Fantastic Fest Day 5

The annual Fantastic Fest film festival is taking place in Austin this week. It’s the largest genre-based film festival in the United States. We sent special correspondent Brennan Foster to hunt down the weirdest films, the coolest parties and the biggest star sightings he could find.

Winning a major award is said to be a nerve-wracking experience. At the Fantastic Fest, winning is more liver-wrecking. Each recipient must chug a stein full of beer before making an acceptance speech.

This year, two films swept the Fantastic Fest: Bullhead, a thriller exposing the underbelly of the Belgian cattle industry, won Best Picture, Director and Actor in the AMD & Dell “Next Wave” Spotlight Competition; and You're Next, about a family on retreat being besieged by animal-masked killers, won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay for Horror Features.

This was very exciting and un-sobering news for Bullhead’s genial director, Michael R. Roskam, and Simon Barrett, the screenwriter/producer for You're Next.

FANTASTIC AWARDS- Video credit Arts & Labor--Produced by Gates Bradley
"I can’t even remember what I said on stage," Roskam admitted. "I blacked out. What was I doing?" "Drinking beer until the end," he was assured.

Clown, one of my favorites (see previous blog), won Best Picture and Screenplay in the Gutbuster Comedy Features. Best Director went to Steffen Hars and Flip van der Kuil for another feature adapted from television, the mega-mega-mega idiotic New Kids Turbo.

The impeccably designed Milocrorze: A Love Story won Best Picture in the Fantastic Features category, while Noboru Iguchi took Best Director for an update of 70’s Japanese kid show (and the inspiration for "Transformers"), Karate Robo Zaborgar.

The Audience Award was given to Yoshihiro Nakamura’s family film, A Boy and his Samurai, about a time-traveling samurai who works to realizes his true talent lies in pastry making,

Belgium’s Bullhead and another Fantastic Fest feature, Brazil’s tremendous Elite Squad: The Enemy Within became their respective country’s official submission to the 84th Academy Awards® for Best Foreign Film.

After days of seeing more movies than I can logically process, I have yet to see many of these award winners--which gives me a lot to look forward to and makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with myself.

Bullhead director Michael Roskam takes a knee to finish his drink while AMD President Charlie Boswell, Extraterrestrial director Nacho Vigalondo, Tim League and Midori Inoue look on.