David Dastmalchian in 'Late Night With The Devil'.
Colin and Cameron Cairnes’ Late Night with the Devil won the best screenplay award at Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia earlier this week, while Nick Kozakis’ Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism took home the people’s choice award for the Panaroma section.
Late Night with the Devil, which premiered at SXSW earlier this year, stars David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy, the host of a late-night talk show that goes horribly wrong during a live broadcast in 1977, unleashing evil into the nation’s living rooms. Laura Gordon, Ian Bliss and Fayssal Bazzi also lead the cast, alongside Ingrid Torelli, Rhys Auteri, Josh Quong Tart, Christopher Kirby and Georgina Haig.
The film is produced by Future Pictures’ Mat Govoni and Adam White, John Molloy, Spooky Pictures’ Steven Schneider and Roy Lee, and Image Nation, with production support from VicScreen.
The Sitges award adds to a number of prizes for Late Night with the Devil, including audience awards at the Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans and Fantasia in Montreal. The film also has a fan in Stephen King, who tweeted back in March: “It’s absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t take my eyes off it”.
It is the second time a Cairnes’ brothers film has won a prize at the horror, sci-fi and fantasy fest, with their debut feature 100 Bloody Acres winning the Midnight X-Treme Award in 2013.
Colin tells IF it has long been a regret that they weren’t in attendance at Sitges back then, but notes “one of us had to go this time and I drew the long straw”; Cameron is in London to attend the film’s screening at BFI London Film Festival.
“Sitges is a joyous celebration of all things genre, from the hidden gems of decades past to new and innovative international voices. To be a part of that again – and to pick up another award – is a huge honour,” he says.
“The screenplay for LNWTD was a hard nut to crack but fortunately many very clever people have offered feedback and advice over the years. None were more helpful than Joel Anderson who himself made one of the great found footage films in Lake Mungo.
“Aussie horror has always punched above its weight, and now more than ever is doing its bit to keep the theatrical movie-going experience alive. It’s great to see so many strong local horror films connecting with audiences at festivals all around the world. Here’s hoping the momentum continues and we get to see more distinct Aussie genre films being made in the future. We seem to have a knack for them.”
Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism stars Georgia Eyers as Lara, a woman tormented and torn between science and faith. Pushed by her husband (Dan Ewing) to seek treatment from a congregation of zealots, a ruthless exorcist (Tim Pocock) will try to save her soul by putting an innocent woman through hell.
The indie film, made for less than $1 million, marks Kozakis’ first solo feature, working with writer Alexander Angliss-Wilson and producers Lauren Simpson, Timothy Whiting and Tony Coombs.
Other Australian films to play in Sitges this year include Matt Vesely’s Monolith and Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell’s You’ll Never Find Me, as well as Ricard Cusso and Tania Vincent’s Scarygirl in the kids strand. Shorts to screen included Jai Love’s Sugar Rag, Johanis Lyons-reid’s The Last Elephant on Earth and Eron Sheean’s The Shore.