Audience Picks Tokyo Godfathers at Sitges

The 36th edition of the Sitges Int’l Film Festival of Catalonia, Spain saw two awards go to Tokyo Godfathers, the latest animated feature form celebrated director Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress). The film received the Audience Award and Special Mention from the Jury of the Orient Express Award for the Asian Film section, where the live-action Ong-bak: Muay Thai Warrior by Prachya Pinkaew took top honors. Held from Nov. 27 through Dec. 7, the festival caters mostly to the horror, science-fiction and fantasy genres.

Scheduled for U.S. release January 16, 2004 by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films, Tokyo Godfathers tells the story of three homeless people who accidentally find a baby girl in a garbage dump and embark on an odyssey to return the child home. Animated by Madhouse, the story of redemption recently made the short list for Academy Award consideration in the Best Animated Feature category, where it is competing with Kon’s other critically acclaimed work, Millennium Actress, which won the 2001 Orient Express Award at Sitges.

This year’s Sitges Festival attracted 150,000 spectators, 250 feature films, 350 short films, and 117 million television viewers. The animation section of the festival, "Anima’t," enjoyed its 10th anniversary this year.

Adam Elliot’s Harvie Krumpet, which is screening at Sundance in January, took the Audience Award in the Animated Short Film category, while Best Animated Short went to Jordi Moragues’s Mantis. Michael Haneke’s Le temps du loup (The Time of the Wolf) was honored with the José Luís Guarner Critics’ Choice Award and The Uninvited garnered a Citizen Kane New Director win for Lee Soo-yeon.