‘CONCRETE UTOPIA’, UNIVERSITY OF MALAGA AWARD FOR THE BEST FEATURE FILM OF THE 33rd EDITION OF FANCINE
Gnomes and Sandwich Cat won the short film competition in the categories of live-action and animation respectively
The 33rd edition of Fancine comes to an end today completing the podium of winners of this anniversary. The South Korean production Concrete Utopia, by director Um Tae-Hwa, has been awarded the University of Malaga prize for the best feature film, according to the ruling of the official jury, composed of festival programmer Annick Mahnert, film critic Carlos Aguilar, and production director Melina Frías. The film, very much in line with this year’s theme dedicated to homes, recreates a Seoul devastated after an earthquake in which only one building remains standing, where its residents are barricaded trying to prevent anyone else from accessing it. But, in addition to the 9,000 euros of the award, this story of catastrophes that proposes a reflection on the value of homes has managed to conquer two more categories of the awards: the recognition of the best director for Um Tae-hwa and best special effects.
Along with the great winner of this edition, the Spanish film stands out in the verdict of the evaluation committee La Espera (The Wait), which puts the national stamp on the winners with two statuettes: Best Actor for Victor Clavijo and Best Cinematography for the work of Michelangelo Mora in this thriller of dust and blood. The award for best actress has been granted to Jung Yu-mi, the lead role of Sleep, also Korean, while the rest of the honorary prizes are distributed by three Francophone tapes: Mars Express, the only animated film in the Official Section, has found its place on the podium getting the best editing; Vincent must die gets the ‘kitty’ to the best soundtrack and The Beast has received the award to the best screenplay, written by its director Bertrand Bonello along with Guillaume Bréaud and Benjamin Charbit.
The awards are completed with the titles selected from the short films in competition in this 33 Fancine, made by the young jury. The committee, formed by five students from the University of Malaga, has decided to give the highest prizes to two humorous films: in the category of Live Action, endowed with 3,000 euros, to the funny Gnomes, by the Dutch filmmaker Ruwan Heggelman, who presents these mythological beings as organized criminals capable of devising sophisticated traps to get their victims. In animation, the winning piece has been Sandwich Cat, a short Spanish film directed by David Fidalgo that is rewarded with the same amount of money for his crazy proposal about aliens, innocent felines, and the future of humanity at stake. In addition, the jury has given the RC Service award to the best cinematography, with a loan of 1,500 euros to invest in digital cinema camera rental, to Drifting, a project by Swiss director Marion Reymond. The consensus of this group of students has also granted the Silver Méliès award to the German production The Last Bar, made by Arne Hain, who will represent Fancine at the Méliès de Oro awards for the best fantastic European short film.
The list of winners also includes the awards that the attendees of the Fancine sessions have awarded with their votes throughout these days. This way, the audience has determined with their scores that the film that takes the 1,000 euros of the audience award will be La Espera, reclaiming its spot for Spanish cinema as in the previous anniversary. And this is not the only national representative with a place in this popular section: it has also been awarded for the highest accumulation of public votes in the competition of short films the production Alicia, by Tony Morales, from Malaga, was chosen in the category of live action. The stop-motion tape Skinned has joined the abovementioned production as the favorite in the animation modality. Both pieces will get a financial reward of 500 euros each.
Finally, the Gato Rabioso Award, a symbolic award given by the accredited Fancine press, has been for Sleep, which takes a double win. This verdict breaks the trend the public and critics’ opinions had been aligned for four consecutive editions, except for this year.
The reading of the judgment was made public at the closing gala that was held at 8 p.m. this Thursday, November 16 in room 1 of the Albéniz Cinema. The ceremony, hosted by the actor from Malaga Miguel Ángel Martín, known on social media as Tú no mandas, has ended with the screening of We Are Zombies, directed by the trio of Canadian creators François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, which definitively turned off the Fancine projector this 2023. The ceremony, characterized by a festive and humorous tone, has had the participation of the android Max Nitrofoska.