Children with supernatural powers, a grandmother who haunts her granddaughter, a possessed mother: because they speak to everyone, childhood and family stories remain a wonderful source for fantastic cinema, celebrated at the Gérardmer in France. Egō, the first feature film by Finnish director Hanna Bergholm, won the Grand Prix at the Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival on Sunday. This horror film tells the story of a 12-year-old gymnast, Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), confronted with the perfectionism of her mother who stages their daily life on a very followed blog. Her life will change after the discovery of a strange egg in the forest, which she brings back and hatches under her pillow. The creature that will come out of it, that she will adopt, will become both her best friend and a waking nightmare. The film is intended as a reflection on maternal instinct. Egō “is a story about the absence of love which creates monsters”, explained Hanna Bergholm in the notes of intent of her feature film also presented at the American festival of Sundance, before adding: “I shot Egō both for friends who love genre films, but also for viewers who might be afraid of horror movies but would like to see powerful stories about female emotions.”The film follows Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor, crowned last year, but which, in the midst of a pandemic, was released directly on video. Egō seems doomed to the same fate: its distributor, The Jokers (which also had the Cronenberg, plans a direct release on DVD, VOD and Blu-Ray for April 27. The jury of this festival popular with fans of fantastic films of all genres , chaired by actress, director and producer Julie Gayet, also awarded two jury prizes ex aequo to La abuela, by Spaniard Paco Plaza, creator of the hit horror film series Rec (French release scheduled for Spring), and Samhain, by Kate Dolan, a first Irish film mixing Halloween legends and questions about depression (French release scheduled for August 10). For the first, it is an intimate story, that of an elderly bedridden lady (former Brazilian model Vera Valdez) and her granddaughter (Almudena Amor), haunted by the fear of growing old. This young model has to quit the Paris fashion shows where she was beginning to break through to go to her grandmother’s bedside, in a s shadow Madrid apartment with creaking parquet floors and slamming doors. Faced with this grandmother rendered mute by illness, and the supernatural events that seem to surround her, the young woman will quickly lose her footing, in an atmosphere partly inspired by Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski. “I wanted to express this fear of not recognizing” an aging family member, Paco Plaza told AFP. Anxiety born after seeing his own aunt stricken with Alzheimer’s disease: “We see the person, but in his eyes we see that he is no longer there. It’s like a possession, of which the demon would be the old age”, he continues, before adding: “The horror genre is the most effective way to express […] things on your mind […], to show that we all have a lot of people inside of us, our parents, our grandparents. We only add layers to the family.” Questions of inheritance which Samhain also feeds on, which stages a young Irishwoman, Char, harassed in high school, living with her mother Angela, plagued by depression In a suburb of Dublin in the midst of preparations for Halloween (“Samhain” is the Celtic name), Angela’s behavior becomes increasingly mysterious and violent…Evil powers borrowed from Celtic folklore, in which director Kate Dolan grew up, or fruit of the tortured imagination of a teenager confronted with the depression of her mother? The film does not decide. The director, who signs here her first feature, indicates: “In my family, there are stories of mental illness. And it remains forever a part of you, even when you want to escape from it. […] The film also tries to say that you have to accept it, confront it and then you can survive.”Last winner, The Innocents, by Norwegian Eskil Vogt, who won the main prize at the Strange Festival , won audience and critics’ jury awards.The film features four little Norwegians who discover powers of telepathy and telekinesis.Hidden from the eyes of adults, their games threaten to turn into a massacre. The director, screenwriter for Joachim Trier, explains: “I wanted to enter this closed world of childhood to really try to see the world like children, and that the spectators find their own memories.” What beautiful people and beautiful films, which you will be able to find (for the most part) soon in theaters or on VOD.