The 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival, now entering its third week, is immensely proud to announce the award winners of its monumental 23rd edition. The victors were chosen through the deliberation of juries assigned to each competition, and were announced at a live ceremony on 21 July 2019.

►  CHEVAL NOIR AWARD – Feature Films

The jury, presided over by Annick Mahnert (producer and festival programmer, Fantastic Fest and Sitges Film Festival), and comprised of Shaked Berenson (producer, IFTA board member), Amy Darling (producer and festival organizer, Calgary Underground Film Festival), Miles Finberg (Director of acquisitions,Samuel Goldwyn Films), and Maurizio Guarini (composer), awarded the following prizes:

Best Film: IDOL (d. Lee Su-Jin)

In a statement, the jury noted, “From start to finish, IDOL is an incredibly well-made film. We were struck by the great screenplay, performances, and directing.”

Best Director: Carlo Mirabella-Davis (SWALLOW)

Best Screenplay: Carlo Mirabella-Davis (SWALLOW)

Best Actor (tie): Han Seok-kyu and Sul Kyung-gu (IDOL)

Best Actress: Nina Medeiros (FATHER’S SHADOW)

Special Mention: FATHER’S SHADOW (d. Gabriela Amaral Almeida)

In a statement, the jury acclaimed this film as, “a beautiful and dark tale about loss, grief, and fatherhood, resting entirely on the shoulders of an amazing upcoming young actress.”

► NEW FLESH AWARD – Debut Films

The New Flesh Jury, presided over by Onur Tukel (director, screenwriter, actor, painter), and comprised of Jonathan Barkan (Editor-in-chief, Dread Central), Ariel Fisher (writer, editor, podcaster), Susan Curran (COO, A71 Entertainment), and Kyle Greenberg (Director of theatrical marketing and distribution, Gunpowder & Sky), awarded the following prizes:

Best First Feature: WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! (d. Kirill Sokolov)

The jury noted in a statement, “This splatter-punk feature debut goes beyond the subgenre’s framework to blend elements of classic Noir cinema, Western visual tropes, and cinematography reminiscent of Bruno Delbonel’s work on Amélie. This small team has put together an expertly crafted film that defies expectations at every turn.”

Special Mention: MAGGIE (d. Yi Ok-seop)

Special Mention: ANOTHER CHILD (d. Kim Yoon-seok)

►  INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION

The Short Film Jury, presided over by Frederic Temps (musician, critic, founder of L’Étrange festival and festival director of Les utopiales) and comprised of Kerensa Cadenas (writer and film editor at Entertainment Weekly), Chelsea Lupkin (director, cinematographer, producer, senior programmer, and writer at Short Of The Week) and Justin Timms (co-founder of Yellow Veil Pictures and co-festival director, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival and North Bend Film Festival) awarded the following prizes:

Best Short Film: THE BOOGEYWOMAN (d. Erica Scoggins)

In a statement on behalf of the jury, who voted unanimously for the title, Justin Timms noted that THE BOOGEYWOMAN is, “a major calling card for director Erica Scoggins” and is “intricate and emotional, with terrific performances and sharp direction.

Best Director: Nico Van den Brink (THE BURDEN)

Best Screenplay: Kit Zauhar (THE TERRESTRIALS)

Best Actor: Alexis Lefebvre (UNE BOMBE AU COEUR)

Best Actress: Stephane Caillard (LUCIENNE EATS A CAR)

Special Mention: IN SOUND, WE LIVE FOREVER (d. Joshua Giuliano)

►  AXIS: SATOSHI KON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION

The Axis Jury, presided over by Diana Tapia Munguia (production assistant, Cinesite Studios; marketing and PR chair, Women in Animation Montreal) and comprised of Alaska B (drummer and leader, Yamantaka and Sonic Titan) and Julien Deragon (3D animator, RodeoFX) awarded the following prizes:

Best Animated Feature: RIDE YOUR WAVE (d. Masaaki Yuasa)

In a statement, the jury stated they would like to grant the award of best animated feature film to the Japanese film, “for its magical realism and surprising storytelling,” and adds, “This seamless hybrid of 2D and 3D lively animation, with pastoral scenery and water as its main character, will take you on an emotional ride.”

