Christopher Walken will receive the Grand Honorary Award at Sitges 2016
Swiss Army Man’, the latest sensation at the Sundance 2016 Film Festival, to compete in the Official Selection
The Sitges Classics section completes its lineup and is complemented with two official Festival books
The fantastic genre is one of the fields that Christopher Walken has always been outstanding in. With more than twenty awards and forty nominations behind him, history will remember him for the character of Nick in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, for which he received the Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1978. This year Christopher Walken will be adding one more to this list of awards: The Grand Honorary Award from the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. An honor that will be shared with the other previously announced winner of the Grand Honorary Award, Max von Sydow.
Son of a Scottish immigrant and a German immigrant, actor Christopher Walken, born in Astoria, Queens (New York) in 1943, has given life to unforgettable characters from all cinematic genres during a career of more than sixty years. His grandeur has made him stand out from the rest in each and every one of his characterizations, bringing to life both credible supporting characters, like in Heaven’s Gate, and main characters (The Funeral).
From Brainstorm, the last film by director and special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull, where Walken plays Doctor Michael Brace, to the screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, The Dead Zone. He has worked under the orders of Tim Burton in Sleepy Hollow, or in the cult film The Prophecy. Other films like Batman Returns, Communion, The Comfort of Strangers or Seven Psychopaths, just to name a few, are a part of the fantastic imaginary where Christopher Walken will always be present.
The latest sensation from this year’s Sundance Festival, the North American Swiss Army Man, has been added to Sitges 2016’s in competition Official Selection. Directed by the duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film tells the story of friendship between a castaway and a somewhat flatulent dead body, respectively starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Swiss Army Man has caused controversy because of its exceptional courage from a stylistic and conceptual point of view.
The 49th Sitges Film Festival will pay tribute to the Trekkie universe in its Sitges Classics section, in commemoration of the saga’s 50th anniversary, and will present a small retrospective sample of Soviet fantastic films from the decades of the 50s to the 70s. As for Star Trek, in addition to two exhibitions, the screening of films related to the saga (the documentary For the Love of Spock and the movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture), the Star Trek Walk will be taking place on 12 October and a time Machine Award will be picked up by Walter Koenig (who played the role of Chekov). The Festival will be presenting the book written for the occasion: Donde nadie ha llegado antes (Star Trek) [Where no one has gone before]. In the book, edited by Tyrannosaurus Books, writers like Ángel Sala himself, Jordi Sánchez Navarro, Cels Piñol or Nieves Navarro, talk about the movie saga, the real life and animated series, its origins or its creator, Gene Roddenberry, among other questions. All this done entertainingly and with a new point of view, not only to the delight of 'Trekkies', but also for all of those newcomers who want to discover the adventures contained in Star Trek.
Red Planet Marx: la conquista soviética del espacio [Red Planet Marx: the Soviet conquest of space is the title of the retrospective on Soviet science fiction that the Sitges Film Festival will be hosting this year at two of its venues. Both at the Prado Cinema and the Brigadoon Zone, you can see almost a dozen films allowing us to develop the concept of ‘space opera’, space trips and the conquest of the universe in Eastern film making. Movies like Planeta Bur, Solaris, or Test Pilota Pirxa, among others, will be preceded by presentations and will have subsequent post-screenings. With the same title, Sitges 2016 will be presenting another of its official books, also edited by Tyrannosaurus Books: an overview of science fiction movies from the so-called "block of countries from East Europe” following the 2nd World War, paying attention to the importance of the fantastic genre from the so-called "new cinemas" to our times. Authors like Jesús Palacios, Fausto Fernández or Jordi Ojeda, among others, have participated in the book.
Finally, it is important to point out the collaboration and participation that the SGAE offers the Sitges Film Festival year after year, and remember that, as every year, the SGAE in Catalonia also sponsors the Nova Autoria Awards as a part of the Festival’s Noves Visions section. It is a section that contains a selection of short films by students from different Catalan film and audiovisual schools, eligible for the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards for best screenplay, best directing, and best music. This year, 15 schools and universities signed on and have participated with almost 40 works by students, among which eleven have been chosen to participate in Sitges 2016.