Pascal Plante’s Red Rooms (Les Chambres Rouges), a French-language thriller about a woman’s obsession with a high-profile serial killer case, took top honors as the Fantasia Film Festival handed out its juried Cheval Noir competition prizes this weekend.
After opening Fantasia’s 27th edition, the Canadian psychological drama earned Cheval Noirs for best feature, best screenplay for Pascal Plante and best score for Dominique Plante. Red Rooms also earned lead Juliette Gariépy an outstanding performance award.
Red Rooms had an international premiere at Fantasia after debuting at Karlovy Vary as part of the Crystal Global competition. The Fantasia jury at North America’s largest genre film festival, led by David Hewlett, also gave its best director prize to Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping for Femme, while the trophy for best cinematography went to Zelda Adams and John Adams for their work on Where the Devil Roams.
In the acting categories, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett also earned the prize for outstanding performance for his role in Femme. Nicolas Cage, who was set to receive a Cheval Noir career achievement award for his four-decade run in Hollywood, canceled his trip to Canada due to the SAG-AFTRA strike as he was also to premiere his latest film, Sympathy for the Devil.
Sympathy for the Devil reunites Cage with director Yuval Adler, and the latter with Joel Kinnaman after The Secrets We Keep. Fantasia, which is set to run until Aug. 9, will close with We Are Zombies, from the Canadian cult film collective RKSS, led by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell. The film stars Megan Peta Hill, Alexandre Nachi and Derek Johns.