2024 ICS Award Winners

Close Your Eyes Rides a Torrent of ICS Love

Honoring films shown worldwide in 2023.

Spanish icon Víctor Erice took home best picture and best director honors at the 21st ICS Awards for his multi-layered masterpiece Close Your Eyes. It begins with a film-within-a-film, interrupted by the sudden disappearance of its lead actor – causing major impacts on his young daughter and his director (Manolo Solo), who never manages to complete another film. Interwoven themes of presence and absence, time and memory, movie magic versus the wear and tear of daily life, resonate like plucked guitar strings on a quiet beach. This year Ana Torrent pulled off an unprecedented feat: runner-up in supporting actress for Close Your Eyes and winner for her equally memorable role as an adoptive mother in Foremost by Night. That film, exploring the drama and heartbreak of Spain’s ‘stolen children,’ also earned our debut picture award for director Víctor Iriarte.

The romantic fantasy All of Us Strangers claimed four well-deserved prizes in the acting and writing categories: lead actor Andrew Scott as a gay man finally coming to terms with his painful repression; supporting actor Jamie Bell as the ghostly, apologetic dad who failed to save him from bullying; the film’s entire otherworldly ensemble, including strong turns from Claire Foy and Paul Mescal; and writer-director Andrew Haigh for his lovingly crafted screenplay based on a novel by Taichi Yamada.

Anatomy of a Fall, competitive in many categories, ended up with three awards plus a runner-up tie for director Justine Triet. Dominating the best actress voting (and her filmic world), Sandra Hüller plays a woman whose talent cannot be leashed, but whose personal relationships are fraught with resentment, guilt and grief. The complex, twisty script by Triet and Arthur Harari took best original screenplay; while Laurent Sénéchal‘s expert cuts allowed the audience to feel gripped by tension and yet able to breathe with the characters, earning our best editing prize.

Like Erice, another master filmmaker in his eighties, Hayao Miyazaki chose to ruminate on cinematic world building and its consequences – as well as the echoes of grief – in The Boy and the Heron, our animated film winner. Renowned composer Joe Hisaishi claimed top honors for his evocative music, which underscored starving pelicans and newborn souls, a fascist parakeet regime and an ugly-graceful heron, in this astonishing hand-drawn world so much like our own.

Mesmerizing us from her first moment on screen – throughout all the driving and interviews and hilarious video commentary by Bobita, her vulgar alter ego – Ilinca Manolache was a true revelation in Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, and she has justly run away with the ICS award for best breakthrough performance. In addition, the always irreverent Radu Jude claimed the other half of our runner-up tie in best director.

Our cinematography prize went to Samsara – a transformational film about the soul’s journey toward reincarnation – gorgeously shot by Mauro Herce and Jessica Sarah Rinland in Laos and on the beaches of Zanzibar. The film also won best sound design for Xabier Erkizia and Luca Rullo‘s naturalistic, detailed soundscape. Production design kudos went to James Price and Shona Heath, who created the surreal world of Poor Things using miniatures, painted backdrops and rear screen projection to give the film a retro-futuristic look.

Finally, Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir topped our documentary category with The Mother of All Lies, ingeniously using handcrafted clay figurines to elicit stories and illustrate multiple points of view within her own family and in the wider history of her country.

The full list of ICS winners and nominees appears below.

01.  Close Your Eyes
02.  All of Us Strangers
03.  Anatomy of a Fall
04.  Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World
05.  Foremost by Night
06.  Tótem
07.  Samsara
08.  The Delinquents
09.  The Human Surge 3
10.  La Chimera
11.  The Zone of Interest
12.  Fallen Leaves
13.  May December
14.  Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell
15.  The Boy and the Heron
16.  Here
17.  Poor Things
18.  Killers of the Flower Moon
19.  Our Body
20.  Society of the Snow

Winner:  Víctor Erice – Close Your Eyes 
RU:  Radu Jude – Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World 
RU:  Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall 
• Lila Avilés – Tótem
• Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest 
• Andrew Haigh – All of Us Strangers

Winner:  Andrew Scott – All of Us Strangers
RU:  Manolo Solo – Close Your Eyes 
• Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
• Karim Leklou – Sons of Ramses
• Josh O’Connor – La Chimera 
• Koji Yakusho – Perfect Days

