Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block also awarded; Jaume Balagueró’s Sleep Tight builds buzz at the genre festival.

The 44th edition of Sitges, the International Fantasic Film Festival of Catalonia, gave its top prize to Kevin Smith’s Red State, which the jury called “a shocking portrait of today’s American society that reflects the manners, style and even humour of its author.”

Michael Parks (who also won the prize as best actor), Melissa Leo and John Goodman star the film about a brutal police assault on a community of radical Christians. President of the jury, director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), noted that it is “an uncomfortable film to see. We hope that this prize helps its distribution in Spain” [as of yet the film has no Spanish distribution deal; Smith is touring with the film in the US.]

The UK’s Attack the Block was also a hit, as Joe Cornish’s debut feature won the special jury prize, the critics award and the audience award. The film is about teenagers defending their South London housing estate from an alien invasion.

Other Sitges prizes went to Brit Marling as best actress for Another Earth; best director Na Hong-jin for The Yellow Sea; and best visual effects for Eva

Stirring the most festival buzz was out of competition tile Sleep Tight (Mientras duermes), from REC director Jaume Balagueró. The thriller is about a building concierge spying on a young woman who lives in his building. Luis Tosar and Marta Etura star; the film is already a box-office hit in Spain, going straight to the second position at the box office this weekend, taking $1.17m (€850.000).