A massive, multi-week celebration of cinema in Montreal, the Fantasia International Film Festival is still going strong with a week of screenings to go. As per usual, the 22nd annual edition of the festival has been brimming with innovative films and eclectic perspectives that are reflected in the newly announced juried award winners:
Press Release: 24 July 2018, Montreal, Canada – The Fantasia International Film Festival is very proud to announce the award winners of the juried sections of its 22nd edition, which celebrates its Closing Night on August 2, 2018.
The festival’s Best Film Award was presented to Daniel Roby's Paris-set science fiction adventure Dans la brume, which opened Fantasia 2018 to massive acclaim and adoration. The epic apocalyptic thriller, which stars Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko, sees The City of Lights covered in a deadly white fog that threatens the very existence of humanity.
The awards in each of Fantasia’s categories were chosen by carefully selected juries of filmmakers, scholars, journalists, and industry professionals.
THE CHEVAL NOIR AWARDS
BEST FILM: DANS LA BRUME (d. Daniel Roby)
BEST DIRECTOR: Nosipho Dumisa (NUMBER 37)
BEST SCREENPLAY: Isa Mazzei (CAM)
BEST ACTOR: Joshua Burge (RELAXER)
BEST ACTRESS: Kim Da-mi (THE WITCH PART 1: THE SUBVERSION)
Tim Matheson presided over Fantasia's 2018 Cheval Noir Jury, which was also comprised of Abraham Castillo Flores, Evan L. Katz, Phil Nobile Jr., Stéphanie Trépanier, and Victoria Sanchez-Mandryk.
Referring to the festival's Best Film Winner, the Cheval Noir jury stated, “The apocalypse hasn’t been this emotionally compelling in decades. With its striking, iconic visuals of a Paris buried in a toxic mist, Daniel Roby's Dans la brume is a lean, terrifying portrait of an extinction-level event from the point of view of a family determined to survive."
The Cheval Noir jury also awarded a special prize to Dennison Ramalho's The Nightshifter, noting, "Marriage is hell in this daring combination of sub-genres and tones, creating a grisly original ghost story, fueled by revenge, infused with pitch-black comedy, and littered with assorted body parts.”
JURY STATEMENT ON BEST DIRECTOR, NOSIPHO DUMISA (NUMBER 37)
“Nosipho Dumisa demonstrates sensitivity and elegance with her debut feature, a Hitchcockian noir transplanted to the gritty slums of Capetown. Displaying an assured level of finesse and precision, the direction allows all elements of the film to breathe, and to shine - even at gunpoint."
JURY STATEMENT ON BEST SCREENPLAY, ISA MAZZEI'S CAM
“Isa Mazzei crafts a doppelgänger nightmare around the growing concern of digital identity, presenting a skewed (or is it?) view of the complex, dangerous, and largely unexplored world of webcam girls.”
JURY STATEMENT ON BEST ACTOR, JOSHUA BURGE (RELAXER)
“Joshua Burge pulls off a fearless tour de force: a tragicomic, deeply emotional, and intensely physical performance - without ever leaving his couch.”
JURY STATEMENT ON BEST ACTRESS, KIM DA-MI (THE WITCH PART 1: THE SUBVERSION)
“Newcomer Kim Da-mi delivers an immaculate, layered performance, displaying intricacy and range in realms both physical and emotional. This portrayal marks the introduction of a kick-ass new heroine.”
NEW FLESH AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FEATURE
The New Flesh Jury was presided over by Ségolene Rodere, and included Neil Calderone, Liane Cunje, Ezra Winton, and Joe Yanick.
BEST FIRST FEATURE: CAM (d. Daniel Goldhaber)
The New Flesh Jury calls Cam, “an ambitious, empowered project devoid of moral policing with respect to sex work, smartly told through visually vibrant storytelling. Cam captures the complexities and contradictions of curated identities on- and offline. This talented team embodies a collaborative spirit of next generation of genre filmmakers.”
SPECIAL MENTION: AMIKO
The jury calls Amiko, directed by 20-year-old filmmaker Yoko Yamanaka, “a new auteur voice with a DIY punk spirit delivered with a PURE punch.”
SPECIAL MENTION: ONE CUT OF THE DEAD
The jury also adds that Shinichirou Ueda's One Cut of the Dead is, “a conceptually playful and brave film, willing to risk losing the audience knowing they will win them back in the end. And they do.”
AQCC-CAMERA LUCIDA AWARD
The AQCC-Camera Lucida Jury was comprised of Céline Gobert, Charles-Henri Ramond, and Ambre Sachet.
WINNING FILM: MICROHABITAT (d. Jeon Go-Woon)
Says the jury, “Microhabitat uses skilled criticism of consumer society, and offers a powerful portrait of a woman that is subtly both comedy and drama, all backed by elegant and controlled staging.”
