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'Inside' & Max Von Sydow are the stars at Sitges 2016's opening day



The short ‘En tu cabeza. Parte II: Milagros y remedios’, directed by Borja Cobeaga and produced by Gas Natural Fenosa, was also presented at the 49th Film Festival’s Opening Gala 

The eagerly awaited production Inside, by Miguel Ángel Vivas, the opening film at the 49th Sitges-International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, was the star of the opening gala along with the presentation of the Grand Honorary Award for actor Max Von Sydow. The session was rounded off with the presentation and projection of the short film En tu cabeza. Parte II: Milagros y remedios, directed by Borja Cobeaga, a Cinergía Gas Natural Fenosa production, as a part of their responsible consumption project. 

Inside, the forth film from Sevillian director Miguel Ángel Vivas and a remake of the French cult movie À l’intérieur, was presented today at the Festival, with the attendance of its director; the lead actress, Rachel Nichols, and producer Adrián Guerra. According to Miguel Ángel Vivas, Inside “is a film about women; I wanted to address something that I’ll never be able to understand, which is the deed of maternity”. Because in the film, viewers will accompany Sarah, played by Nichols, during a night while she’s waiting for the imminent birth of her child. A night that will become a genuine nightmare when someone breaks into her house, ready to rip her unborn baby out of her. In short, Miguel Ángel Vivas commented that “in Inside I speak about subjects that I always deal with in my films: family, home and how the family unit is broken.” 

Before the screening of Inside, the audience at the opening gala was also able to attend the presentation of the short film produced by Gas Natural Fenosa, the Festival sponsor, En tu cabeza. Parte II: Milagros y remedios. The film is a part of the Cinergía project, an initiative created to raise awareness of energy efficiency through cinema. At the press conference, according to the words of Adenai Pérez, director of sponsorships for Gas Natural Fenosa, “this project is about the ability to create energy efficiency and make it something that’s actually fun”. This second short film, from a group of four shorts all together, is scripted by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo and directed by Borja Cobeaga who, accompanied by Jordi García Tabernero, director of Communications and the Chairman’s Cabinet for Gas Natural Fenosa, and part of the film’s art crew, commented that “it was a very enjoyable experience to shoot it and the perfect excuse to be able to be at the Sitges Film Festival, since the short is a nod the horror genre”. 

Also at Sitges 2016’s Opening Gala, the Sitges 2016 Grand Honorary Award was presented to the great Swedish actor Max Von Sydow. At the previous press conference, Festival director Ángel Sala presented him as “one of the great figures who has accompanied me throughout my entire life as a moviegoer, so it is a true honor for him to be here in Sitges to receive the award”. Max Von Sydow, with more than 150 films over his career and an emblematic actor for directors like Ingmar Bergman, Sydney Pollack, Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese, commented that “I have fond memories of so many different films, but if I had to choose one that would be Pelle the Conqueror, not only for the character I played but also for the story, a story about trying to return dignity to working people” 

Presented today in the in competition Official Selection, was the Spanish production Proyecto Lázaro, a science fiction film by Canary Islander Mateo Gil. Known for his collaboration with Alejandro Amenábar on the screenplays for Open Your Eyes or The Sea Inside, among others, the story for Proyecto Lázaro arose in a very peculiar way: “I wrote the screenplay during a whole summer and poured many personal reflections into it; questions that tormented me since the shooting of Open Your Eyes, like fear of death or, even more, fear of living”, said Mateo Gil at the press conference. The film defined by its director as “a love story disguised as a science fiction film” stars Tom Hughes and Oona Chaplin. The actress, who accompanied the director at the press conference, praised her character because “it allows me to value the small moments that make up a relationship. Moments that, over time, take on their true dimension”. Proyecto Lázaro will be premiering on Spanish screens in January 2017 and in the words of its producer, Ibon Cormenzana, who also attended the Festival, “beyond genre, the film show us a love story between two individuals”.

Today at Sitges 2016 was also the start of the wide ranging selection of side events offered by the Festival. In the FNAC marquee, J.A.  Bayona presented the book ‘Un monstruo viene a verme: El arte de la película y la visión de sus autores’ (A Monster Calls: The film’s art and its creators’ vision’) written by journalist and film critic Desirée de Fez. Bayona also met up with the students who saw the morning screening for schools of A Monster Calls in the Meliá Sitges Auditori. 

In addition, the industry activities that Sitges 2016 organized for this year’s Festival as a part of the Sitges Film Hub also kicked off. The meeting with six Chinese leaders from the audiovisual sector took place: a networking event from the program ‘Chinese leaders of tomorrow’ with different audiovisual producer associations from around Catalonia. In the afternoon was the presentation of ‘Perder el miedo (a invertir) en cine’ (Burying your fear of investing in cinema), an awareness raising guide aimed at non-traditional film investors explaining the keys to venture investment or investment with tax deductions. 

Different screenings came one after another throughout the day where the crews from films like Colossal or Hunger Diaries presented their respective proposals.


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