SITGES — Jennifer Lynch’s thriller “Surveillance” nabbed the main nod at the 41st Sitges Intl. Film Festival of Catalonia, Europe’s biggest fantasy film fest, which wrapped Sunday (Oct. 12).
Lynch’s pic, which received a warm welcome at Sitges, beat out local crix favourite, Tomas Alfredson’s contempo vampire fable, “Let the Right One In,” which received a rapturous reception at the Catalan resort.
In trends, the 41st edition underscored the continuing health of Asian genre cinema, plus burgeoning production in France.
Multiple titles also proved genre hybrids.
“Auds are only too aware of horror pic rules. They know what will happen. By combining genres, you can be more unpredictable,” said J.T. Petty, helmer of western thriller, “The Burrowers.”
Petty added that upcoming projects include “No Place Like Home,” for Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix, and an adaptation of one of his own children’s books.
One of fest’s most eagerly awaited titles was Pascal Laugier’s “Martyrs,” whose bloodiest scenes were applauded by genre fanboys, a Sitges custom. An ambulance remained parked outside the theater while the screening took place.
In a slew of new project announcements, Mabrouk El Mechri (“JCVD”) told Variety his next project, New York-set romcom “The Midwife Crisis,” will also be produced by France’s Gaumont.
A fest honoree, Abel Ferrara, whose well -received “Chelsea on the Rocks” was screened in a sidebar, said he’d just finished shooting another docu about New York’s Lower East Side and writing a version of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” set in a contempo-New York.
Spanish pics “Santos,” “Sexykiller” and “Prime Time” were better received by auds than crix.
“Flying Heroes Cher Ami,” a finely crafted toon feature about some valiant World War I messenger pigeons, received a special screening.
Troma topper Lloyd Kaufman picked up a Time Machine award, wearing a ghoulish green mask. Other fest honorees were Charlie Kaufman, with another Time Machine Statue, and Maria career achievement winner, Catalan Luis Minarro, a prolific producer of major fest films.
Sitges’ 42nd fest could celebrate the 30th anni of “Alien,” said fest director Angel Sala.
And the winners are…
OFFICIAL FANTASY COMPETITION
“Surveillance” (Jennifer Lynch, U.S., Germany, Canada)
Kim Jee-woon, “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” (South Korea)
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
“Eden Lake” (James Watkins, U.K.)
Brian Cox, “Red” (U.S.)
Semra Turan, “Fighter” (Denmark)
Alexis Alexiou, “Tale 52” (Greece)
Angus Hudson, “The Broken” (France, U.K.)
Tule Peake, “Blindness” (Canada, Brazil, Japan)
MAKE UP F/X
Bendit Lestang, Adrien Morot, “Martyrs” (France)
Kim Wook, “The Good, The Bad, The Weird”
Kenji Kawai, “The Sky Crawlers” (Japan)
ORIENT EXPRESS-CASA ASIA AWARD
Na Hong-jin, “The Chaser” (South Korea)
ANIMAT GERTIE FILM AWARD
“From Inside” (John Bergin, U.S.)
GOLDEN MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE:
“Let the Right One In” (Tomas Alfredson, Sweden)
SILVER MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE:
“Martyrs” (Pascal Laugier, France)
PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA AUDIENCE AWARD
“Blindness” (Canada, Brazil, Japan)
JOSE LUIS GUARNER CRITICS AWARD
“The Sky Crawlers” (Mamoru Oshii, Japan)
CITIZEN KANE AWARD TO AN UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR
Christopher Denham, “Home Movie” (France)
“Next Floor” (Denis Villeneuve, Canada)