One of South America’s coolest film festivals celebrated its sixteenth edition of Fantaspoa with trailblazing innovation during the coronavirus pandemic and announced this year’s award winners.  This was the first-ever online edition, with free access to all festival content in Brazil. In total, 138 films were exhibited: 49 features and 89 shorts from over 40 countries. The massive virtual event took place from July 24th until August 2nd on the Brazilian streaming platform, Darfklix, and the festival presented two masterclasses along with 21 Q&A’s with filmmakers from around the globe. While festival directors and producers João Fleck and Nicolas Tonsho, pointed to this season as the most challenging edition of the festival it still enjoyed a phenomenal year.

The interesting thing about this year is that after nine years of being funded, Fantaspoa received no outside sponsorship for its 2020 edition, forcing its expenses to be covered by a mix of self-investment and crowdfunding. However, in spite of this harsh scenario, having a free online festival resulted in the largest audience in its sixteen-year history: with a record-breaking 67,000 virtual attendees in Brazil.

LONG LIVE GENRE CINEMA!

The career achievement award of the festival’s 2020 edition was presented to Ugandan filmmaker, IGG Nabwana and his studio, Wakaliwood, which has achieved worldwide fame for its unique, ultra-low budget action films, made with limitless heart, creativity and, humor – and featuring a good portion of the community of Wakaliga, a slum in Kampala, Uganda.

Fantaspoa 2020’s winners are as follows:

Short Films
(Critics’ Award Jury members – Juliana Costa, Roger Lerina, and Rodrigo de Oliveira)

Official Awards:
Best Brazilian Short Film: As Viajantes (Davi Mello)
Best International Animated Short Film: And Then The Bear (Agnès Patron)
Best International Live Short Film: Lili (Yfke van Berckelaer)
Honorable Mention:

O Evangelho Segundo Tauba e Primal (Márcia Deretti and Márcio Junior) – “For its inventiveness and experimental immersion concept.”

Ibero-American Competition
(Jury members – Getro Guimarães, William Mansque, and Dane Taranha)

Official Awards:
Best Actor: Samir Hauaji (Cabrito, directed by Luciano de Azevedo)
Best Actress: Valeria Giorcelli (Rock, Papers and Scissors)
Best Screenplay: Macarena García Lenz and Martín Blousson (Rock, Paper and Scissors)
Best Direction: Macarena García Lenz and Martín Blousson (Rock, Paper and Scissors)
Best Feature: Rock, Paper and Scissors (Macarena García Lenz and Martín Blousson)

Honorable Mention:
Diablo Rojo PTY (Sol Moreno and J. Oskura Nájera) – “For being truly fantastic. It’s a fun, pioneering work that is also a great encouragement for genre production in Panama.”

International Competition
(Jury members – Kapel Furman, Samuel Galli, and Fernando Sanches)

Official Awards:
Best Actor: Garry Green (Fried Barry)
Best Actress: Adriana Matoshi (Zana)
Best Digital Special Effects: The Wanting Mare (Nicholas Ashe Bateman)
Best Art Direction: Stranger (Dmitriy Tomashpolskiy)
Best Screenplay: Avi Heikkinen (Gone)
Best Direction: Jordan Graham (Sator)
Best Film: Comrade Drakulich (Márk Bodzsár)

Honorable Mentions
Butt Boy, Tyler Cornack: Best representation of hell
The Berlin Bride, Michael Bartlett: Best edition
Being Natural, Tadashi Nagayama: Best diegetic bongo music in film

Audience Award
(Jury members – Andrew Fagundes, Patty Fang, André LDC, Carolina Müller Moreira, Dedé Rei, and Wender Zanon)
Best National Short Film: Caranguejo Rei (Enock Carvalho and Matheus Farias)
Best International Animated Short Film: Rebooted (Michael Shanks)
Best International Live Action Short Film: Logan Lee & The Rise of Purple Dawn (Raymond C. Lai)
Best Feature Film: Two Heads Creek (Jesse O’Brien)