Fantastic Fest Hands Out Awards

Green Room takes top audience award, plus jury nods

"We're here for our prize. Now." Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room takes the Fantastic Fest audience award. (Image courtesy of Fantastic Fest)

As Fantastic Fest survivors nurse their hangovers or catch up on sleep deprivation, there's still more reason to celebrate. The genre film festival announced its audience and jury award winners last night, with Jeremy Saulnier's punks vs. neo-Nazis siege flick Green Room taking the crowd accolade.

The director's follow-up to the equally revolutionary revenge drama Blue Ruin was a buzz film throughout the festival (read our thumbs-up review here). However, the runner-up may seem a surprise – well, unless you saw it. The endlessly charming Liza the Fox Fairy, a tale of Hungarian romance and Japanese pop didn't have the same headlines as the winner, but received some of the best audience reactions of the entire festival.

Unlike previous Fantastic Fests, there was no actual award ceremony this year. However, the announcement still comes as an additional tribute to one filmmaker in particular. Polish director Marcin Wrona tragically committed suicide just before the festival, but his final picture, Demon, won the jury award for best horror feature.

The prizes aren't just about completed films. With the Fantastic Market/Mercado Fantastico, the festival supports works in progress, and this year Mexican supernatural insanity drama The Dump by Fernando Montes de Oca and Xavier Sánchez Mercado gets the big boost.

In addition to all the lauded films and directors, Robert Ha won the honorific of king of shakeyface, while local filmmaker Joe Nicolosi took the Fantastic Bumper prize (presented by SourceFed Nerd) for his take on The Jury. Now here's the full list of audience and jury winners:

Audience Award

Presented by Maxwell Locke & Ritter

1st Place: Green Room directed by Jeremy Saulnier
2nd Place: Liza the Fox Fairy directed by Károly Ujj Mészáros
3rd Place: Stand by for Tape Back-Up directed by Ross Sutherland

"Next Wave" Spotlight Competition

Presented By Dell Precision

Best Picture: Der Bunker directed by Nikias Chryssos
Best Director: Can Evrenol for Baskin (read our review here)

Fantastic Features

Best Picture: The Club
Best Director: Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman for Anomalisa (read our review here)

Horror Features

Best Picture: Demon (read our review here)
Best Director: Joe Begos for The Mind's Eye

Comedy Features

Best Picture: The Brand New Testament
Best Director: Anders Thomas Jensen for Men & Chicken

Documentary Features

Best Picture: Man vs. Snake
Best Director: Heath Cozens for Doglegs (read our interview with Cozens here)

Short Fuse - Horror Shorts

Best Picture: "Sister Hell"
Best Director: Ryan Spindell for "The Babysitter Murders"

Fantastic Shorts

Presented by Chiller

Best Picture: "Movies in Space"
Best Director: Jeremy David White for "Enhanced"

Shorts With Legs

Best Picture: "Trial Run"
Best Director: Alice Waddington for "Disco Inferno"

Fantastic Market Pitches

1st Place: The Dump by Fernando Montes de Oca and Xavier Sánchez Mercado
2nd Place: Paradise Hills by Alice Waddington
3rd Place: El Gigante by Gigi Saul Guerrero

Fantastic Arcade

Best in Show: Secret Legend developed by Andrew Shouldice
Audience Award Winner: Super Russian Roulette developed by Andrew Reitano

For more Fantastic Fest news, reviews, and interviews, follow all our updates at

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