Following three straight weeks of screenings, today the Fantasia International Film Festival finishes its 20th edition. The festival filled to bursting the SGWU Alumni Auditorium (Hall Theatre), the J.A. De Sève Cinema, and the D.B. Clarke Theatre at Concordia University, as well as the McCord Museum, la Cinémathèque québécoise Place de la Paix in le Quartier des Spectacles, and at the Vidéotron stage at the Just For Laughs Festival. For the seventh consecutive year, Fantasia attracted over 100,000 spectators to a total of 209 cinema screenings, three free outdoor screenings, 11 virtual-reality films, and numerous special events.
Among the many standout moments of the 20th edition were 19 world premieres, including KING DAVE by Daniel Grou, this year's opening film, as well as THE TOP SECRET: MURDER IN MIND by Keishi Otomo, GORAN by Nevio Marasovic, SHE'S ALLERGIC TO CATS by Michael Reich, THE UNSEEN by Geoff Redknap, UN PETIT BOULOT by Pascal Chaumeil, REALIVE by Mateo Gill, KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE by John Stockwell, and SOME FREAKS by Ian MacAllister-McDonald. Also noteworthy were many sold-out screenings, including LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR by Corey Asraf and John Swab, IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD by Akira Nagai, LIGHTS OUT by David F. Sandberg, I, OLGA HEPNAROVA by Petr Kazda and Tomas Weinreb, EMBERS by Claire Carré, TRAIN TO BUSAN by Yeon Sang-ho, PSYCHO RAMAN by Anurag Kashyap, TERRAFORMARS by Takashi Miike, SHELLEY by Ali Abbasi, and DON'T BREATHE by Fede Alvarez, this year's closing film.
A near-record number of special guests were present for the festival's 20th anniversary, including iconic genre directors Guillermo Del Toro and Takashi Miike, in Montreal to receive a Cheval Noir and Lifetime Achievement Award respectively. Fantasia is also immensely proud to have presented the inaugural Prix Denis Héroux to filmmaker Jean-Claude Lord, celebrating his exceptional contribution to the development of Québécois genre cinema.
Almost 700 international guests, including some 400 film industry professionals, came to Montreal over the course of the festival and its accompanying Frontières International Co-Production Market.
AWARDS OF THE 20TH EDITION
The Fantasia International Film Festival is proud to announce the names of the various award winners of its 20th edition. The festival's winners were selected by juries as well as festival's audience.
The jury, overseen by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (directors) and composed of Cyril Despontin (Paris International Fantastic Film Festival), George Schmalz (Film Outreach Lead at Kickstarter), Justine Smith (critic), and Marcus Stiglegger (critic and researcher), selected the following winners:
Cheval Noir Award for Best Feature: TRAIN TO BUSAN by Yeon Sang-ho
Cheval Noir Award for Best Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa for CREEPY
Cheval Noir Award for Best Screenplay: E J-Yong for THE BACCHUS LADY
Cheval Noir Award for Best Actor: Franko Dijak, GORAN
Cheval Noir Award for Best Actress: Youn Yuh-jung, THE BACCHUS LADY
Special Jury Prize: THE LURE (Poland, dir.: Agnieszka Smoczynska) "for being a timeless cinematic fairytale - an instant cult classic!"
NEW FLESH AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FEATURE
The jury, overseen by Michael Gingold (critic) and composed of Grady Hendrix (author, co-founder of New York Asian Film Festival), Kate McEdwards (Oscilloscope Laboratories), and Nicolas Stanzick (critic and musician), selected the following winners:
New Flesh Award for Best First Feature (awarded unanimously): MAN UNDERGROUND by Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine.
Special Jury Mention: Lily Mae Harrington, "for her remarkable, nuanced and boldly honest performance in her feature-film debut, SOME FREAKS."
INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Le jury, overseen by Chris Oosterom (Artistic Director, Festival Imagine, Amsterdam) and composed of Heather Buckley (critic, designer, Blu-ray supplement producer) and Peter Kuplowsky (producer and programmer, Fantastic Fest and Toronto After Dark), selected the following winners:
Best International Short: A NEARLY PERFECT BLUE SKY (France) "The Jury is excited to award Best International Short to Quarxx, whose visionary and ambitious short cements him as a provocative auteur that we look forward to seeing more from."
Special Jury Mention for Best Emerging Short Filmmaker: Tanya Lemke for STATIC (Canada) "The Jury would like to recognize this emotionally charged parable on grief and loss for its thoughtful and confident filmmaking, announcing the arrival of a promising new talent."
Special Jury Mention for Aesthetic Innovation: ESTATE (France / Belgium) "The Jury would also like to recognize Ronny Trocker's deft synthesis of compelling visual experimentation with a profound meditation on a pressing contemporary socio-cultural reality."
