The most heterogeneous fantastic universe will rendezvous in Sitges
The Festival presents the best from the most famous figures in fantastic genre and more emergent cinema
Sitges reinforces its status as an industry meeting place thanks to different initiatives
Sitges 2016 kicks off with a complete lineup that passes through territories of genre films from all continents and with an agenda that brings together a select list of emblematic faces and directors who will be walking the red carpet. This 2016, the Festival will be consolidating its forth room –which will be complemented with other parallel screens– and strengthening its status as a meeting place for genre industry professionals and opportunities for proposals from young filmmakers.
Sitges 2016’s lineup welcomes the most outstanding international fantastic genre, represented not only by the latest North American productions, but also by stimulating proposals from countries that are growing stronger as genuine genre film heavyweights. In addition to a wide selection of bold, transgressive films and a look at all the latest from the Catalan fantastic film harvest, the Festival’s multidisciplinary character will be completed with an important variety of sections and venues composing a painstaking selection of documentaries, acclaimed TV series and the most modern cutting edge virtual reality technology.
The guests at the 2016 Sitges Film Festival form a spectacular mosaic made up of both renowned figures with a long track record in genre and new emerging talents. As is the case with Christopher Walken, Max Von Sydow, Paul Schrader, Rob Zombie, Walter Koenig, Nicolas Winding Refn, Miguel Ángel Vivas, Takashi Miike, Bruce Campbell, Dolph Lundgren, Barbara Crampton, Terele Pávez, Mateo Gil, Nacho Vigalondo, Dante Lam or Rodrigo Sorogoyen, among so many others. Mario Casas will also be attending Sitges 2016 as the winner of the Bacardí Sitges Untamable Spirit Award. An acknowledgment of the professional career of this actor who has starred in genre films like Witching and Bitching (Álex de la Iglesia, 2013), or El Bar, by the same director and which will be premiering soon.
On the occasion of the celebration of its 50th anniversary, Sitges 2016 pays tribute to the Star Trek saga, the star of the 49th Film Festival’s poster. The visible figure of the Trekkie universe will be the character of Chekov, played by Walter Koenig who will receive the Time Machine Award. In addition to organizing a thematic series, a master class and two exhibitions dedicated to the legendary saga, on Wednesday 12 October the Festival will be holding the Star Trek Walk, a parade around the streets of Sitges in collaboration with the Club Star Trek Association.
More than 170 films compose the different sections of this year’s Festival, among which you’ll find well-established genre film figures plus the most recent and ground-breaking proposals. That’s precisely the case with Adam Wingard, Rob Zombie, Paul Schrader, Takashi Miike, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ti West, Bill Plympton, Isaki Lacuesta, Miguel Ángel Vivas, Jonás Cuarón, Na Hong-jing, Julia Ducournau, Keishi Otomo, Carles Torrens, Mateo Gil, Mike Flanagan, Anurag Kashyap, among many others. The Festival’s lineup will include the screenings of films starring extremely well-known silver screen stars like Gael García Bernal, Nicolas Cage, Glenn Close, Kate Bosworth, Keanu Reeves, Malcolm McDowell, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Antonio de la Torre, Maria Valverde, Feng Xiaogang, Choi Min-sik, Doona Bae, Brontis Jodorowsky and Kristen Stewart, among so many others.
The Festival’s cinematic options will be completed with a wide range of cultural activities (exhibitions, master classes, presentations, debates…), which will take place at different venues all around Sitges. In the theaters at the Meliá Sitges Auditori, the Retiro, the Prado and the Meliá Sitges Tramuntana Room, inaugurated las year, the Festival will be housing screenings and other events will be held at various different venues: the Escorxador (where the Brigadoon section will be located again), the Maricel Palace (housing one of the exhibitions dedicated to Star Trek this year), the Espai Movistar+ (a free venue down at La Fragata Square with different screenings), the Miramar Building (where in addition to screenings, you can enjoy the second exhibition dedicated to the Trekkie universe), the Noray Marquee at the Hotel Meliá Sitges (where some of the master classes will be held) and Hort de Can Falç (where screenings with free admission on both weekends have been shown for the past four years).
Virtual reality lands in Sitges
At this 49th Film Festival, for the first time Sitges is incorporating an experiential endeavor between fantastic cinema and virtual reality: the new Samsung Sitges Cocoon section. This high tech electronics products company and the Festival have joined forces to offer spectators a new room where they can enjoy stunning and terrifying immersive experiences.