AXIS: SATOSHI KON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION
The jurors for the Axis: Satoshi Kon Award were Lorraine Carpentier, Torri Kove, Marc Tessier, and Sarah Mercey.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: PENGUIN HIGHWAY (d. Hiroyasu Ishida)
Says the Axis jury, “For creating a beautifully written and designed story of love and friendship: a magical sci-fi love story for all ages that touched our hearts and minds, we present The Satoshi Kon Award to Penguin Highway.”
SPECIAL MENTION: DA HU FA
The jury adds, “This brilliantly crafted film defies description by being both funny and frightening, cute and horrific. It thrilled and mystified the jury and we would like to acknowledge for daring to be a genre blending political allegory. The special mention goes to Da Hu Fa.”
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: SIMBIOSIS CARNAL
“This beautiful and playfully animated film is a nine minute master class in gender equality. It takes us on a sensual journey, brings us to a fantastic climax and shows us that images are more powerful than words. The Satoshi Kon Award for best animated short goes to Simbiosis Carnal.”
SPECIAL MENTION: MAKE IT SOUL
“With design inspired by African American folk art this is a beautiful story of soul searching where the protagonist learns to sacrifice his self interest for the greater good. The jury would like to give a special mention to Make it Soul.”
INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION AWARD
Presiding over Fantasia's International Short Film Competition was Jacqueline Castel, accompanied by Kalyn Corrigan and James Fler.
BEST SHORT FILM: AURORE (d. Mael Le Mée)
The Short Film Jury called Aurore, “an attention-grabbing, slick, surreal slide into the world of teenage sexual exploration and the beauty of the unfamiliar, accepting the otherworldly and finding beauty in what we don't understand. Fantasia’s International Short Film Jury awards Aurore the title of Best Short Feature.”
BEST DIRECTOR: SANTIAGO MENGHINI (MILK)
“Fantasia’s jury for the International Short film competition awards Milk the title of Best Director due to Menghini’s masterful ability to capture universal moments of growth and maturity through a tense, haunting, and wholly purposeful coming of age vision of the childlike realization of a caretaker’s malicious intent.”
BEST SCREENPLAY: TRAVIS BIBLE (EXIT STRATEGY)
The jury calls Exit Strategy, “a well structured, tightly controlled script about human beings lack of control. Exit Strategy is a surprisingly touching look at the different languages of love and learning. This films offers concise character development and a thoughtful switch on a familiar narrative, showing us how to accept our fate.
BEST ACTOR: FÉLIX GRENIER (FAUVE)
“The jury was utterly impressed by Félix Grenier’s performance, this young up-and-comer’s raw and innate talent is displayed in such a confident and vulnerable manner that this exhilarating breakout star can only get better from here on out.”
BEST ACTRESS: MANDA TOURÉ (PETIT AVARIE)
The jury notes, “We were blown away by Manda Touré’s ability to deliver undeliverable dialogue and express internal monologue that is so unabashedly hyper psycho-sexual and casually cavalier, it translates as insanely appealing.”
SPECIAL MENTION: HELLO, RAIN
“The jury was impressed by this audacious deep dive into an individualistic and decadent world, in which a filmmaker could achieve such a bold and spiritually fueled universe where vibrant art direction reigns supreme and nothing is off limits.”
THE BARRY CONVEX AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE
Administered by Spectacular Optical with support from the Paul A. Ray Memorial Fund
The Barry Convex Jury for Best Canadian Feature was comprised of Kier-La Janisse, Nora Mehenni, Michael Kronish, and Shelagh Rowan-Legg.
The jury for the 2018 Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Feature or Co-Production awarded David Paradis’ Le Nid their top honor, for, "Its unconventional and disturbing narrative, its poignant revelations and a strong lead performance from actor Pierre-Luc Brillant that skillfully glides between deadpan humor, terror and pathos."
FANTASIA VIRTUAL REALITY JURY AWARD
The Fantasia VR Jury, composed of author Patrick Senécal, director Patrick Boivin, and scriptwriter Gerald Lewis, has awarded the 2018 Fantasia VR Grand Prize to the film Dinner Party, directed by Angel Manuel Soto.
Says the jury, "This film intelligently uses every aspect of the virtual reality experience to its advantage, and benefits from an intelligent script and a cast of actors who contribute to the overall offering. "
A special mention from the jury goes to Alexander Aja's Campfire Creepers series – already at two episodes and showing great potential – which pays homage to the genre-film culture of the ’80s and ’90s, smartly transposed into a virtual reality experience.
Action!, Ecran Fantastique, Séquences, and Fantasia's 2018 Audience Awards will be announced at the close of the festival.
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The 22nd Fantasia International Film Festival took place in Montreal from July 12 through August 2 2018, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque québécoise and the McCord Museum.
For more information and to browse our complete 2018 lineup, visit the festival's official website at www.fantasiafestival.com