Fantasia 2019: Award Winners Announced, IDOL Takes Top Prize

Editor, News; Toronto, Canada (@Mack_SAnarchy)
The dust has settled from industry weekend at Fantasia but the good times keep rolling on at the fest through to next week. 
Yesterday the award winners were announced and Lee Su-Jin's Idol took home the Chevel Noir Award for top feature film. Our own Kurt Halfyard published his review yesterday, and the effects of it are still lingering.
...this South Korean neo-noir was perhaps the first film to ever to leave me reeling to assemble the basic narrative.
Not to mention the full motives and who the killer even was. I have my theories after thinking about this film for 48 hours. But the experience, whether this was director Lee Su-jin’s intention or not, in the theatre was exhilarating. Idol is a cognitive brain cooker. 
Many wonderful movie moments are on display here, making the journey more significant than the destination. 
All winners from all categories are below in gallery format, including all statements from each jury. 
And stay tuned because our team is still chugging away at the festival program, bringing more coverage as the festival draws to a close. 
Lee Su-Jin’s IDOL takes top honours, nabs fest’s coveted Cheval Noir Award for Best Feature
23 July 2019 - Montreal, Canada - 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.
Select statements from Fantasia juries are included alongside announcements.


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.”


Best Film


“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)

“Without overbearing the audience, SWALLOW deals with PICA, a less known eating disorder that involves eating items that are not typically thought as food. With a clear vision, Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ perfectly-placed visuals deteriorate as his protagonist decent into depression and self-discovery.”

Best Screenplay

Carlo Mirabella-Davis (SWALLOW)

“With minimal use of dialogue and action, Carlo Mirabella-Davis develops complex characters and their deteriorating relationships as a woman develops an eating disorder, used as a metaphor and an escape from her patriarchal relationship and a secret past.”

Best Actor (tie)

Han Seok-kyu and Sul Kyung-gu (IDOL)

“Both actors brilliantly go through a wide range of emotions while their lives are colliding and collapsing, making these doomed characters extremely believable.”

Best Actress


“A compelling presence in every onscreen moment, hers was a nuanced performance bursting with an emotional intelligence transcending language and age.”

Special Mention


“The film is a beautiful and dark tale about loss, grief, and fatherhood, resting entirely on the shoulders of an amazing upcoming young actress.”

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