If there’s one thing I know about film festivals, it’s that being content with having your film play for an enthusiastic audience is for losers. Chugging a beer on stage in front of a cheering crowd after winning is for winners. You can tell that I’m right because the word “winning” is a close cousin of “winners.” Celebrating the art of the film is one thing, but damn it, it’s about taking home the coveted cup.

Two or three nights ago (the details are hazy), Fantastic Fest Co-founder Tim League emceed an awards ceremony that featured some Festival fans, filmmakers and the people who wandered in already inebriated and looking for the karaoke party. You can guess which group I was in, and, yes, I stayed at the ceremony despite a shocking lack of amateurs singing “Baby Got Back.”

Also, I had to present all of the awards for the Fantastic Features Category.

There were a ton of great films this year at the festival, but there can only be 1 to 5 winners, so here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Jury Results – SHORTS Awards


Best Animated Short – “I Am So Proud of You” (Don Hertzfeldt)

Special Mention – “Alma” (Rodrigo Blaas)


Best Fantastic Short – “Terminus” (Trevor Cawood)

Special Jury Award – “Next Floor” (Denis Villeneuve)


Best Horror Short – “Full Employment” (Thomas Oberlies, Matthias Vogel)

Special Mention – “Excision” (Richard Bates, Jr.)

Jury Results – FEATURES Awards


Best Horror Feature – Human Centipede (Tom Six)

Best Horror Director – Kerry Prior for The Revenant

Best Horror Actor – Dieter Laser for Human Centipede

Best Horror Actress – Neve McIntosh for Salvage


Best Fantastic Feature – Mandrill (Ernesto Diaz-Espinoza)

Best Fantastic Director – Kim Nguyrn for Truffe

Best Fantastic Screenplay – Tamio Hayashi for Fish Story (from the novel by Kotaro Isaka)

Best Fantastic Actor – Marko Zaror for Mandrill

Best Fantastic Actress – Chiaki Kuriyama for Kamogawa Horumo: Battle League in Kyoto


Best Feature – Down Terrace (Ben Wheately)

Best Director – Yang Ik-Joon for Breathless

Best Screenplay – Robin Hill, Ben Wheately for Down Terrace

Best Actor – Jeong-min Hwang for Private Eye

Best Actress – Shera Bechard for Sweet Karma


Audience Award, Best Feature – A Town Called Panic (Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar)

Audience Award, Honorable Mention Films – Fish Story, Breathless, The Revenant, Merantau


Every winner has to roll down onto the stage to chug a beer from their award mug, but some people weren’t there, and the beer must be drunk. Or it’s bad luck or the beer gets warm or something. So luckily, there were a few audience members that took up the mantel for those who couldn’t make it including first rate journalist, friend of the site, and all-around handsome guy Kevin Kelly as well as renegade filmmaker Nacho “Chaos Reigns” Vigalondo.

And, of course, I answered the call a few times myself. So I leave you with me racing Tim, Nacho drinking triumphantly, and Best Actor winner Marko Zaror doing a celebratory spin kick:




For more photos, check out the official Fantastic Fest Flickr Page.

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