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‘Moon’ eclipses rivals at Sitges

Jones' pic wins film, actor, screenplay awards

SITGES — Duncan Jones’ sci-fi tale “Moon” swept the 42nd Sitges Film Festival of Catalonia, nabbing among top kudos best picture, actor (Sam Rockwell) and screenplay (Nathan Parker).

With Ruben Fleischer’s audience award-winner “Zombieland,” “Moon” was perhaps the most generally liked of competition titles.

Many contenders had an avid fanbase, such as Gaspar Noe’s special jury award-winner “Enter the Void,” Jaco Van Dormael’s “Mr Nobody” and “Kinatay,” from best director Brillante Mendoza.

But only Daniel Monzon’s “Cell 211,” a special screening, sparked a unanimously passionate response.

Another popular Spanish title was Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero’s devil-zombiefest “REC 2,” while auds applauded Kathryn Bigelow’s docu-style Iraq thriller “The Hurt Locker.”

World preeming at Sitges, at the behest of Guillermo del Toro, Vincenzo Natali’s “Splice” also drew general applause, and won Sitges’ coveted F/X award.

Inspired in part by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, and turning on a couple of young biochemists experimenting with human DNA, “Splice” drew special praise for Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley toplining perfs.

Sitges’ 42nd edition, which ran Oct.1-11, was spangled with genre-blenders and films that mixed horror and humor — Andrew Lancaster’s “Accidents Happen” and Sophie Barthes’ “Cold Souls.”

Pic played to appreciative and far larger auds, despite Spain’s recession, one of the deepest in Europe: admissions rose 20% to 60,000, said fest organizers.

Much business turned around sales agents and producers trawling and cozying up to talent, with, of Euros shingles, execs from Wild Bunch, Pathe, Elle Driver, Gaumont and Coproduction Office in attendance to present pics.

Natali announced that one of his projects, “High Rise,” is set up with Jeremy Thomas and Canada’s Gabriella Martinelli (“Romeo and Juliet”).

Based on a famed 1975 novel of the same title by J. G. Ballard, “High Rise” “will be a very ambitious movie with a lot of characters living in a vertical city,” Natali said. Natali has written the screenplay.

Van Dormael told Variety his next feature will be “an inexpensive, surreal feature aiming to break all the rules of storytelling as much as possible.”

Jones said one of his next projects, “Mute,” will again be a sci-fi pic. A Berlin future-set thriller, it will be a companion piece to “Moon.”

“One of them’s about loneliness on the far side of the moon, the other’s about maintaining your individuality in a city that’s so populated that it’s difficult to be an individual,” Jones said at Sitges. Pic is structured as a U.K.-Germany co-production.

Paris-based producer-distributor Samuel Hadida received an honorary prize at Sitges. Fest bestowed Time Machine Awards on helmers Park Chan-wook and Shinya Tsukamoto. Thesp Viggo Mortensen accepted an honorary prize during fest’s closing ceremony.

John Hillcoat’s post-apocalypse road movie “The Road” closed Europe’s biggest fantasy film fest on Sunday.

OFFICIAL FANTASY COMPETITION
FILM
“Moon” (Duncan Jones, U.K., U.S.)

DIRECTOR
Brillante Mendoza (“Kinatay,” France, Philippines)

SPECIAL JURY AWARD
“Enter the Void” (Gaspar Noe, France, Germany, Italy)

ACTOR
Sam Rockwell (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)

ACTRESS
Elena Anaya (“Hierro,” Spain) and Kim Ok-vin (“Thirst,” South Korea)

SCREENPLAY
Nathan Parker, based on a Duncan Jones’ original story (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benoit Debie (“Enter the Void,” France, Germany, Italy)

ART DIRECTION
Tony Noble (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)

MAKE UP F/X
Kaatje Van Damme (“Mr. Nobody,” Belgium, France, Canada, Germany)

F/X
KNB EFX Group (“Splice,” Canada, France, U.S.)

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Teresa Barrozo (“Kinatay,” France, Philippines)

ORIENT EXPRESS-CASA ASIA AWARD
“Ip Man” (Yip Wai-shun, Hong Kong-China)

ANIMAT GERTIE FILM AWARD
“Summer Wars” (Mamoru Hosoda, Japan)

GOLDEN MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE
“Martyrs” (Pascal Laugier, France, Canada)

SILVER MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE
“The Eclipse” (Conor McPherson, Ireland)

OTHER AWARDS
PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA AUDIENCE AWARD
“Zombieland” (Ruben Fleischer, U.S.)

JOSE LUIS GUARNER CRITICS’ AWARD
“Les derniers jours du monde” (Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu, France, Spain)

CITIZEN KANE AWARD TO AN UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR
“Dogtooth” (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)

SHORT
“One of Those Days” (Hattie Dalton, U.K.)

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