SATOSHI KON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION
The jury, overseen by Julie Roy (Executive Producer, French Animation Studio, National Film Board of Canada) and composed of Benoît Melançon (Assistant Professor and specialist in previsualization, UQAC/NAD), Alex Parkinson (Visual Effects Supervisor, Feature Animation Division, Cinesite), and Tamu Townsend (Curator of the Emru Townsend Foundation), selected the following winners:
Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Feature: PSYCHONAUTS, THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN (Spain, dir: Alberto Vazquez, Pedro Rivero). "For its originality and vision in terms of aesthetic, narrative and characterization, PSYCHONAUTS defies comparison. Combined with its post-apocalyptic atmosphere and audacious themes, it achieves a daring balance that is at once destabilizing and engaging."
Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Short: STEMS (U.K., dir: Ainslie Henderson). "The jury universally loved this short and sweet animation about the joy and tragedy of animation itself. In particular, they enjoyed the unique rough style which lent the piece a tangibility and charm, and complimented the message. STEMS packs a lot of big ideas into a short run time."
Special Jury Mention for Synergy of Narration and Art: CLOUDS (Canada dir: Diego Maclean) "The jury conveys a special mention to the film CLOUDS to underscore the judicious balance between its artistic direction and narrative. The story is well crafted and highly effective. It is upheld by a harmonious and delicate design that skillfully contrasts with the cruelty of the story."
BARRY CONVEX AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE
The jury, composed of Kier-la Janisse (author, editor-in-chief of Spectacular Optical), Paul Corupe (author and screenwriter), and Mario DeGiglio-Bellamare (filmmaker, writer and programmer) awarded Spectacular Optical's Barry Convex Award to FEUILLES MORTES by Thierry Bouffard, Carnior et Edouard Tremblay. The award is accompanied by a $1000 prize, thanks to the Paul A. Ray Memorial Fund.
The jury also presents a Special Mention to ÉCARTÉE by Lawrence Côté-Collins, saluting an accomplished exercise in voyeuristic suspense.
PRIX AQCC (Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma) 2016
The jury overseen by Marin Gignac and composed of Céline Gobert and Olivier Thibodeau, award the Prix AQCC to THE WAILING by Na Hong-jin.
The jury, overseen by Pascal Grenier and composed of Jean-Marie Lanlo and Guillaume Potvin, awarded the Prix Séquences to WE ARE THE FLESH by Emiliano Rocha Minter.
PRIX L’ÉCRAN FANTASTIQUE
Le prix L’Écran selected by Yves Rivard, was awarded to BEFORE I WAKE by Mike Flanagan.
Audience Award for Best European / North-South American Feature
Gold - Tie between HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Dir. Taika Waititi) and UN PETIT BOULOT (Dir: Pascal Chaumeil)
Silver - THEY CALL ME JEEG (Dir: Gabriele Mainetti)
Bronze - Tie between KIKI: LOVE TO LOVE (Dir: Paco León) and THE LURE (Dir: Agnieszka Smoczynska)
Audience Award for Best Asian Feature
Gold - TRAIN TO BUSAN (Dir: Yeon Sang-ho)
Silver - TOO YOUNG TO DIE (Dir: Kankuro Kudo)
Bronze - THE WAILING (Dir: Na Hong-jin)
Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature
Gold - SNAKEBITE (Dir: Tim Hyten)
Silver - NO TOUCHING (Dirs: Adam Davis, Will Corona Pilgrim)
Bronze - L'OURS NOIR (Dirs: Meryl Fortunat Rossi, Xavier Seron)
Audience Award for Best Quebecois Short
Gold - CARNASSE (Dir: Francis Bordeleau)
Silver - CAUCHEMAR CAPITONNE (Dir: Jean-Claude Leblanc)
Bronze - BULLSHIT (Dir: Marc Wiltshire)
The festival's audiences were invited to vote for Best Virtual Reality Film. This year's selection of virtual-reality genre films were programmed in collaboration with the CFC Media Lab. The section consisted of 11 titles, five of which were Canadian and six international productions. The Samsung Virtual Reality Award went to the short film KILLER DEAL from US director Anthony C. Ferrante.
Lastly, as part of the program of family films MON PREMIER FANTASIA AU MUSÉE McCORD, a youth jury consisting four members aged between 8 and 10 years old awarded this year's Prix Jeunesse Mon Premiere Fantasia to (SIMON'S CAT) A VISIT AT THE VET by U.K. animator Simon Tofield.
The Fantasia International Film Festival wishes to thank it's sponsors and partners for their continued effort and support. For it's 20th edition Fantasia was able to count on the support of 50 sponsor-partners, a dozen media partners, and 130 advertisers.
The Fantasia International Film Festival's 21st edition will take place in July of 2017.