Presented by Deadhouse Films, the 10th annual A Night of Horror International Film Festival and Fantastic Planet, Sydney Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Festival were loaded with a cornucopia of the latest and greatest horror, sci-fi, thriller and fantasy films from around the globe. Here are the winning films from the 2016 event:
Matt Stuertz's transgressive blood fest TONIGHT SHE COMES took A Night of Horror's “Best Film” award. While the stunningly disturbing black comedy THE NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN won “Best Foreign Language Film.” The Spanish stand out also captured “Best Male Performance” for lead actor Javier Bódalo, as well as “Best Female Performance” for Miriam Martin: an award that the jury split with Jenna McDonland from TONIGHT SHE COMES. A Night of Horror's “Best Director” award went to Scott Schirmer for his confronting tour de force PLANK FACE.
Fantastic Planet Film Festival's top honour, “Best Film”, was won by the Portuguese/Spanish co-production the stunning sci-fi/romantic thriller GELO. The film's captivating lead Ivana Baquero (PAN'S LABYRINTH, THE NEW DAUGHTER) took the “Best Female Performance” award. While “Best Director” was awarded to Erik Reese for the thrilling neo-western DEAD BULLET. A stunning performance from that film's lead actor, John T. Woods, captured “Best Male Performance”.
A Night of Horror's “Independent Spirit” award went to the action-packed Canadian zomedy PEELERS. While the “Independent Spirit Award” for Fantastic Planet was awarded to the hilarious sci-fi comedy NEIL STRYKER AND THE TYRANT OF TIME. The fascinating Canadian documentary TAX SHELTER TERRORS took A Night of Horror's “Director's Choice” award. While Fantastic Planet's “Director's Choice” award went to the confronting, W. B. Yeats inspired, THE SECOND COMING: VOLUME 2, from Melbourne's Richard Wolstencroft. Jury president, Simon Foster, bestowed Fantastic Planet's “Head of Jury” award on the US sci-fi thriller TELEIOS.
A Night of Horror's “Best Short Film” was awarded to the pulse-charging New Zealand slasher NO CALLER I.D. The festival's “Best Animated Short Film” award was also won by a New Zealand production, the bloody charming SHMEAT. The powerful and disturbing HEIR won “Best Lovecraft Short Film”. The audience choice award for “Best Australian Short Film” went to the brooding existential nightmare MOTH. While “Best Music Video” was awarded to the frenetic demon-possessed dancethon SKINNY DAYS – ALRIGHT RIGHT NOW directed by Mats Udd.
Fantastic Planet's “Best Short Film” was taken by AMO, a haunting examination of human/android relations from Spain. And the “Best Animated Short Film” was won by the hilarious time travel adventure SUPER SCIENCE FRIENDS – EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM PRESENCE. The audience choice award for “Best Australian Short Film” went to the stunning space opera BLOOD AND STEEL. And the winner of “Best Music Video” was the melancholic and apocalyptic animation ANCESTORS – JED WHEDON AND THE WILLING by director Efehan Elbi.
Both festivals also host screenplay competitions. The winning screenplay of A Night of Horror's feature screenplay competition was Stephen Anderson's LEFT OF THE DEVIL. The competition's 1st runner-up was Carol Pritt's DEVILTRY AFOOT. The 2nd runner-up was COVETOUS by Jared Bentley, Eric C. Storley and Darrin Scane. A Night of Horror's short screenplay winner was WALTER'S DAYS by Nathan Ludwing and Charles Devin Hall. The short screenplay competition's 1st runner-up was Mike Wedderburn's THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TEDDY WHALLEY. The second runner-up was DAKOTA CAVES – 2 MILES by Robert J. Rogers.
The winner of Fantastic Planet's feature screenplay competition was COLD IMAGE by Ian Keiser and Shaun Lapacek. The 1st runner-up was Mark Gunnion's NIGHTBREAK. And Jim Carroll's RESURRECTION TIME CONSPIRACY captured the 2nd-runner up spot. Fantastic Planet's short screenplay competition was won by MESSAGE THROUGH THE STARS by Vijay Varman. The 1st runner-up was Dan Horrigan's POPULACE. And the competition's 2nd runner-up was LOVEIN' IT by Stuart Creque.