(Source: Sun Entertainment Culture Ltd)
(Source: Sun Entertainment Culture Ltd)

There was a lot to watch this year, yet somehow the selection seems small. I always stray away from the clear winners, although this year I have to say I did catch a few movies that ended up in the winner’s circle. I don’t necessarily agree, but then again I believe I’m still a movie fan first and a critic later. I can’t quite give in to cynicism, so I’m still willing to be fooled by movies yet.

Tag won the Cheval Noir Award for Best Film, which is a fitting award for a film so crazy and twisted. I can’t quite give it the best in show, but it was really ranked high up there. Malik Bader won the Cheval Noir for Best Director for Cash Only. Crumbs won the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature Film. Miss Hokusai won the Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Synchronicity won Prix L’Ecran Fantastique.

The audience awards also gave a lot of nods to a few movies of my list. Robbery won Bronze for Best Asian Feature. Therapy for a Vampire won Gold for best European, North or South American Feature with Børning and Turbo Kid both getting Bronze. On Best Canadian or Quebec feature, Turbo Kid took the Gold. Miss Hokusai took Gold for Best Animated Feature. The Guru Prize for Best Action Feature went to Big Match.

You can read the full official list at IndieWire. Now my thoughts below…

In my not so humble opinion, Robbery comes really far as one of the most entertaining movies in Fantasia this year. I definitely give the best award in screenplay and directing to Jacob Gendry for Synchronicity as his amazing comeback film. Cash Only deserves praise for its lead actor and screenwriter Nikola Shreli. Surprisingly entertaining despite a wild premise film goes to the live adaptation of Assassination Classroom.

In horror and suspense, I’d put Goodnight Mommy as a movie you both recommend to the horror fiends and warn your faint of heart pals about. However, every horror fan should take a chance and watch horror/comedy/drama Nina Forever and yes, it’s fucked up but so’s life. I’d also recommend it to anybody who has had a relationship. Pure thriller and suspense with a new twist makes The Dark Below a winner in my book.

Nowhere Girl wins my quiet but with turmoil distinction. I’d also give a very human with both hope and hopelessness accolade to Port of Call. For action films, don’t miss free spirited racing film Børning. However, if we’re talking about an audience-friendly full on action that Fantasia audiences will love, I have to mention Deadman Inferno.

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film FestivalIndieWire)