A true festival type film at heart, ‘Red State’ is Kevin Smith going back to his indie roots. It’s gritty, angry, and made with independent spirit. My love of the film is well known, and it’s great to see it get a boost by winning Best Picture and Actor at the Sitges Film Festival ahead of its DVD release next week after a successful limited theatrical run. Here’s the story and full listing of winning films and performers from Variety:
Horror-thriller “Red State,” helmed by Kevin Smith (“Clerks”), took film and actor (Michael Parks) at the 44th Sitges Festival, Europe’s biggest genre pic confab, which wrapped Saturday.
Toplining Parks, John Goodman and Melissa Leo, “State” turns on a group of religious fundamentalists determined to eradicate American teens’ sex-drive.
World-preeming at Sundance, and distributed Stateside by Smith himself under his Smodcast Pictures banner, “State” is sold internationally by IM Global.
Meanwhile, the Studiocanal-sold “Attack the Block”, a South London-set alien invasion spoof, scooped no less than four plaudits at Sitges: Special Jury Prize, the coveted Audience Award, Critics’ Prize and soundtrack.
Its first-time writer-helmer, Joe Cornish, said at Sitges that he has all the material he needs for his next project: All he has to do is to sit down and write the screenplay. Production-distribution house Avalon releases “Block” in Spain Dec. 7.
Sitges’ actress award went to Brit Marling in Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth,” a Sundance Fox Searchlight pick-up that enjoyed a warm audience and critical response at the Catalan fest.
A large Spanish genre Armada – “Emergo,” “Blind Alley,” “Eva,” “Juan of the Dead” – landed at Sitges playing to large applause and one key plaudit: best f/x to Kike Maillo’s Sitges opener “Eva,” Spain’s first robot pic.
Sitges ticket sales rose 5% to 65,000 with “Block,” Nacho Vigalondo’s “Extraterrestrial” y Jaume Balaguero’s “Sleep Tight,” which played out-of-competition, proving the biggest draws.
“Eva,” Benedek Fliegauf’s “Womb” and “Tight” were among the most buzzed-about fest pics, while Juan Andre Ovredal’s mockumentary “Troll Hunter” and Juan Martinez Moreno’s “Games of Werewolves” and Alejandro Brugues’ “Juan of the Dead” spoofs raised guffaws from Sitges auds.
“Tight” opened Friday in Spain nabbing around a solid Euros180,000 ($245,000) off 230 screens.
Spain’s genre boom is attracting ever-more interest abroad. Talent scouts at this year’s fest included Marc Helwig (ICM), David Flynn and Jason Burns (UTA), and Abram Nalibotsky (The Gersh Agency).
Fest runs Oct. 6-16, with Matthijs van Heijningen’s “The Thing” playing at its Saturday prize gala.
And the winners are:
FANTASTIC COMPETITION – SITGES 44
“Red State” (Kevin Smith, U.S.)
Na Hong-jin (“The Yellow Sea”)
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
“Attack the Block” (Joe Cornish, U.K.)
Michael Parks (“Red State”)
Brit Marling (“Another Earth,” U.S.)
Lucky Mckee and Jack Ketchum (“The Woman,” U.S.)
Markus Forderer and Tim Fehlbaum (“Hell,” Germany)
Marc Thiebault (“Livide,” France)
MAKE UP F/X
Steven Kostanski (“The Divide,” Germany, Canada, U.S.)
Lluis Castells and Javier Garcia (“Eva,” Spain)
Steven Price (“Attack the Block,” U.K.)
FANTASTIC ORBITA AWARD
“Guilty of Romance” (Sion Sono, Japan)
YOUTH JURY AWARD
“Bellflower,” (Evan Glodell, U.S.)
CASA ASIA AWARD
“The Unjust” (Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea)
ANIMAT GERTIE FILM AWARD
“Tatsumi,” (Eric Khoo, Singapore, Indonesia)
GOLDEN MELIES, EUROPEAN PICTURE
“The Last Circus,” (Alex de la Iglesia, Spain, France)
SILVER MELIES, EUROPEAN PICTURE
“Kill List” (Ben Wheatley, U.K.)
Ex a quo: “Dirty Silverware” (Steve Daniels, U.S.) and
“The Unliving,” (Hugo Lilja, Sweden)
NEW VISIONS AWARD
“Night Fishing” (Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong, South Korea)
PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA AUDIENCE AWARD
“Attack the Block”
JOSE LUIS GUARNER CRITICS’ AWARD
“Attack the Block”
CITIZEN KANE AWARD TO AN UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR
“El Paramo” (Jaime Osorio, Argentina, Colombia, Spain), and
“Hard Labor” (Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, Brazil)
Congrats to Smith and the film! Discuss it on the Forum!