Three weeks after its opening film the dust has settled and the Fantasia Film Festival has drawn to a close. We were at ground zero for the entire duration taking in films, eating smoked meat sandwiches and poutine, and making mad dashes between screenings at The Imperial and J.A. de Seve. We became very intimate with the Metro subway and the fine selection of fermented beverages at the Irish Embassy Pub. We sat down with friends and filmmakers alike and debated the merits of just about anything that popped into our heads. We are currently gathering our own thoughts and reactions to this year's festival and will present those to you shortly. In the meantime, the festival has handed out some awards and you will find the lauded recipients below.
FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
CLOSES ITS 17th EDITION
Montreal - Thursday August 8th, 2013 - After Tuesday night's sold-out screening of the Canadian premiere of THE WORLD'S END, presented by director Edgar Wright and actor Nick Frost, the Fantasia International Film Festival can confirm record attendance numbers this year, boasting more than 125,000 festival-goers for its 17th edition, surpassing last year's record of 109,000 (a 15% increase). Over the course of its three-week film marathon, it presented over 131 features from 31 countries and more than 220 shorts from across the globe. Over 100 Quebec directors attended the festival to present 125 local short films and six Quebec features, including the world premiere of LES 4 SOLDATS by Robert Morin. Out of 139 screenings, 84 (or 60%) were sold out. Our five outdoor screenings were also great successes, including LES ROIS DU RIRE, a projection of three classic silent short films with live piano accompaniment by celebrated composer Gabriel Thibaudeau at the Place des spectacles, in front of more than 8,500 movie-lovers of all ages.
Fantasia's 2013 edition opened with the North American Premiere of Takashi Miike's SHIELD OF STRAW and closed with the Canadian Premiere of Edgar Wright's THE WORLD'S END. A lifetime achievement award was given to Polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski. World Premieres included Joe Swanberg's 24 EXPOSURES, Nobuo Mizuta's THE APPOLOGY KING, Don Mancini's CURSE OF CHUCKY, Richard Stanley's L'AUTRE MONDE (The Otherworld), Lloyd Kaufman's RETURN TO NUKE 'EM HIGH Vol 1, K. King's ZOMBIE HUNTER, Eddie Mulins' DOOMSDAYS, Anthony DiBlassi's MISSIONARY, Darren Paul Fisher's OXV: THE MANUAL and James Sizemore's THE DEMON'S ROOK.
Canadian and Quebec features showcased included World Premieres of the aforementioned Robert Morin's LES 4 SOLDATS, Richie Mehta's I'LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN, Renaud Gauthier's DISCOPATH, Cody Calahan's ANTISOCIAL and Geoff Klein & Melissa Mira's PINUP DOLLS ON ICE, North American Premieres of Peter Wellington's COTTAGE COUNTRY and Stobe Harju's IMAGINAERUM, Canadian Premieres of Matt Johnson's THE DIRTIES and Éric Falardeau's THANATOMORPHOSE and the Quebec Premiere of Anthony Dixon's THE DEAD EXPERIMENT. As a special retrospective screening event, Fantasia unveiled Éléphant's newly-restored HD master of Jean-Claude Lauzon's 1987 classic UN ZOO LA NUIT (Night Zoo).
The 2nd edition of the Fantasia Industry Rendez-Vous was a resounding success, with four jam-packed days of meetings, pitch sessions, conferences and networking cocktails that were all at full capacity. The Frontières International Co-Production Market presented 24 film projects from Canada, the United States, many European Countries, Mexico and New Zealand. Attendance at the Rendez-Vous was up significantly from last year, with 280 participants in 2013: 90 from the United States, 40 from Europe, 75 from Quebec, and 60 from the rest of Canada. The great variety of participants allowed for more than 600 hundred meetings to take place around the Frontières projects and other business interests. We have it on good authority that many new production partnerships, directly resulting from encounters at Frontières, will be announced in the near future. The success of the event was in no small part due to the newly acquired financial support of MEDIA Mundus, Telefilm Canada and SODEC.
Fantasia is also proud to announce 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)
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
Most Innovative Film:
OXV: THE MANUAL by Darren Paul Fisher
Best Short Film:
Gold LE CHEVEUIL by Rémi St-Michel
Silver L'ÉTRANGER by Olaf Svenson
Bronze JACK ATTACK by Antonio Padovan & Bryan Norton
REWIND THIS! by Josh Johnson