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Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt

The 26th Leeds International Film Festival ended on Sunday November 18th, after 18 days packed with 270 screenings and events, and an audience of 35,000. The Hunt was voted by Leeds 2012 audiences as overall favorite from 140 feature films, and a record 14,196 completed votes were cast. 

The film is described by the festival as Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s best film since Festen, The Hunt is a gripping, provocative and devastating drama about a respected member of a close-knit Danish community whose life is destroyed when a young girl accuses him, falsely, of abuse. Winner of Best Actor in Cannes, Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a 40-year-old, good-natured primary school teacher who is recently divorced and trying to rebuild his relationship with his son. Once the accusation is made, Lucas is deemed guilty by the community-turned-mob, ostracized, and hunted by his former friends and neighbors.

Other winners include: 

THE LEEDS 2012 MÉLIÈS D’ARGENT WINNERS

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 fantasy film. The Méliès d’Argent Jury consisted of Dr Patricia MacCormack, Dominic Brunt and Dave Bryan and announced the following winners:

Best European Fantasy Feature Film

Winner: Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal (Dir. Boris Rodriguez, Denmark/Canada, 2011)

Special Mentions: Sightseers (Dir. Ben Wheatley, UK, 2012) + Thale (Dir. Aleksander L Nordaas, Norway, 2012)

Best European Fantasy Short Film

Winner: The Fright (El Espanto) (Dir. J.J. Marcos, Spain, 2012)

Special Mentions: Blinky (Dir. Ruairi Robinson, Ireland / USA, 2011) + Photo (Dir. J Enrique Sanchez, Spain, 2011)

The Méliès d’Argent Jury said:

“Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal pipped the others to the post by virtue of its sheer charm and, in the grand traditions of ‘anti-hero’, introduces a character with whom you are happy to invest your emotion and time into. The movie perfectly balances that very difficult task of mixing horror and dark comedy and as such will have appeal to a wide variety of genre fans. Expertly crafted by first time feature director Boris Rodriguez, the movie is well paced with great characterization and a climax which will give even the most hardened horror fan that sense of sentimental satisfaction that is so often missed.”

Both Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal and The Fright will now go forward to compete for the coveted Méliès d’Or at Sitges International Festival of Fantastic Film in Spain in 2013.

THE LEEDS 2012 SHORT FILM CITY WINNERS

The International Short Film Jury, judging the Louis le Prince International Short Film Competition and World Animation Award, consisted of Jacqueline Chell (UK), Wannes Destoop (Belgium), Marlena Lukasiak (Poland), Mike McKenny (UK), and Erik Rosenlund (Sweden).

Louis le Prince International Short Film Competition 2012

Winner: Mon Amoureux (My Sweetheart) (Dir. Daniel Metge, France)

Special Mentions: The Return (Kthimi) (Dir. Blerta Zeqiri, Kosovo) + Frozen Stories (Dir. Grzegorz Jaroszuk, Poland)

The International Short Film Jury said of the Winner:
“The jury was blown away by the emotional force of this subtle but impactful film. With skilled and beautifully observed performances that enhance a stunning, perfectly paced script, Mon Amoureuxstood out as a deeply personal story – but one of social value that is too rarely told and shared with audiences.” 

World Animation Award 2012

Winner: The Pub (Dir. Joseph Pierce, UK)

Special Mention: Body Memory (Dir. Ülo Pikkov, Estonia)

The International Short Film Jury said of the Winner:

“The jury was unanimous in its praise of this film. The Pub manages to seamlessly combine form and narrative, making excellent use of very distinctive rotascope animation – accentuating and exacerbating the character traits of the many familiar faces of ‘the pub’. Capturing a sincere and earnest slice of life, the film manages to be grotesque and beautiful, repulsive yet captivating – all the while being completely recognisable and grounded in reality.”

The National Short Film Jury, judging the British Short Film Competition and Yorkshire Short Film Competition, consisted of David Lilley, Kathryn Penny and Alex Ramseyer-Bache.

British Short Film Competition 2012

Winner: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared by Joseph Pelling and Becky Sloan) 
Special Mentions: Worm (by Bert & Bertie) + Dylan’s Room (by Layke Anderson)

The National Short Film Jury said of the Winner:

“The judges felt this was truly different film and an assault on the senses. As soon as the audience has made a judgement on the film the rug is pulled out from under their feet! A brilliant combination of darkness and levity. Wonderfully acted, puppeteered and animated. The judges couldn’t wait to see the film again and look forward to seeing more from these directors.”

Yorkshire Short Film Competition 2012

Winner: The Farmer’s Wife (by Francis Lee)
Special Mention: Kiss (by Cathy Brady)

The Natonal Short Film Jury said of the Winner:
“This was a clear winner for the judges. A fantastic central performance and a poignant journey for the central character. Wonderful contrasts of rugged and delicate. A stylish and dignified film which tackled a sad story against a bleak backdrop without being at all depressing.”

The 27th Leeds International Film Festival will run from 8th to 22nd November 2013.

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