Supernatural thriller wins top prize at Portugal's fest
OPORTO, Portugal — Helmer Elbert van Strien’s Dutch supernatural tale “Two Eyes Staring” won the Grand Prize for film in the Fantasy section of Portugal’s 31st Fantasporto Film Festival that wrapped Sunday.Paulo van Vliet won for screenplay for “Eyes”: Charlize Theron optioned the remake rights in September. The special jury prize went to Srdjan Spasojevic’s ultra-violent “A Serbian Film” that has been banned in several countries, including Spain. Kim Jee-won’s brutal thriller, “I Saw the Devil,” garnered awards for director in the Fantasy section and film in the Orient Express sidebar. Seo Yeong-hie received actress laurels for her portrayal of a woman bullied by thugs in Jang Cheol-so’s slasher “Bedevilled.” In the fest’s Director’s Week sidebar, Im Sang-soo’s Cannes-player “The Housemaid” clocked up awards for film, actor (Lee Jung-jae) and actress (Jeon Do-yeon). Yoshifumi Tsubota’s manga-inspired “Miyoko” won the special jury prize and best screenplay (Miyoko Asagaya kibunin). Luc Besson’s “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” won the audience award. Thesp Maria de Medeiros and producer Paulo Trancoso received career tributes. In the closing ceremony, fest director Mario Dorminsky said that this year’s 14-day edition broke previous admission records, with over 60,000 tickets sold and a screenings’ occupancy rate of over 80%. Dorminksy nonetheless lambasted the swingeing 40% funding cuts suffered by Fantasporto in 2011, and sharply criticized centralist policies pursued in Portugal. Fantasporto is Portugal’s biggest film fest.