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Carax’s ‘Holy Motors’ tops Sitges

Lynch's 'Chained' nabs special jury prize, actor

SITGESLeos Carax’s surrealistic dramedy “Holy Motors” swept Catalonia’s 45th Sitges Festival awards Saturday, collecting film, director and Sitges’ Critics and Silver Melies Awards.

As at Cannes, where “Motors” played competition and virtually sold out the world with Indomina taking U.S. rights, “Motors” divided critics and audiences at Sitges.

Its trophy trove, however, is Sitges’ biggest since “Vidocq” grabbed five awards in 2001.

It also completes a Spanish fest double for sales agent Wild Bunch after Francois Ozon’s “In the House” topped late September’s San Sebastian.

Jennifer Lynch’s serial killer drama “Chained” took Sitges’ special jury prize and actor for Vincent D’Onofrio.

Sitges’ other big winner, Brit Ben Wheatley’s darkly comic killing spree romp “Sightseers,” won actress for Alice Lowe and screenplay for Lowe, co-star Steve Oram and Amy Jump.

Sitges’ 45th edition served as a reminder of genre production’s rude health worldwide, as well as a local launch-pad for Spanish productions and a new flock of helmers.

Acclaimed at Sitges and released by Warner Bros. Thursday in Spain, Juan Antonio Bayona’s post-tsunami family thriller “The Impossible” has swept to a two-day €4.4 million ($5.7 million) in Spain, surpassing even optimistic predictions.

Spaniard Juan Carlos Medina, whose Toronto hit “Painless,” won large critical applause at Sitges, told Variety he is working on a movie about genetic manipulation.

David and Alex Pastor (“Carriers”), who presented a trailer of their upcoming Morena Films-produced “Last Days,” confirmed they are developing an English-language project with Morena, to possibly shoot in Canada.

Meanwhile, producer Isabel Rey announced that Spain’s Artefacto Prods. has engaged L.A.-based Solomon J. LeFlore, Susan Gee and Entertainment Finance Group-Renascence Prods. to secure post-production and vfx financing and worldwide distribution for “O Apostolo,” Spain’s first stereoscopic 3D stop-motion pic, which had a sneak-peek screening at Sitges.

Sitges closed Saturday with a gala screening of “Looper” and the world premiere of “Paranormal Activity 4.”

And the winners are:

FANTASTIC COMPETITION

FILM

Holy Motors”” (Leos Carax, France-Germany)

DIRECTOR

Leos Carax

SPECIAL JURY AWARD

“Chained” (Jennifer Lynch, U.S.)

ACTOR

Vincent D’Onofrio, (“Chained”)

ACTRESS

Alice Lowe (“Sightseers,” U.K.)

SCREENPLAY

Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump (“Sightseers”)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Chankit Chamnivikaipong (“Headshot,” Thailand-France)

F/X

Yee Kwok-leung, Garrett Lam, Ho Kwan-yeung (“The Viral Factor,” Hong Kong-China)

YOUTH JURY AWARD

“Robot & Frank,” (Jake Schreier, U.S.)

CASA ASIA AWARDS

BEST FILM

“Dragon” (Peter Ho-sun Chan, China)

BEST ANIMATION FILM AWARD

Wolf Children” (Mamoru Hosoda, Japan)

NEW VISIONS AWARD

“War Witch” (Kim Nguyen, Canada)

PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA AUDIENCE AWARD

“Robot & Frank”

JOSE LUIS GUARNER CRITICS’ AWARD

“Holy Motors”

CITIZEN KANE AWARD TO AN UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR

Brandon Cronenberg (“Antiviral,” Canada)

SITGES SILVER MELIES AWARD

“Holy Motors”

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