Melbourne directors Christopher Mitchell and Yoav Lester have taken home the Best Director gong in the Fantastic Shorts category of Fantastic Fest 2016 for their film, Iron Spyder.
Described as “A transfixing character portrait that compellingly blurs documentary and drama with a shade of comic book mythos as it poetically captures the mix of emotions a young wrestler experiences on fight night,” the film drew praise for its strong visual style and intricate editing. Behind the scenes were a formidable host of industry veterans, including director of photography Leigh Mackenzie (The Thin Red Line/Blood Diamond), sound designer Wayne Pashley (Mad Max: Fury Road/Lego Movie) and original score composers Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds/PJ Harvey) and Michael Lira (The Hunter/Wyrmwood).
“The response to our film has been overwhelming, we couldn’t have hoped for a better festival to host our world premiere,” said Lester.
“Fantastic Fest has an international reputation for the strong calibre and diversity of its programming and to screen alongside the likes of Tim Burton, Paul Schrader and Bruce Campbell is both an honour and a privilege,” said Mitchell.
Iron Spyder was not the only Australian project to win at the Austin, Texas festival, with Abe Forsythe’s racially-charged comedy Down Under picking up Best Picture and Best Director in the Comedy Features section, while Craig D. Foster’s werewolf short Overtime got a special mention in Short Fuse: Horror Shorts and Melbourne filmmaker Tim Egan’s Curve won Best Film and Best Director in the Short Fuse: Horror Shorts category.
Congratulations to all.