×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Ultranova’ tops Gijon

'C.R.A.Z.Y.' takes four major prizes

See Winners

MADRID — “Ultranova,” the notable debut from Belgian actor-turned helmer Bouli Lanners, and Jean-Marc Vallee’s Canadian foreign-lingo candidate “C.R.A.Z.Y.” took top honors at the 43rd Gijon Intl. Film Festival.

Chronicling monotone, cul-de-sac life in Belgian’s semi-industrial sprawl, “Ultranova” took nods for best pic and the FISPRESCI Intl. Federation of Film Critics award.

About a dysfunctional catholic Canadian family whose sons include a rent boy and glam rock fan, “C.R.A.Z.Y.,” was long-applauded at its press screening. It went on to scoop director, screenplay, art direction and youth jury prizes.

Tilda Swinton took actress for “Thumbsucker,” while Mark O’Halloran and Tom Murphy shared best actor for their bravura perfs as feckless junkies in “Adam & Paul,” also applauded at Gijon.

Special Jury Prize was shared between Mohammad Rasoulof’s “Iron Island,” from Iran, and Austrian Michael Glawogger’s “Working Man’s Death.” The one pic most notably absent from the prize lineup was Thomas Clay’s contempo Britain portrait “The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael,” which was tipped for some kind of plaudit by film fans.

It takes a lot to unsettle Spanish film buffs but this film — especially its second gang rape scene — achieved that, sparking debate about the acuracy of its portrayal of modern Britain or the fittingness of its finale.

Gijon’s 53rd edition underscored the growing importance of the documentary in left-of field film-making.

“The documentary and semidocumentary format has become a powerful and exceptional new way of cinematic expression,” said fest director Jose Luis Cienfuegos.

Docus figured large in the increasingly important Esbilla sidebar for more radical pics. They also proved popular: “Working Man’s Death,” a two-hour record of workers in grim jobs around the globe, came third in voting for the youth jury award.

Lesser known docu titles included two intriguing non-fiction features: the Spanish “Al Hamama,” which treated ordinary Muslims’ condemnation of Madrid’s 2003 terrorist attacks, and Italian Vincento Marra’s “58%,” which offers memorable footage of the daily lives of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

Another little-known docu, “Lai,” from Spain’s Nuria Aidelman and Gonzalo de Lucas, proved an ingratiating reenactment of a Medieval ballad. Newly instituted, Gijon’s FIPRESCI prize is a mark of recognition for one of Spain’s lesser-budgeted but most admired festivals. Press and public screenings were often packed, drawing journos and film fans from all over Spain.

Meet was also attended by execs from a raft of local indie distribbers, including Sogepaq, Alta, Golem, Filmax, Karma, Diorama, and Baditri. Fest offers a best pic cash prize of Euros 20,000 ($23,420) for its Spanish distributor or international sales agent.

Fest honorees were France’s Claire Denis, Finnish docu-maker Pirjo Honkasalo and a wry-humored Todd Solondz, who announced at Gijon that he should have his next pic, “another tiny little movie,” moving into production by March. Fest ran Nov.24 to Dec.2.

And the winners are…

COMPETITION AWARDS:

FILM
“Ultranova,” (Bouli Lanners, Belgium)

DIRECTOR
Jean-Marc Vallee (“C.R.A.Z.Y., ” Canada)

ACTOR
Mark O’Halloran, Tom Murphy (“Adam & Paul,” Ireland)

ACTRESS
Tilda Swinton (“Thumbsucker,” U.S.)

SCREENPLAY
“C.R.A.Z.Y,” (Jean-Marc Vallee and François Boulay)

ART DIRECTION
“C.R.A.Z.Y,” (Patrice Bricault-Vermette)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“Iron Island,” (Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran)
“Working Man’s Death,” (Michael Glawogger, Austria)

OTHER AWARDS:

FIPRESCI AWARD
“Ultranova”

YOUTH JURY PRIZE
“C.R.A.Z.Y.”

ENFANTS TERRIBLES FILM AWARD
“Kirikou and the Wild Beasts,” (Michel Ocelot, Benedicte Galup, France)

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content