River by Junta Yamaguchi wins the 2023 Night Visions Audience Award

The Autumn 2023 edition of Scandinavia’s number one festival focusing on – but not limited to – genre cinema wrapped up under lucky stars on Sunday, November 19, at Kinopalatsi cinema in Helsinki, Finland.

In the Audience Award vote, the winner was Junta Yamaguchi’s time travel comedy River (Ribâ, nagarenaide yo, Japan 2023). This marks the first time ever in the history of the Night Visions Audience Award vote, launched at the Autumn edition of the festival in 2008, that the award goes to the same director for the second time. Yamaguchi scored the number one spot also with his first feature Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Dorosute no hate de bokura, Japan 2020) at the Autumn 2021 edition of the festival.

The first runner up in the Audience Award vote was Kristoffer Borgli’s black comedy Dream Scenario (USA 2023), featuring a sensational lead performance by the one and only Nicolas Cage. The second runner up emerges from the festival’s home turf. ChristerCHRZULindström’s first feature Carlotta Moore and Me (Finland 2023) is a docufiction digging into the complex relationship of director-screenwriter CHRZU and his American lead actress Carlotta Moore.

Out of the feature lenght documentaries in the Official Selection of this edition of the festival, Mancunian Man: The Legendary Life of Cliff Twemlow (UK 2023) by Jake West was to one to end up with the highest score in the Audience Award vote.

A total of 29 feature length films completed in 2022 and 2023 in the Official Selection of this edition of the festival were eligible for the Night Visions Audience Award. It was not possible for the audience to vote for the repertoire features or the shorts in the Official Selection.

Night Visions will be returning to the screens of Helsinki on full scale next spring. The dates set for the Back to Basics 2024 edition of the festival are from April 17 to April 21, 2024.