Sitges 2015 presents the best from the most renowned names in fantastic genre and emerging territories
The Festival debuts a new theater and becomes a meeting point for industry and talent with new initiatives
Just one week away from the kickoff of the 48th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, this morning Festival Director Àngel Sala, accompanied by Ferran Mascarell, Minister of Culture for the Catalonian autonomous government’s Generalitat, and by Miquel Forns, Mayor of Sitges, presented the new additions and developments for this year’s Festival at a press conference held at the Santa Mònica Cloister of the Arts in Barcelona. The Festival, to be held from 9 to 18 October, presents a complete and diverse sampling of the different genre film expressions and trends from around the planet. Sitges 2015 offers a veritable kaleidoscope, bringing together renowned names with long track records in genre and up and coming filmmakers. The Festival –which is adding a new theater and increasing the number of screens this year– will also become a point of convergence for the Catalan film industry and opportunities for production proposals presented by young filmmakers.
Sitges 2015’s lineup includes the most genuine horror from around the world, represented by the latest American productions and the emerging fantastic genre from countries that have become firmly established as true genre powerhouses; presenting stimulating and transgressive projects; showing the latest trends in Asian fantastic genre and the new American B movies, as well as the complete Catalan genre production. The Festival’s multidisciplinary character is topped off with a wide variety of sections that include a painstakingly chosen selection of documentaries and the best TV series of the moment.
On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Sitges 2015 pays homage to the film Seven, the star of the poster for this 48th edition, the psycho thriller by David Fincher that set a precedent by magnificently combining the crime film genre with horror and that confirmed the talent of its director. For this occasion, the Festival has published the book Seven. Los pecados de David Fincher (Seven, David Fincher’s Sins), with contributions from different authors and addressing the influence this film has had on horror and thrillers in recent year.
The 169 films that make up the Festival’s sections contain names that are a solid guarantee in genre cinema and some of the most interesting proposals in current film. This is the case with Alex van Warmerdam, Takashi Miike, S. Craig Zahler, Can Evrenol, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Marcin Wrona, Andrzej Zulawski, André Turpin, Robert Carlyle, Patricia Rozema, Cédric Anger, Ryoo Seung-wan, Terry Jones, Paolo Sorrentino, Charlie Kaufman, Takeshi Kitano, Rick Alverson, Joe Begos, Sebastian Schipper or Jaco Van Dormael, among others. The Festival’s screen will be showing films by these masters starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Kurt Russell, Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Ewan McGregor, Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Taissa Farmiga, Sam Rockwell, Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Elijah Wood, Robert Pattinson, Vincent Cassel, Joseph Fiennes, Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Depardieu, Ron Perlman, Mads Mikkelsen, Winona Ryder and Eva Green, among many others.
The Festival’s cinematic options will be rounded out with a wide variety of cultural activities and events, new venues and the debut of a new theater: the Tramuntana Room. This venue is added to the other three regular movie theaters: the Auditori, the Retiro and the Prado. This venue –which up to now hosted presentations and side events– has been fitted out as a movie theater and will host a large number of screenings, as well as some important master classes. In addition to these four movie theaters, the Festival has also included other venues for screenings and events: the Escorxador (hosting, once again, the Brigadoon section, presenting 46 feature length films and 40 shorts), the Hotel Avenida Sofía (hosting two different Serial Sitges sessions, sponsored by the FNAC) Maricel Palace (presenting a Game of Thrones special), the Movistar+ Zone (a free venue down at La Fragata Square with different screenings the first weekend of the Festival) and Hort de Can Falç (which for the third year in a row will be having free, al fresco screenings on both weekends).
An open door to industry and universities
This year, Sitges debuts four initiatives aimed at showcasing its role as a meeting point for the industry and Catalan talent. On the one hand, Sitges Pitchbox is born as a tool of the Festival and the Filmarket Hub platform, offering opportunities for possible feature length genre productions and for which 170 projects are signed up. On the other, the Industry Meeting Point –installed at the Hotel Melià– will pool together actions and initiatives by Catalan professionals and industrialists. At the same time, the Blood Window Red Carpet this year creates a panel of actors and actresses with international projection, selected by a jury of the Catalan Film Academy, the Catalan Association of Professional Actors and Directors of Catalonia and industry professionals. And finally, this year the Festival debuts the Sitges Campus 2015, a forum on thrillers in collaboration with Catalan universities and film schools.
For the third year in a row, Sitges will be holding the ESCAC Week, a program of activities and screenings where hundreds of film school students participate as a part of the Festival. This experience as accredited Sitges Festival goers allows them to live this artistic and industry-related event from the inside, understand international fantastic genre filmmaking and participate in Spain’s professional network.
And like every year, the Festival will also host the SGAE Nova Autoria screenings, a selection of short films by Catalan film and audiovisual schools that are eligible for the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards for best screenplay, best director and best music.
Once again the 48th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is committed to Catalan productions and is a gateway for the latest national genre works. Six Catalan productions are included in the Sitges 2015 lineup: The Corpse of Ana Fritz, Vulcania, Segon Origen (Second Origin), Summer Camp, La Novia and Sacramento.