Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Icelandic-Swedish-Polish drama “Lamb,” starring Noomi Rapace (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Prometheus”) was awarded best film and actress for Rapace at the 54th edition of Sitges’ International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, which wrapped Sunday.

The prizes add to an Originality Prize which the film received when competing at July’s Cannes Un Certain Regard.

“Lamb,” a horror-comedy combo, follows protagonist Maria, played by Rapace, a woman living with her husband in the total loneliness of the Icelandic countryside. According to a Variety review, “creepy-funny-weird-sad ‘Lamb’ proves just how far disbelief can be suspended if you’re in the hands of a director — and a cast, and a SFX/puppetry department — who really commit to the bit.” Lamb is produced by Go to Sheep, Black Spark Film & TV and Madants with New Europe Film Sales and A24 attached.

Rapace shared best actress honors with Susanne Jensen in Peter Brunner’s “Luzifer.” Justin Kurzel took best director for art-house chiller “Nitram,” which played Cannes competition this year, with its lead, Caleb Landry Jones, snagging best actor, a plaudit he repeated at Sitges, where he won the award ex aequeo with Franz Rogowski (“Luzifer”).

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Nitram "Nitram" (GoodThing Productions)

Main jury members were Iran-born, Denmark-based director Ali Abbasi (“Border”), Spanish singer and actress Olvido Gara Jova (aka Alaska), director María Lidón (“The Life: What’s Your Pleasure?”), producer-director Antonio Trashorras (“Blind Alley”) and local comedian Joaquín Reyes.

Best screenplay went to first time writer-director Camille Griffin for “Silent Night,” an auteurist horror holiday tale headed by Keira Knightley.

An international launchpad for Spanish genre fare, this year’s fest included films such as Álex de la Iglesia’s “Veneciafrenia,” Juanjo Giménez’s “Out of Sync,” Paco Plaza’s “The Grandmother,” Alberto Evangelio’s “Visitor,” Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez’s “The Passenger,” David Casademunt’s “The Beast” and Javi Camino’s “Jacinto.”

Mamoru Hosoda, who was Oscar nominated for “Mirai,” Spanish grand master Carlos Saura (“The Hunt”) and actress Belén Rueda (“The Orphanage”) received Grand Honorary Awards at the 2021 festival whose movies played in 100% occupation capacity theaters.

Time Machine awardees took in director Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”), actress Alice Krige (“Star Trek: First Contact”) and screenwriter Nick Antosca (TV show “Channel Zero”).

U.S. productions snagged a first feature special mention (Carlson Young’s  “The Blazing World”), as well as F/X  (Phil Tippett’s “Mad God”), music (Ana Lily Amirpour’s “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon”) and Young Jury Awards (“Mona Lisa” and  Dash Shaw’s “Cryptozoo”).

Lucile Hadzihalilovic (“Evolution”) was honored with the Méliès Career Prize and fest’s Brigadoon showcase recognized Spanish actor Emilio Gutiérrez Caba (“Common Wealth”) with the Nosferatu Award.


Best Film

“Lamb” (Valdimar Johánnsson, Iceland-Sweden-Poland)

Special Mention 

“The Innocents” (Eskil Vogt, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, U.K.)

Best Director

Justin Kurzel (“Nitram,” Australia)

Special Jury Prize

“After Blue” (Bertrand Mandico, France)

First Feature Special Mention

“The Blazing World” (Carlson Young, U.S.) and “The Execution” (Lado Kvataniya, Russia)

Actress (ex-aequo)

Noomi Rapace (“Lamb”) and Susanne Jensen (“Luzifer,” Peter Brunner, Austria)

Actor (ex-aequo)

Caleb Landry Jones (“Nitram”) and Franz Rogowski (“Luzifer”)


Camille Griffin (“Silent Night,” U.K.)


“Limbo” (Cheng Siu Keung, Hong Kong)


Phil Tippett (“Mad God,” U.S.)


Daniele Luppi (“Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon,” Ana Lily Amirpour, U.S. )

Best Fantastic Short

“Polter” (Álvaro Vicario, Spain)



Best Film

“El apego” (Valentín Javier Diment, Argentina)

Special Mention 

“2551.01” (Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria)

Best Director

Anita Rocha da Silveira (“Medusa,” Brazil)

Best Short

“Lucienne mange une auto” (Geordy Couturiau, France)

Special Mention 

“Brutalia, Days of Labor” (Manolis Mavris, Greece, Belgique)



Blood Window (Latin American Production)

“The Pink Cloud” (Iuli Gerbase, Brazil)

Melies D’Argent Best Film

“Tres” (Juanjo Giménez, Spain)

Melies D’Argent Best Short

“T’es morte Hélène” (Michiel Blanchart, France, Belgique)

Jose Luis Guarner Critics’ Award (ex-aequo)

“After Blue” and “Mad God”

Citizen Kane Award to an up-and-Coming Director

Valdimar Johánnsson



Best Film

“Inferno rosso. Joe D’Amato sulla via dell’eccesso” (Manlio Gomarasca, Massimiliano Zanin, Italia)



Best Feature

“Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon” (Ana Lily Amirpour, U.S.)

Best Animated Film

“Cryptozoo” (Dash Shaw, U.S.)

Best Short

“Other Half” (Lina Kalcheva, U.K.)



Best Direction

“La caída del vencejo” (Gonzalo Quincoces)


“Goodnight Mr. Ted” (Nicolás Solé)


“Goodnight Mr. Ted” (Gonçal Perales)