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Fant Bilbao 2016 Award Winners Announced

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After more than 130 hours of some of the best genre output on the festival circuit right now, complemented with a stellar line-up of special guests and jurors, FANT BILBAO 2016 bid farewell in spectacular style with an awards ceremony to die for, organized by Bilbao’s City Council.

In its celebration of all things terrifying, FANT welcomed the likes of Can Evrenol, Joe Begos, William Brent Bell, Alberto Marini, Cameron Cairnes, Jay Lender and Micah Wright to present their latest projects in a year where, once again, an all new attendance record was set. This year’s figures totalled 9,238 festivalgoers (5% up from last year) with the full house sign brought out for the screenings of High-Rise (review), Sun Choke (review), Green Room (review), Rendezvous, Cop Car, Bone Tomahawk (review) and The Devil’s Pass (review).

And, despite such a great line-up, only one film can ever take home the coveted best feature award so it was up to the international jury (Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Laurence R. Harvey and José María Clemente) to make the toughest of decisions, with Valentín J. Diment’s The Rotten Link (review) finally coming out on top.

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From the Press Release:
Argentinian filmmaker Valentín J. Diment takes home the Best Feature Film Award for El Eslabón Podrido (The Rotten Link) at this year’s Bilbao Fantasy Film Festival – FANT 2016.

After much deliberation, this year’s jury, which consisted of actress Fiona O’Shaughnessy, actor Laurence R. Harvey, and journalist and Canal+ programming manager José María Clemente, awarded Valentín J. Diment’s El Eslabón Podrido with the Best Feature Film Award.

At the announcement press conference the FANT jury explained how they have been won over by such “a densely textured folk tale chronicling the sublime and grotesque aspects of rural life with the events around the central characters leading to the breakdown of their society. Both the beautifully essayed performances of the main actors and the director’s deft handling of tonal shifts and gleeful perversity result in a memorable cinematic experience.”

The Best International Short Film Award went to the plasticine animated film Edificio Tatuapé Mahal (Brazil, 2014, 10’) from Carolina Markowicz and Fernanda Salloum. Commenting on their choice, the jury decided on this short as it “creates a world both familiar and wildly original, deftly juggling notions of identity, mutability and existential fulfillment through its childlike charm and simplicity.”

George Todria’s Lost Village took home the Best Basque Short Film Award which, according to the jury is “a cinematographic poem that draws you into its deliberately paced narrative to devastating emotional effect.”

As is the case every year, the audience also had their say and voted Oscar Bernàcer’s Apolo 81 (Spain, 2015) the Best Short Film.

NEW AWARDS
This year also saw the inclusion of two brand new awards in the “Panorama” strand of the festival for best feature and best short. The first ever Panorama Jury was made up of cinematographer Norma Vila (Bilbao, 1983), founding partner of the production company Demeter Films; film critic and screenwriter Miguel A. Refoyo (Salamanca, 1975); and film journalist and translator Howard Gorman (Huddersfield, 1975), Associate Editor for Scream: The Horror Magazine and collaborating writer for the likes of Shock Till You Drop, Rue Morgue Magazine, Blumhouse and, as you are probably already aware if you’re reading this here article, Dread Central. He is also Spanish representative for Eli Roth’s Crypt TV.

This jury also had the job of deciding on the best entry in this year’s cell phone short film competition, sponsored by Movistar+.

The Panorama Best Feature Film went to André Cruz’s L’altra frontera, (Spain/Lithuania 2014) whilst Best Short went to Gigi Saúl Guerrero’s Madre de Dios (Canada, 2015).

The award for best PhoneFantastikoa short film shot on a cellphone went to Aritz ET’s Latas.

The Festival’s Awards Ceremony, organized by Bilbao’s City Council, was followed up with a special screening of Baskin from Turkish filmmaker Can Evrenol, who was in attendance to receive this year’s Fantrobia prize, each year awarded to the most promising talent in the genre. This was preceded with a fantastic post-apocalyptic short film which is more than worth checking out called Graffiti from Lluis Quilez.

THE FULL LIST OF FANT 2016 AWARD WINNERS:

BEST FEATURE FILM FANT 22
El eslabón podrido, (Argentina, 2015) Valentín J. Diment.

FANT SHORT FILMS
Best International Short: Edificio Tatuapé Mahal (Brazil, 2014, 10’) Carolina Markowicz and Fernanda Salloum.

Best Basque Short: Lost Village (2015, 15 min) George Todria.

Audience Award for Best Short: Apolo 81 (Spain, 2015) Óscar Bernàcer.

OFFICIAL SECTION BEST SCREENPLAY (AWARDED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BASQUE SCREENWRITERS)
Lovemilla, Teemu Nikki (Finland, 2015).

OFFICIAL SECTION AWARD FOR INNOVATIVE DIRECTION (AWARDED BY CINE CLUB FAS)
High-Rise, Ben Wheatley (UK, 2015)

FANTROBIA AWARD 2016
Can Evrenol

PANORAMA SECTION BEST FEATURE FILM
L’altra frontera, André Cruz (Spain/Lithuania 2014).

PANORAMA SECTION BEST SHORT
Madre de Dios, Gigi Saúl Guerrero (Canada, 2015).

AWARD FOR THE BEST PHONE FANTASTIKOA SHORT
Latas, Aritz ET.

We’ll leave you with a selection of video interviews with a few of the guests who dropped in to say hey at this year’s FANT:

 

 

 

 

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