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The Green Butchers win Melies d Or

« The Green Butchers » and « El tren de la bruja » win the Méliès d’Or for Best European Fantastic Film.

The 8th Méliès d’Or Ceremony for Best European Fantastic Film took place this Saturday, April 17th 2004 at the occasion of the 20th Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival. The Jury, presided by Dutch filmmaker Rudolf van den Berg, has awarded the Méliès d’Or for Best Fantastic Feature to « The Green Butchers » directed by Anders Thomas Jensen and the Méliès d’Or for Best Fantastic Short to « El tren de la bruja » directed by Koldo Serra.

The Méliès competition is organised under the umbrella of the European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals. 8 festival membres take part in the features competition and 11 participate to the short film competition. Each of these festivals organizes its own competition and awards a Méliès d’Argent. The Golden Méliès Jury then has to choose the two Best European Fantastic Films of the year among these 8 feature films and 11 shorts.

The features that participated to this 8th competition were :
Beyond Re-Animator (Brian Yuzna, Spain)
Deathwatch (Michael J. Bassett, United-Kingdom)
Fear Dot Com (William Malone, United-Kingdom/Germany/Luxemburg)
The Green Butchers (Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark)
Haute Tension (Alexandre Aja, France)
Killing Words (Laura Maña, Spain)
My Little Eye (Marc Evans, United-Kingdom/USA/France)
Tears of Kali (Andreas Marschall, Germany)

The jury declared to be « very proud that a film of this caliber can be honored with the Méliès d’Or for the Best European Fantastic Film ». « A picture whose premise seems at first sight unlikely, but the film manages to convince us to believe in it. It is clearly a European film in every aspect, whose script and dialog are very witty and humorous. On top of that, it has a great cast, splendid photography, a bizarre sense of lyricism, and an effective mise en scène. Without being emphatically philosophical, it has a sophisticated way of dealing with human nature. It speaks to us about self-esteem and the need to be loved, paradoxically by making us complicit in the act of killing people. »

The Green Butchers tells the story of two friends that strive to run their butchery. In order to cope with the competition of their former boss they feel forced to put a new product on the market : human meat. The film is Anders Thomas Jensen’s second feature, after Flickering Lights in 2000. Jensen is also the writer of some 20 scripts, among which Mifune’s Last Song (Dogme 3), Open Hearts (Dogme 28) and Lone Scherfig’s Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.

The Jury, composed of Lamberto Bava (Italy), Thierry Faber (Luxemburg), Pau Freixas (Spain), Cesar Nobrega (Portugal), Martin Persson (Sweden), Johanna Sinisalo (Finland) and Marc-Henri Wajnberg (Belgium), has also awarded a Méliès d’Or to one of the 11 short films in Competition. This award went to the film of Spanish director Koldo Serra, « El tren de la bruja » (The House of Terror).

« The film that we chose to receive the Méliès d’Or managed to create a great atmosphere, casted good actors and showed excellent directing skills. The film also gives the spectator the sensation that we all are under the influence of higher powers. For all these reasons this film is a great example of what can be achieved in the fantastic genre, which is too often mistaken for gory teenage slasher films. »

El Tren de la Bruja is about a man, used as a subject in an experiment on fear, and who is mentally tortured by the scientists who run the experiment.

The nominated films for the Méliès d’Or for Best European Fantastic Short Film were I’ll See You In My Dreams (Miguel Angel Vivas, Portugal), El tren de la bruja (Koldo Serra, Spain), Space Off (Tino Franco, Italy), Tag 26 (Andreas Samland, Germany), Kala (Jonathan Davies, Finland), Nosferatu Tango (Zoltan Horvath, Switzerland), Roadkill (Jeroen Annokkee, The Netherlands), My Bearded Mother (Maria Hedman, Sweden), Loups (Hugo Veludo, Switzerland), CULPiiX (Sébastien Marqué, France), R.I.P. (Jan Doense, The Netherlands).

The 9th Golden Méliès Ceremony will take place in Rome in June 2005.

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