A record breaking 13th edition of the Fantasia Festival

July 31st, 2009 03:10:00

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Yang Ik-june's BREATHLESS

The highly successful 13th edition of the Fantasia Film Festival is drawing to a close today after a 3 week movie marathon. With a diverse line-up of high selection standards, the festival attracted more than 90 000 fans this year and saw 40% of its 195 screenings (most of these shown in Concordia Hall Theatre – 700 seats) completely sold out.

With such eminent titles that had previously premiered at Cannes such as THIRST from South Korea’s Park Chan-wook, LASCARS from the French creative team of Emmanuel Klotz and Albert Pereira Lazaro and of course Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, and wonderful discoveries such as SANS DESSEIN from Quebec’s own Deadcat Films, Yang Ik-june’s BREATHLESS and Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach’s 8th
WONDERLAND, Fantasia has one again demonstrated the energy and variety of genre cinema. Of course, we can’t think back on this year’s festival without mentioning the extravagant Sion Sono’s LOVE EXPOSURE, the experimental À QUELLE HEURE LE TRAIN POUR NULLE PART from Robin Aubert, the metaphysical Kanji Nakajima’s THE CLONE RETURNS HOME, several American indie films such as David Russo’s THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF LITTLE DIZZLE as well as first feature films such as the British production WHITE LIGHTNIN’ by Dominic Murphy. The Fantasia Film Festival has been proud to offer its public a glimpse of the diversity and vitality of today’s movie industry as much locally as overseas.

The special screening of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS hosted by actor Eli Roth concluded this remarkable 13th edition brimming with such great moments as the celebration of 100 years of Hong Kong cinema, the exciting midnight screening of Lee Demarbre’s SMASH CUT with Sasha Grey in attendance, the well deserved bestowing of a Lifetime Achievement Award to José Mojica Marins (alias Coffin Joe) and the great popular success of the various Quebec features as well as the Fantastique Week-end of Quebec Shorts.

Also worth mentioning, Ciné-Asie Creatives’ acquisition of BREATHLESS (winner of Best Feature Film and Best Actor), during the festival. The film will have its theatrical release by 2010, so make sure not to miss it.

This was indeed an extraordinary year for Fantasia and the entire team can’t wait to be reunited with its ever faithful and enthusiastic audience at next year’s 14th edition!

Fantasia 2009 Prizes

Jury Prizes – Feature Films

Best Feature Film: BREATHLESS - Yang Ik-june
Jury Special Prize: LOVE EXPOSURE - Sion Sono
Best Male Performance: YANG IK-JUNE (Breathless)
Best Female Performance: HIKARI MITSUSHIMA (Love Exposure)
Best Director: DAVID RUSSO (The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle)
Best Screenplay: NICOLAS ALBERNY & JEAN MACH (8th Wonderland)
Best Cinematography: HIDEHO URATA (The Clone Returns home)
Technical prize: IP MAN
Special mention for best Direction of Child Actors: TOM SHANKLAND (The Children)

Jury Prizes – First features

Best First Feature: WHITE LIGHTNIN’ – Dominic Murphy
Special mention: Debut performance of actress ELINE KUPPENS (Left Bank)

Jury Prizes – International Short Films

Best Live-Action Short Film: HOLD YOUR FIRE – Wes Benscoter
Best Animated Short: THE CONTROL MASTER – Run Wrake

Jury Prizes – Quebec Short Films

Best Short Film: LES OUTILS - Simon Laganière
Best Director: KAGAMIKO - Mathieu Arsenault
Best Screenplay: UN COURT SANS TITRE - Alexandre Gibault
Best Performance: PIERRE-LUC LAFONTAINE, (Déraciné -Pierre-Antoine Fournier)
Special Jury Prize: FANTASME - Izabel Grondin (also for her body of work)

Jury Prizes – DIY Short Films

Best DIY Short Film: PANORAMA: SEEKING VOÏVOD - Jean-Marc E Roy
Best DIY Screenplay: CHERS PARENTS - Sébastien Godron
Special Jury Prize: MASSACRATOR - Pierre Ayotte and SIMONAC - Sylvain Lavigne

SÉQUENCES Award

This year’s SEQUENCES award goes to ROUGH CUT from South Korea’s Jang Hun for it’s
fascinating and intelligent screenplay and its perfect mix of film d'auteur and action movie.


ÉCRAN FANTASTIQUE Award

The Écran Fantastique award has been bestowed upon Tetsuya Nakashima’s PACO AND THE MAGIC BOOK.

This choice was due to a veritable slew of merits among which its masterful narrative that can bring the audience from absolute craziness to deep and powerful sorrow in the blink of an eye, a wonderful discourse between the imaginary and its representation on screen and a dedication to entertaining its audience all the while exploring a serious and important subject. Ayaka Wilson (Paco) gave an impressive performance as the young title character and veteran Kôji Yakusho (Onuki) is flawless as usual.

The Écran Fantastique Award consists of a 4-page full colour article to be published in an upcoming edition (with special mention of the honorary prize received during the festival) as well as free publicity for the film when it comes out in theatres in France.

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