Kirill Sokolov’s Why Don’t You Just Die! has won a hat-trick of awards at Manchester horror festival Grimmfest, including best feature.

As well as the top prize, the dark comedy won best director for Sokolov and best SFX. It also received a special mention for cinematography and in the audience award category.

The team behind the Russian feature has been awarded £80,000 worth of post-production services from M2 MediaPost, which can be used as finance against a future film production.

The film, which marks Sokolov’s debut feature, is set in a single location – an apartment where a young man tries to kill his girlfriend’s detective father. It premiered at last year’s Tallinn Black Nights and Paris-based Reel Suspects picked up the title for international sales ahead of Cannes. It will be released by Arrow Films, under the Arrow Video label, in the UK, US and Canada in March 2020.

First work-in-progress prize
This year’s Grimmfest included the festival’s first work-in-progress award, which went to Paul Gerrard and Mike Clarke’s Karli. The duo will receive £20,000 worth of post-production funding from M2 MediaPost, plus an offer of international sales representation from Film Seekers and a year’s subscription to Screen International.

It marks the feature debut of co-director Gerrard, best known for his work as a concept artist on titles including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hellboy.

Other awards
Grimmfest’s audience award went to Irish horror-comedy Extra Ordinary, directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. The film, first seen at SXSW, also won best actress for Maeve Higgins and received a special mention in the best feature category.

Mariano Cohn’s Argentine action thriller 4×4 won best cinematography and best actor for Peter Lanzani.

Best screenplay was won by Rob Grant’s Harpoon, in which three friends find themselves stranded in the middle of the ocean. The film, which debuted at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), also secured special mentions for actor Munro Chambers, director Grant and in the best kill category.

In addition, the Horror Channel achievement in Horror Award went to twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, known for directing horror features including Dead Hooker In A Trunk, See No Evil 2 and American Mary.

The 11th edition of Grimmfest ran October 3-6. Submissions for the 12th edition will open in December through FilmFreeway.

Horror Channel Achievement in Horror Award
Jen and Sylvia Soska

Best Feature
Why Don’t You Just Die!
Special Mention: Extra Ordinary

Best Director
Kirill Sokolov, Why Don’t You Just Die!
Special Mention: Rob Grant (Harpoon)

Best Screenplay
Special Mention: A Serial Killer’s Guide To Life

Best Cinematography
Special Mention: Why Don’t You Just Die!

Best Score
Special Mention: Tone-Deaf

Best Actor
Peter Lanzani, 4×4
Special Mention: Munro Chambers (Harpoon)

Best Actress
Maeve Higgins, Extra Ordinary
Special Mention: Poppy Roe (A Serial Killer’s Guide To Life)

Best SFX
Why Don’t You Just Die!
Special Mentions: Blood Vessel / The Wretched

Best Kill
Satanic Panic
Special Mention: Harpoon

Best Scare
The Wretched
Special Mention: Blood Vessel

Best Short
Special Mention: How To Be Alone And Loom

The Audience Award
Extra Ordinary
Special Mentions: Little Monsters / Why Don’t You Just Die!