Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers picks up two awards, including Best Actress for Alice Lowe, while Jennifer Lynch’s Chained wins Special Jury Award.

Leos Carax’s Holy Motors [pictured] was the big winner at the 45th Sitges Film Festival, also known as International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, which ran Oct 4-14.

The film won four awards including the best in competition fantastic feature film and best director for Carax. It also received the José Luis Guarner critics’ award and the Silver Meliès award which will see it compete for the Méliès d’Or along with Silver Meliès award winners from other genre festivals in Europe.

Holy Motors will open in Spain on Nov 16 and will be distributed by Avalon. It portrays the different lives of Oscar (Denis Lavant) through history as a family chief, homeless and assassin among others. Local critics have strongly praised the cinematic skills and originality of the film creating a big buzz in social networks. 

Ben Wheatley’s black comedy Sightseers also picked up two awards with Alice Lowe winning best actress and Lowe, co-star Steve Oram and Amy Jump winning best screenplay.

Jennifer Lynch received the Special Jury Award for Chained, a psychological horror about a serial killer (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) who kidnaps and chains people in his house, with D’Onofrio also winning best actor. Lynch previously won at Sitges for Surveillance in 2008.

Chankit Chamnivikaipong sccoped best cinematography for Headshot, a Thai feature directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang about an honest cop who is forced to commit crime.

Best special effects went to Hong Kong and China production The Viral Factor, directed by Dante Lam. 

Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio received a special mention in the critics’ awards, with Brandon Cronenberg scooping best debut director for Antiviral.

The jury of Sitges Film Festival consisted of Spanish director Judith Colell, actress Denise Crosby, director and producer Lamberto Bava, director Nacho Cerdá and director and producer William Lustig. 

The Great Audience Appreciation Award was awarded to Robot & Frank, by Jake Schreider, about the relationship between an old man and his robot butler. 

Canada’s official Oscar entry, Kim Nguyen’s War Witch (Rebelle) about a traumatised 14 year old girl in Sub-Saharian Africa, won the top award in the Noves Visions section, parallel to the official selection.

For the full list of winners, visit Sitges’ website.