The 11th annual FantasticFilm Festival of Gerardmer drew to a close Sunday night with A Tale Of TwoSisters taking the Grand Jury Prize.
The South Korean film by KimJee Woon is a psychological thriller set in a very dysfunctional family thatwas roundly considered the most terrifying of all eight competition filmsdespite its sometimes confusing storyline. The main jury, headed up by Dutchdirector Paul Verhoeven also awarded a Jury Prize to Takeshi Miike's musical TheHappiness Of The Katakuris.
In a new section, Anim'Arts,South Korean animated feature Wonderful Days was awarded the top prize. That film is aninnovative apocalyptic western with characters shot in 2D and backgrounds in3D. Both the international critcs' prize and the Premiere magazine prize wentto ContentFilm's Love Object, afirst effort from US director Robert Parigi about a man and his mail order blow up doll. Ajury made up of high school students chose A Tale Of Two Sisters for its trophy.
The general consensus ofcritics, professionals and audience members was that this year's selection wasa far weaker one than in previous festival editions.
Two films in the maincompetition dated back to 2001 - The Happiness Of The Katakuris and Brad Anderson's Session 9 - while the Asian films in the mix were often tooformulaic and familiar and some would have been better off as made for TVmovies. The poor selection was explained as a result of scheduling difficultiesand a dearth of available films.
Still, star sightings andskiing were de rigeur during the 5 day event with the highlight an homage toveteran actor Christopher Lee and the closing night premiere of PJ Hogan's PeterPan.