Special Mention (Feature): HUMAN LOST (d. Fuminori Kizaki)

Best Animated Short Film: THE FIRST CLASS (d. Kim Myung-eun)

The jury noted, “This shockingly, horrifying South Korean short film will catch you off guard using a universally understandable aesthetic and an original approach.”

Special Mention (Short): GIANT BEAR (d. Neil Christopher and Daniel Gies)

►  AQCC-CAMERA LUCIDA

The AQCC-Camera Lucida Jury, comprised of Andrew Todd (writer, filmmaker, composer), Donato Totaro (editor-in-chief, Offscreen), and Elijah Baron (film critic from 24 Images and translator) awarded the AQCC-Camera Lucida Award to Johannes Nyholm’s KOKO-DI KOKO-DA, which they called, “an invented folklore of live action and shadow-play, which takes its characters on a nightmarish journey of emotional healing,” and offered a special mention to short film director NAO YOSHIGAI for “her child-like recreation of a corporal experience of the natural world.”

►  ACTION!

The ACTION! Jury, comprised of Jean-Philippe Bernier (cinematographer and composer), Andy Bélanger (comic artist and illustrator), and JF Lachapelle (stuntman and stunt coordinator), awarded the ACTION! Prize to Kan Eguchi’s THE FABLE, stating Junichi Okada and cast create a wonderfully refreshing take on classic Japanese assassin films,” and add that “THE FABLE is a perfect merger of powerful action and endearing Japanese humour.” They jury also gave a special mention to Yuen Woo-Ping’s MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY.

►  VR

The VR Jury, presided over by Érik Canuel (director), RKSS – Yoann Whissell, Anouk Whissell, and François Simard (writers and directors), and Martin Girard (screenwriter) awarded the following prizes:

Best VR – Fiction: THE CARETAKER (d. Jacob Wasserman, Nicolas Pesce, and Adam Donald)

The jury said in a statement that the film’s authors, “create an unusual beautiful atmosphere that benefits from a particularly careful work on 360° photography and art direction. The result is a wraparound VR experience that cleverly enlists the viewer’s responsiveness.”

Best VR – Documentary: HEART OF THE SATHU (d. Leela Gilday)

Addressing their decision to award this title, the jury noted, “HEART OF SATHU is a truly unique and touching VR experience, bearer of an important message about environment and women’s rights. As you stand in the middle of the drum circle, with Leela Gilday’s singing performance, you cannot help but feel privileged to be part of this powerful and meaningful moment.”

Special Mention – Best Immersive Nightmare: THE REALM BELOW (d. Souichi Umezawa)

Tickets for the 23rd edition of The Fantasia International Film Festival will be sold at the Concordia University box office (1455 Maisonneuve Boulevard West) and on the Ticketpro network. Individual tickets purchased at the box office will be sold at the cost of $11 (taxes and fees included). Booklets of 10 and 20 tickets are available at the cost of $100 and $180 respectively (taxes and fees included).

This year, The Fantasia International Film Festival will take place across eight different venues: the Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium, the D.B. Clarke Theatre, the J.A. DeSeve Cinema, and Concordia’s York Amphitheatre. Select screenings will also occur at the Cinémathèque québécoise, the McCord Museum, the Imperial Cinema, and the Cinema du Musée.

To view the festival’s full program, visit fantasiafestival.com.

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Sarah Musnicky

Managing Editor at Nightmarish Conjurings
Sarah is the managing editor of Nightmarish Conjurings and a lover of all things magical and horrific. All who are familiar with her can attest for her love of glitter, adorable plush, and obsession with folklore and mythology. When she's not chasing after things she probably shouldn't hug, Sarah is making sure that Shannon's sanity stays intact long enough for deadlines to be tackled.
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