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The debut feature from Icelandic director Valdimar Johannsson premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes this year. It combines Nordic folk legend with WTF horror elements in the story of Icelandic sheep farmers who seize on a startling discovery during lambing season. A24 has North American rights for the film.
Rapace also took best actress at Sitges, sharing the prize ex-aequo with Susanne Jensen for her starring performance in Peter Brunner’s Austrian horror film Luzifer.
Australian director Justin Kurzel took Sitges best direction honor for Nitram, a thriller looking at the events leading up the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on Tasmania. Best actor honors went ex-aequo to Nitram star Caleb Landry Jones and Luzifer‘s Franz Rogowski.
Sitges’ runner-up special jury prize went to After Blue from director Bertrand Mandico, a French sci-fi feature set on a planet where only women can survive. Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents, another Cannes title, received a special mention from the Sitges jury. The low-budget feature looks at a group of Norwegian kids who develop superpowers, with disastrous consequences.
Camille Griffin won best screenplay for Silent Night, a contained horror film starring Lily-Rose Depp and Keira Knightley.
Phil Tippett’s Mad God, a stop-motion feature decades in the making, won best special effects at Sitges. Best cinematography went to Cheng Siu Keung for his lensing of Soi Cheang’s cop thriller Limbo. Daniele Luppi took the trophy for best musical score for her work on Ana Lily Amirpour’s horror film Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon.
In Sitges’ New Visions sidebar, the prize for best film went to Valentín Javier Diment’s Argentine thriller The Attachment Diaries and Brazilian filmmaker Anita Rocha da Silveira took best direction for Medusa.
Another Brazilian director, Iuli Gerbase, took top honors for best film in Sitges’ Blood Window sidebar for her feature The Pink Cloud, in which a woman finds herself stuck in an apartment with a man she just met as a toxic and mysterious pink cloud swirls outside.
The award for best documentary went to Manlio Gomarasca and Massimiliano Zanin for their look at cult genre filmmaker Joe D’Amato in Inferno Rosso. Joe d’Amato Sulla Via Dell’Ecccesso.
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