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‘Darkside’ Snares Fantasy Fest Honors

Yank indie production “Tales From the Darkside” won Avoriaz Film Fantastique fest’s Grand Prix. Dutch film, “Wings of Fame” captured two top honors: Critics prix and the special jury award for “etrange” or the strange.

This year’s fest, Jan. 12 to 20, was far from festive as the gulf war dampened spirits. A local-government-sponsored gala was canceled.

Several distrib reps and reporters cut their stay short. Warner Bros. came in force for “Disturbed,” bringing topliner, Malcom McDowell, director Charles Winkler as well as Warner’s Paris office contingent.

Jury president Brian DePalma had canceled several weeks before the fest unspooled. He was replaced by Michael Cimino. The controversial director refused to take part of the jury deliberations because he was “only a replacement for DePalma.”

He announced he would bow to the advice of the rest of the jury members, which included French helmer Patrice Leconte and German director Volker Schlondorff.

Since 1989, Avoriaz has attempted to classify competition films into two distinct categories: etrange, which encompasses bizarre or psychological films and fantastique, which covers horror, monster or science fiction genres. The jury thus votes for three prizes: the grand prix for all genres (“Tales From The Darkside”); and jury awards (“Nightbreed,” “Wings Of Fame”).

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