarkable in both its mind-bending concept and its expert execution, the whole jury marvelled at the sheer cinematic brilliance of this magnificent contribution to the time travel genre.”
SPECIAL JURY MENTION: OFFICE ROYALE (Japan, d. Kazuaki Seki)
“A feast for the eyes, OFFICE ROYALE is a bonkers and hilarious debut film which we are awarding with a special jury mention. Its intensely feminine aesthetic mixed with extreme violence and gore is as thrilling as it is refreshing.”
► AXIS: SATOSHI KON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION
The Axis jury, which oversees awards for the festival’s animation programming, was presided over by jury president Hefang Wei (animator, Weilaï Productions Co-Founder, Kazak Productions Art Director) and comprised of Ashkan Rahgozar (author, director, Founder and CEO of Hoorakhsh Studios) and Kalp Sanghvi (director, writer, Co-Founder of Ghost Animation Collective).
BEST FEATURE: CRYPTOZOO (USA, d. Dash Shaw)
“This film is a psychedelic paean, it is a modern and fascinating mythological painting, and it is also a strong political metaphor.”
► AUDIENCE AWARDS
BEST ASIAN FEATURE - GOLD: BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES (Japan, d. Junta Yamaguchi)
BEST ASIAN FEATURE - SILVER: MIDNIGHT (South Korea, d. Kwon Oh-seung)
BEST ASIAN FEATURE - BRONZE: THE SADNESS (Taiwan, d. Rob Jabbaz)
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE - GOLD: ALL THE MOONS (Spain/France, d. Igor Legarreta)
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE - SILVER: ULTRASOUND (USA, d. Rob Schroeder)
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE - BRONZE: KING KNIGHT (USA, d. Richard Bates, Jr.)
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE - GOLD: DREAMS ON FIRE (Canada/Japan, d. Philippe McKie)
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE - SILVER: THE RIGHTEOUS (Canada, d. Mark O’Brien)
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE - BRONZE: BRAIN FREEZE (Canada, d. Julien Knafo)
BEST DOCUMENTARY - GOLD: WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR (USA, d. Kier-La Janisse)
BEST DOCUMENTARY - SILVER: ALIEN ON STAGE (UK, d. Lucy Harvey & Danielle Kummer)
BEST DOCUMENTARY - BRONZE: SATOSHI KON, THE ILLUSIONIST (France/Japan, d. Pascal-Alex Vincent)
BEST ANIMATED FILM - GOLD: MAD GOD (USA, d. Phil Tippett)
BEST ANIMATED FILM - SILVER: HAYOP KA! THE NIMFA DIMAANO STORY (Philippines, d. Avid Liongoren)
BEST ANIMATED FILM - BRONZE: THE DEER KING (Japan, d. Masashi Ando & Miyaji Masayuki)
MOST GROUNDBREAKING FILM OF THE FESTIVAL: MAD GOD (USA, d. Phil Tippett)
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - GOLD: DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING WITH ADOBE PREMIERE PRO: THE REAL-WORLD GUIDE TO SET UP AND WORKFLOW (South Korea, d. Hong Seong-yoon)
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - SILVER (TIED): DANA (Spain, d. Lucía Forner Segarra)
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - SILVER (TIED): VIEWERS:1 (Japan, d. Daigo Hariya & Yosuke Kobayashi)
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT - BRONZE: DEATH AND THE WINEMAKER (Switzerland, d. Victor Jaquier)
BEST CANADIAN SHORT - GOLD: FREYA (Canada, d. Camille Hollett-French)
BEST CANADIAN SHORT - SILVER: FRUIT (Canada, d. Ivan Li)
BEST CANADIAN SHORT - BRONZE: SHE WHISTLES (Canada, d. Thirza Cuthand)