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Barbara Crampton shines bright at Sitges 2016



The famous actress receives the Time Machine Award, the same day that Vigalondo explains the secrets of ‘Colossal’ and the two Sitges 2016 official books are presented 

Barbara Crampton’s magic shines in Sitges: yesterday she welcomed the Sitges Zombie Walk, today she presented Beyond the Gates and will receive the Time Machine Award in recognition of a solid career that includes titles like Re-Animator, Chopping Mall, From Beyond or Space Truckers. 

When Stuart Gordon’s film Re-Animator was presented in the in competition Official Selection at the 1985 Sitges Film Festival (winning the Award for Best Feature Length Film), few suspected that over time, the young twentysomething lady starring in the film would become one of the most famous scream queens in fantastic genre films. “Thank you so much for saying I’m an actress with one of the best screams on screen”, the actress commented with a laugh at the press conference. Crampton presented Beyond the Gates in the Festival’s Panorama Fantàstic section where, in addition to being one of the lead actresses, she is also a producer. “I chose Barbara because she was the perfect actress to make the connection I wanted with films from the eighties”, stated Jackson Stewart, the film’s director. The film’s action is set in the present, but it is glossed with a patina of eighties nostalgia, where Crampton’s awesome presence places an essential role in the storyline. “In addition to the screenplay, I loved the movie’s characters and, of course, my own role. I thought they were all very interesting and since I really wanted to help Jackson pull off the project, I got involved not only as an actress but also in production”, remarked Campton, who also had words of praise for the Festival when she stated that “now that we can find some festival around the world almost every week, Sitges has been one of the few places that has always banked on genre films and has been supporting them for nearly 50 years”. 

Fantastic books

As a part of the side events offered by the Festival, the two Sitges 2016 official books were presented in the Fnac marquee: Donde nadie ha llegado antes (Star Trek) and Red Planet Marx. La conquista soviética del espacio, both published by Tyrannosaurus Books. The event was attended by Ángel Sala, along with a considerable representation on behalf of their authors: Jordi Sánchez Navarro, Cels Piñol, Jordi Ojeda and Luis Rosales, as well as publisher José Miguel Rodríguez. “There are two options: addressing the subject once and for all –something that involves a lot of time and substantial resources–, or adopting an impressionist, personal point of view, achieving a reflection of the author’s relationship with the theme to be addressed. This was our way of seeing things when it came to talking about the Star Trek universe”, stated Sánchez Navarro. On the other hand, Jordi Ojeda referred to the technological revolution that the Star Trek saga represented: “The cell phone exists today because a Star Trek fan thought up the idea after seeing one of the series’ episodes”, while Ángel Sala highlighted the effort and satisfaction of presenting a book on Soviet science fiction: “it’s the first time that a subject like this has been addressed, given the intrinsic difficulty of finding films from that time in optimum condition, and not the Americanized copies that we got back in the fifties”. 

Nacho Vigalondo is another one of the important figures that can be seen in Sitges. Colossal was screened with great expectation on Friday, and was presented today at a press conference, along with Nahikari Ipiña, the producer who has accompanied him in all of his projects. “Beyond the brilliant idea that can remain stored in a box for many years, what makes a film come into existence is the emotional arc: the character that will give life to the story”, commented Vigalondo, focusing Colossal’s spotlight on Gloria, played by Anne Hathaway. “Seeing how Ann started to become Gloria in a question of minutes after speaking to her about the story in a New York café led us to understand that the project would be possible”, explained producer Nahikari Ipiña. “Something as simple as the leading character’s final gaze is the reason that Anne Hathaway decided to become our heroin”, confirmed Vigalondo, a filmmaker with a special fondness for the Festival (he presented his debut film Timecrimes, here). 

Japanese cinema

Sitges 2016’s third day continued with the screenings of the best fantastic  cinema (like Are We not Cats or the Japanese Museum), animated films (presenting the first batch of in competition animated shorts) and Catalan productions like El cor del pi negre, the debut feature film from Jaume Pujades who held a talk with the audience following the screening. In the afternoon, the Tramuntana offered the premiere of Likely Stories, the miniseries directed by Neil Gaiman, and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (the financial office in Brussels to promote relations between Europe and Hong Kong) offered Festival guests a cocktail attended by Dante Lam, one of the most representative directors of the former British colony, who is visiting the Festival to present his latest film Operation Mekong.


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