Winner:  Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall 
RU:  Teyana Taylor – A Thousand and One
• Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon 
• Ilinca Manolache – Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World 
• Alma Pöysti – Fallen Leaves 
• Emma Stone – Poor Things 

Winner:  Jamie Bell – All of Us Strangers 
RU:  José Coronado – Close Your Eyes 
• Mateo Garcia – Tótem
• Milo Machado Graner – Anatomy of a Fall 
• Charles Melton – May December 
• Ben Whishaw – Passages

Winner:  Ana Torrent – Foremost by Night
RU:  Ana Torrent – Close Your Eyes
• Claire Foy – All of Us Strangers 
• Julianne Moore – May December 
• Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers
• Catalina Saavedra – Rotting in the Sun

Winner:  All of Us Strangers 
RU:  Tótem
• Anatomy of a Fall 
• Asteroid City
• Close Your Eyes 
• Society of the Snow 

Winner:  Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet, Arthur Harari 
RU:  Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World – Radu Jude
• Afire – Christian Petzold
• Close Your Eyes – Víctor Erice, Michel Gaztambide
• May December – Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik 
• Monster – Yuji Sakamoto 
• Tótem – Lila Avilés

Winner:  All of Us Strangers – Andrew Haigh
RU:  The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer
• The Beast in the Jungle – Patric Chiha, Jihane Chouaib, Axelle Ropert 
• Killers of the Flower Moon – Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese
• Poor Things – Tony McNamara
• Society of the Snow – J.A. Bayona, Jaime Marques, Bernat Vilaplana, Nicolás Casariego

Winner:  Samsara – Mauro Herce, Jessica Sarah Rinland
RU:  Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell – Dinh Duy Hung
• All of Us Strangers – Jamie Ramsay
• Close Your Eyes – Valentín Álvarez
• La Chimera – Hélène Louvart
• The Zone of Interest – Lukasz Zal

Winner:  Anatomy of a Fall – Laurent Sénéchal
RU:  Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World – Catalin Cristutiu 
• All of Us Strangers – Jonathan Alberts
• Close Your Eyes – Ascen Marchena
• Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame
• Society of the Snow – Andrés Gil, Jaume Martí

Winner:  Poor Things – Shona Heath, James Price
RU:  Asteroid City – Adam Stockhausen, Kris Moran
• Barbie – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
• Close Your Eyes – Curru Garabal
• Foremost by Night – Katixa Silva, Izaskun Urkijo 
• Killers of the Flower Moon – Jack Fisk, Adam Willis

Winner:  The Boy and the Heron – Joe Hisaishi
RU:  A Thousand and One – Gary Gunn
• Disco Boy – Vitalic
• Killers of the Flower Moon – Robbie Robertson
• Monster – Ryuichi Sakamoto
• The Zone of Interest – Mica Levi

Winner:  Samsara – Xabier Erkizia, Luca Rullo
RU:  The Zone of Interest – Johnnie Burn, Tarn Willers
• All of Us Strangers – Joakim Sundström
• The Boy and the Heron – Koji Kasamatsu 
• Maestro – Richard King, Steve Morrow, Tom Ozanich, Jason Ruder, Dean Zupancic
• Oppenheimer – Richard King, Kevin O’Connell, Gary A. Rizzo, Willie Burton

Winner:  The Boy and the Heron – Hayao Miyazaki
RU:  Robot Dreams – Pablo Berger
• Chicken for Linda! – Sébastien Laudenbach, Chiara Malta
• Mars Express – Jérémie Périn
• Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
• Suzume – Makoto Shinkai

Winner:  The Mother of All Lies – Asmae El Moudir
RU:  Our Body – Claire Simon
• Bye Bye Tiberias – Lina Soualem
• Orlando, My Political Biography – Paul B. Preciado
• Pictures of Ghosts – Kleber Mendonça Filho
• Youth (Spring) – Wang Bing

Winner:  Foremost by Night – Víctor Iriarte
RU:  Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell – Pham Thien An 
• 20,000 Species of Bees – Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
• Chien de la casse – Jean-Baptiste Durand
• Past Lives – Celine Song
• Patagonia – Simone Bozzelli

Winner:  Ilinca Manolache – Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World 
RU:  Milo Machado Graner – Anatomy of a Fall 
• Charles Melton – May December 
• Sofía Otero – 20,000 Species of Bees
• Raphaël Quenard – Chien de la casse 
• Naíma Sentíes – Tótem
• Dominic Sessa – The Holdovers