Neuchâtel 2016: Iranian Horror UNDER THE SHADOW Wins Grand Prize

Writer; London/Tokyo (@seven_cinemas)
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Neuchâtel 2016: Iranian Horror UNDER THE SHADOW Wins Grand Prize

Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival ended tonight with the announcement of its prestigious awards winners. Having opened nine days ago with an orchestra-accompanied screening of 1922’s Haxan, an early exploration of witchcraft through the ages from Sweden, Park Chan-wook’s erotic thriller The Handmaiden played the festival out.

The event’s biggest prize, The H. R. Giger Award “Narcisse” for Best Feature Film went to Babak Anvari’s Iranian ghost story, Under the Shadow. Delving into the lives of a mother and son, the film has drawn comparisons to The Babadook, but with an added layer of criticism of Iranian patriarchy and politics; it could quite well be the best haunted house tale in years. Agnieszka Smoczynska’s Polish mermaid fantasy The Lure received a special mention from the jury.

Swiss Army Man, the debut feature from The Daniels, aka Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan, was the night’s other big winner. The touching and brilliantly imaginative work received the International Critics' Award, the Audience Award, and the Award for Best Production Design. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as a flatulent corpse whose miraculous body offers hope to a stranded Paul Dano.

Neuchâtel shines a spotlight on the best new films from Asia and this year was no exception. The Philippines’ Erik Matti was the recipient of the Asian Award with his film Honor Thy Father.

Here is the full list of winners:

Prix H.R. Giger “Narcisse” Du Mellie Film (Grand Prize)
Under The Shadow – Babak Anvari

Special Mention:
The Lure - Agnieszka Smoczynska

International Critics' Award
Swiss Army Man - Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan

New Cinema From Asia Award
Honor Thy Father - Erik Matti

Melies Award for Best Fantastic Film
Parents – Christian Tafdrup

Prix RTS du public (Audience Award)
Swiss Army Man - Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan

Prix De La Jeunesse
Detour – Christopher Smith

Imaging The Future Award for Best Design Production
Swiss Army Man

Prix Tauris Studio for innovation
Belle Commes un Coeur – Gregory Casares

Melies D’Argent Award for Best European Short
Ivan’s Need - Veronica Lingg, Manuela Leuenberger, Lukas Suter

H. R. Giger "Narcisse" Award Best Swiss Short
Ivan’s Need - Veronica Lingg, Manuela Leuenberger, Lukas Suter

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