The Awakening wins the BIFFF's Golden Crow
by Aurore Engelen
18/04/2012 - The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) came to an end yesterday in Brussels, after 12 days of intense celebration. The festival’s Grand Prix, the Corbeau d’Or (lit. “Golden Crow”), was awarded to English director Nick Murphy for his first film The Awakening [trailer]. After the First World War, young academic and fervent sceptic Florence Cathcart tries to expose charlatans who take advantage of the pain of those in mourning. When the headmaster of a boarding school haunted by the ghost of a missing child asks her for help, she will have to face the supernatural world, despite her convictions that no such thing exists. Along the lines of other great ghost films (The Others, The Orphanage [trailer]), the film shines thanks to its actors, especially Rebecca Hall, nominated at the British Independent Film Awards for her role as Florence. The Corbeau d’Argent (lit. “Silver Crow”) went to Juan of the Dead [trailer] by Alejandro Brigues (Cuba/Spain), whose explosive cocktail of humour, haemoglobin, evisceration, sex, and very nasty zombies, all set in Cuba, delighted festival audiences.
As for the jury of the European competition, it chose to reward the phenomenal Iron Sky [trailer, film focus] by Finnish director Timo Vuorensola. For the latter, what started out as a silly joke (the Nazis are back, they were hiding on the moon!) ended up doing very well for itself. With a little buzz, a few parodied references, some crowdfunding, and a decent amount of funding from institutions, Iron Sky (Finland’s most expensive film to date) was eventually finished and even premiered at the Berlinale. At the BIFFF, the silly joke obviously worked on the jury too! The jury also gave a special mention to the Swiss romantic and surrealist comedy The Sandman [trailer] by Peter Luisi.
(Translated from French)