The winners of the Méliès d’argent at Imagine Film Festival 2021

Censor and History of the Occult Win at Imagine

On the closing night of the 37th Imagine Film Festival, the festival presented its awards. The Black Tulip Award was for the Argentinian History of the Occult. The Méliès d’argent for best European film went to Censor (feature film) and Heart of Gold (short film). The Imagine Pitch Award went to the series project hAPPiness, by screenwriter/director Asher Medina and producer Julia Rombout.The festival continues until Sunday.

The jury for the Black Tulip Award for best film consisted of writer and columnist Carmen Felix, journalist Omar Larabi and composer Ella van der Woude. The jury selected the Argentinian film History of the Occult (Historia de la Oculto) by Cristian Ponce. From the jury report:

“Small but formidable debut that provides an insight into a large repressive world. The talented director links spine-chilling witchcraft to state corruption, in a story in which the characters have to move heaven and earth under time pressure, set in an almost timeless, surrealistic world that reverberates in the sinister score.”

The Méliès d’argent is awarded to the best European feature and short films, on behalf of the Méliès International Festivals Federation (MIFF). The jury for feature films, consisting of journalist Ard Vijn, filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen jr. and Tom Ooms, head programming at LAB111, chose Censor by British director Prano Bailey-Bond. From the jury report:

“CENSOR is very well made, and very well acted, and can be appreciated for that alone. But [for fans of horror] the film also contains a veritable treasure trove of references and Easter eggs. All members of the jury are looking forward to seeing what director Prano Bailey-Bond will do next.”

The jury for the Méliès d’argent for short films, consisting of dramaturge and script editor Gwyneth Sleutel, director Jan Verdijk and DoP Aziz Al-Dilaimi, gave the award to Heart of Gold (Un Coeur d’or) by French director Simon Fillion. From the jury report:

“Heart of Gold is both a feast for the eyes and a harrowing, socially urgent film. With its underlying theme of class differences, the film confronts the viewer witch questions like: to whom does the body belong and is everything for sale? Heart of Gold has layered characters and a clear structure, with a climax that will stay with you for a long time.”

Imagine’s annual pitch competition was imbedded in the Imagine Project Platform this year, a greatly expanded programme in which the selected projects were offered a tailor-made trajectory. The jury of the pitch competition consisted this year of sales agent Caroline Couret-Delegue (Film Seekers, London) and Gabrielle Rozing (Fortissimo, Amsterdam, and festival programmer Evrim Ersoy (Beyond Fest LA, Motel X Lissabon). The award for best pitch went to the series project hAPPiness, by screenwriter/director Ashar Medina and producer Julia Rombout. From the jury report:

“hAPPIness combines a timely and relevant exploration of the pitfalls of technology with the visually arresting and universally appealing world of fairy tales in a well-shot, engaging format that is bound to thrill and chill audiences in equal measure.”

About Imagine Film Festival

Imagine is the largest film festival for fantastic film in The Netherlands, bringing you the best that fantasy, horror and science fiction have to offer. Imagine is all about the imagination, being guided into other worlds or altering your view on our own world. Imagine uses the power of the imagination for thought experiments on the future of humanity and society, often in the light of technological innovations or scientific developments. Additionally, Imagine examines new ways to experience fantastic stories, like virtual reality or fantastic games. Besides a sharp focus on the present and future of the fantastic, we also honour its rich history. We identify new talent, present new work from established makers and show classics and forgotten gems. The festival offers backgrounds, history and context and links fantastic film to social developments with in-depth programmes. With its 36-year history and its extensive network, Imagine acts as both curator and guide for newcomers as well as die-hard genre fans. For more information, please visit htpps://www.imaginefilmfestival.nl

[Press Release]