US title Ed Gein, directed by Chuck Parello, walked away the big winner on Saturday from the International Film Festival of Catalunya, better known as Sitges (October 5-14).
The horror film about the real-life serial killer who inspired films such as Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Silence Of The Lambs took home the best film and best actor (for Steve Railsback) awards in the festival's traditional Fantastic section.
Geoffrey Wright's best director prize for US teen slasher satire Cherry Falls was more polemical, with at least one local commentator calling the award "objectionable". Japanese film Himitsu won best actress for Ryoko Hirosue and best screenplay for Hiroshi Saito. The much-anticipated first film out of Filmax's Fantastic Factory, Brian Yuzna's Faust, took home a best visual effects award for artists Screaming Mad George and Poli Cantero.
In the parallel competitive section for non-fantastic films, dubbed Gran Angular, Tim Robbins walked away with the best film award as well as the newly created best director nod for 1930's-set Cradle Will Rock. New best actor and actress awards for the section went to Willem Dafoe for Steve Buscemi's Animal Factory and Mercedes Sampietro for Nosotras.
This year's 33rd edition of Sitges, presided over by festival director Roc Villas, opened with Mary Harron's American Psycho, starring Christian Bale, and closed with the Bilbao-based Ibarretxe Brothers' English-language comedy Sabotage, starring Stephen Fry and David Suchet.