Fantasia 2019: Winners Announced

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23RD EDITION OF FANTASIA ANNOUNCES FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS

Lee Su-Jin’s IDOL takes top honours, nabs fest’s coveted Cheval Noir Award for Best Feature

 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, with all unedited jury declarations noted in full at the end of this release.

  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’sKOKO-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 JunichiOkada 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.” The 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)

About FANTASIA

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.

Full Fantasia 2019 Jury Statements

 CHEVAL NOIR AWARD – Feature Films 

Best Film

IDOL

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

IDOL

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

Nina Medeiros (THE FATHER’S SHADOW)

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

Special Mention

FATHER’S SHADOW

“The film is 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

New Flesh Award for Best First Feature

WHY WON’T YOU JUST DIE!

“Kirill Sokolov breathes new life into seemingly familiar material, offering up a sharp, witty, and twisted black comedy. This splatterpunk 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, which is why we are awarding WHY WON’T YOU JUST DIE! the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature.”

WHY WON’T YOU JUST DIE!

Special Mention

MAGGIE

“A lost ring, a set of anonymous sex x-rays, spontaneous sinkholes, a relationship that ends because of a precarious flight of stairs… all of it converging to form a charming parable about life. It’s existential and adorable. It’s fanciful and funny. It’s narrated by a catfish. It signals the arrival of a very talented director, whose work I’m going to be following closely. Yi Ok-seop is a filmmaker with a very distinct voice.

Special Mention

ANOTHER CHILD

“Beautifully written. Beautifully acted. Masterfully directed, ANOTHER CHILD is about two families who are struggling through an unexpected pregnancy that threatens to break their homes apart. This small foetus struggling to stay alive becomes a symbol of destruction, futility, and, of course, hope. It focuses on the women of the story, two mothers and two daughters, and beautifully balances conflict and empathy. It’s the kind of movie that will have you laughing out loud in one scene and crying like a baby in the next.”

► INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Best Short Film

THE BOOGEYWOMAN (d. Erica Scoggins)

“A major calling card for director Erica Scoggins. THE BOOGEYWOMAN is intricate and emotional with terrific performances and sharp direction. Our unanimous top choice for Best Short Film.”

Best Director

Nico Van den Brink (THE BURDEN)

“The winner of Best Director is awarded to a film that is pure nightmare fuel. As if you weren’t already afraid to meet your boyfriend’s family, Nico Van den Brink’s THE BURDEN is a hair-raising tale told in the classic vein of ghost stories. Brink’s gothic style of filmmaking is sure to stay with you long after you’ve finished watching.”

Best Screenplay

Kit Zauhar (THE TERRESTRIALS)

“Director/Screenwriter Kit Zauhar crafts a chamber piece in THE TERRESTRIALS that takes a close look at the intersection of sex and technology and how there’s still the hope of finding a connection in an increasingly digital world.”

Best Actor

Alexis Lefevre (HEART BOMB)

“For his talented shift of emotions, grounded in the real-life experiences of acting, we give the award of Best Actor to Alexis Lefevre.”

Best Actress

Stephane Caillard (LUCIENNE EATS A CAR)

“Equal parts physically excruciating and emotionally taxing, Stephane Calliard gives Lucienne many layers to peel back in LUCIENNE EATS A CAR, a film that explores a gorgeously fantastical Lynchian take on grief.”

Special Mention

IN SOUND, WE LIVE FOREVER

“IN SOUND, WE LIVE FOREVER is a film that unanimously won over the jury for its inventive take on classic horror tropes with its use of sound and slow-burn story reveals. A slasher like you’ve never seen, Joshua Guiliano’s unique use of framing reveals that untraditional perspective and imagination can take horror to new heights.”

  AXIS: SATOSHI KON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION

Best Animated Feature Film

RIDE YOUR WAVE

“For its magical realism and surprising storytelling, the Satoshi Kon Jury would like to grant the award for best animated feature film to the Japanese film RIDE YOUR WAVE. 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 Film)

HUMAN LOST

“The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to give a special mention to the feature film HUMAN LOST. With its strong worldbuilding and a gritty vibe reminiscent of 90s anime, this nihilistic film will make you reflect on how far science can go before stripping down your humanity.”

Best Animated Short Film

THE FIRST CLASS

“The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to grant the award of best animated short film to THE FIRST CLASS. This shockingly, horrifying South Korean short film will catch you off guard using a universally understandable aesthetic and an original approach.”

Special Mention (Short Film)

GIANT BEAR

“Best described as an ominous Inuit Godzilla, this short film will keep you on the edge of your seat even during its quietest moments. The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to give a special mention to the Canadian film GIANT BEAR.”

  AQCC-CAMERA LUCIDA

Camera Lucida Award

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA

“For its imaginative non-linear narrative and formal experimentation, the AQCC jury would like to present the AQCC-Camera Lucida Award to KOKO-DI KOKO-DA, an invented folklore of live action and shadow-play which takes its characters on a nightmarish journey of emotional healing.”

Special Mention

Director Nao Yoshigai

“We offer a special mention to the collected short works of Nao Yoshigai, for her child-like recreation of a corporal experience of the natural world.

  ACTION!

ACTION! Award for Outstanding Action Movie

THE FABLE

“We, as the Action! Jury, would like to give the award for outstanding action movie to Kan Eguchi’s THE FABLE. Junichi Okada and cast create a wonderfully refreshing take on classic Japanese assassin films. THE FABLE is a perfect merger of powerful action and endearing Japanese humour.”

The Fable

Special Mention

MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY

“We would like to give an honourable mention to MASTER Z :IP MAN LEGACY, for its hard-hitting action and homages to classic Hong Kong cinema.”

  VR

Best Virtual Reality Fiction

THE CARETAKER

“Relying with conviction on some imposed figures of your typical horror film taking place in a haunted place, the 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 Virtual Reality Documentary

HEART OF THE SATHU

“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 for Best Immersive Nightmare

THE REALM BELOW

“The name of this special mention says it all: THE REALM BELOW drags you down into what feels like a weird and creepy fever nightmare. No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to describe it to your friends the next morning. There is seemingly a lot of heart and great DIY creativity that went into its making, which most definitely adds to this singular experience.”