The 25th Leeds International Film Festival has announced its Audience Award winners and three prestigious Jury prizes. The 25th edition of the Film Festival attracted its largest ever audience of over 35,000, including a record audience for a single screening with 1000 people attending Closing Gala Shame.
The Golden Owl award in Official Selection, and the Silver Méliès award in Fanomenon, the genre cinema section of the Film Festival, have been announced alongside the Film Festival’s four short film Jury awards (the Augustin Awards) in the categories of Animation, International, British and Yorkshire Shorts. The announcements come as Leeds receives confirmation that it has been accepted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to become part of the Academy Awards® process in the categories of Live Action Short Film and Animated Short Film for the 2013 Oscars®.
LIFF25 Audience Awards
Following audience votes taken for every one of the Film Festival programme’s 150+ feature films, the following winners have been announced:
Official Selection Audience Award: The Artist (dir. Michael Hazanavicius, France, 2011)
Fanomenon Audience Award: Juan of the Dead (dir. Alejandro Brugues, Cuba, 2011)
Cinema Versa Audience Award: Sound It Out (dir. Jeanie Finlay, UK, 2011)
LIFF25 Golden Owl Award – 22nd May (dir. Koen Mortier, Belgium, 2010).
The Golden Owl Jury, consisting of Laurence Boyce, Renata Clark and Tony Jones, is proud to present the Golden Owl Award to 22nd May (dir. Koen Mortier, Belgium, 2010).
The Golden Owl Jury said:
“The film is a powerful and evocative tale of guilt and redemption told through the eyes of a security guard who blames himself for not preventing a bombing. Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, Mortier mixes stark realism with pop video aesthetics to create a unique and intense film.
The jury believes that the film – and others in the Golden Owl Award – deserves a chance at UK distribution and would urge distributors to make sure they get to see 22nd May and many of the other challenging and thought provoking films in competition”
The Méliès d’Argent
Leeds International Film Festival is the UK representative of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, and as such holds its Méliès d’Argent competition in the UK for feature and short fantastic films. The Méliès Jury, consisting of Sarah Crowther, Dr. Karen Oughton, and Dr. Rebekah Smith, is proud to announce the following winners:
Méliès d’Argent (feature film Winner): The Divide (dir. Xavier Gens, Germany/USA/Canada, 2011)
Méliès d’Argent (feature film) Special Mention: Masks (dir. Andreas Marschall, Germany, 2011)
Méliès d’Argent (short film) Winner: Decapoda Shock (dir. Javier Chillón, Spain).
Méliès d’Argent (short film) Special Mention: Tommy (dir. Arnold du Parscau, France, 2011)
The Méliès Jury said:
“Gens’ film delivered a number of factors so often lacking in contemporary horror; intelligent and multi-layered narrative, visually stunning, symbolic imagery and brave, outstanding performances. The standard of the short films in competition was very high and the jury were divided. However, Decapoda Shock was very creative and achieved a lot in a short space of time – hilarious storytelling, strong pastiche techniques, multi-media visualisation and displayed a passion for the genre.”
Both The Divide and Decapoda Shock will now go forward to compete for the coveted Méliès d’Or at Sitges International Festival of Fantastic Film in Spain in 2012.
The Augustin Awards(short film)
The Short Film City Jury, comprising of Ian Barrans, David Bunting, and Cheryl Grant announced the following winners in of the Augustin Awards in the Short Film City strand of the Film Festival:
World Animation: The Gloaming (dir. NoBrain, prod. Nicholas Schmerkin, France, 2010)
Louis le Prince International Short Film: Bear (dir. Nash Edgerton, Australia, 2011)
British Shorts: Grandmothers (dir. Afarin Eghbal, UK, 2011)
Yorkshire Short Film – (We are Poets) ‘I Come From…’ (dirs. Alex Ramseyer-Bache, Daniel Lucchesi, UK, 2011).
The announcements come as Leeds received news that it has been accepted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles as qualifying festival in the Academy Awards® category of Short Film. Starting with 2012’s 26th Leeds International Film Festival, the winners of the annual World Animation and Louis Le Prince International Short Film awards at the Film Festival will be considered by the Academy voters in the Academy Awards® categories of Live Action Short Film and Animated Short Film of the from the 2013 Oscars®onwards.
Submissions for the 26th Leeds International Film Festival will open in January 2012.