All users will have a seat where they can fully immerse themselves in the action, deciding where they want to look at each moment of the story. Through the 8 short films programmed here, the audience will be able to venture into a macabre mental asylum, a haunted house, a cage full of zombies and even travel through space.
The Samsung Sitges Cocoon Room, with free admission, will offer a wide-ranging fantastic genre lineup that has already captivated audiences from different parts of the world and will be located right outside the Meliá Sitges Auditori.
Industry and educational activities extend their trajectory
Last year, the Festival decidedly banked on the presence of the audiovisual industry and promoting professional networking. This year, the Festival has intensified its efforts in this regard, promoting and welcoming diverse initiatives, in tune with the sector’s different agents: investors, institutions, professional agents, etc. In this spirit, the Industry Meeting Point –installed in the Hotel Meliá Sitges– is holding diverse initiatives aimed at the industry to make the most of the natural networking generated by the Festival itself.
The Sitges Pitchbox, born last year as a tool to offer feature length genre productions an opportunity, reaches its second year and is completely established, with the participation of the Barcelona Diputació and a high response on behalf of professionals. Seven projects, chosen by the Festival and the Filmarket Hub platform, will defend their options to receive financing on the 14th.
In order to promote the traffic of professionals to the max and multiply venues for meeting and reflection, this year relations with Catalan audiovisual producers have been reinforced. So among the planned events, PROA –the federation of producers– besides organizing a private event with investors, will also be participating in the Spain-China Foundation networking initiative, which will also be attended by producers belonging to PAC (Audiovisual Producers of Catalonia). The presence of the audiovisual sector from China consists of a party of six leaders from the audiovisual sector who will be visiting the Festival during its first weekend.
Also reaching its second year is the corporate mentoring program co-organized by the above-mentioned PAC and Nivell 10 (Sitges Town Council), Producers Meet Producers (PMP). This initiative brings together a group of ten junior producers with their senior counterparts, who are committed to performing a follow-up of their beginnings in the sector during the entire year.
Concurrently, and following the great reception it had last year, once again Sitges 2016 is organizing the Blood Red Carpet, a program to promote young acting talent and new directors: three actors, three actresses and three directors with an international profile, selected by a jury made up once again by the Acadèmia del Cinema Català (Academy of Catalan Film), the Associació Catalana d’Actors i Directors Professionals de Catalunya (AADPC – Catalan Association of Professional Actors and Directors), Televisió de Catalunya (Catalan TV) and sector professionals.
A new feature this year is the launching of the practical guide «Perder el miedo a invertir en cine» (Burying your fear of investing in film), made by the Festival with the support of the Sitges Town Hall’s Economic Promotion Area. The guide boasts the collaboration of six prestigious tax experts who, in short articles, highlight the benefits of investing in film production.
And as every year, the Festival will also include the SGAE Nova Autoria session, a selection of short films by students from Catalan film and audiovisual schools competing for the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards for best screenplay, best directing and best music.
Once again, Sitges 2016 will be welcoming the ESCAC Week, a program of activities and screenings for student of this film school as a part of the Festival. Nearly one hundred film students will enjoy the experience of participating in this artistic and industry event in person.
In addition, and as one of the events previous to next year’s commemoration of the Sitges Film Festival’s 50th anniversary, the Ramon Llull Institute will be organizing an exhibition curated by the Festival itself: the Catalan Fantasy Weekend - 50 Years of the Sitges-International Fantastic Film Festival will take place from the 27th to the 29th of January 2017 in London at the Regent Street Cinema. This initiative is just one of the international events added to the celebration of the Festival’s 50th anniversary.
More Catalan productions at Sitges 2016
If in 2015, six different Catalan productions were included in the Festival’s lineup, the 49th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is committed to Catalan audiovisuals and talent, increasing the productions to ten this year, once again establishing the Festival as a showcase for the latest national genre works. These are the ten Catalan productions in the Sitges 2016 lineup: Inside, Pet, Proyecto Lázaro, Mine, El Cor del Pi Negre, Salvación, Vestigis, La Propera Pell, Herederos de la bestia, Hunger Diaries.
Support for the 49th ª Sitges Film Festival
Once again this year, the Festival is grateful for the commitment of all the collaborating entities and companies: Gas Natural Fenosa (main sponsor), Moritz and Torres (sponsors), Meliá Sitges (sponsor and official headquarters), Movistar+ (multimedia partner), Deluxe (collaborator), La Vanguardia (official newspaper), TV3 (official TV), Autolica - Mercedes Benz (official vehicle), Samsung (technological collaborator) and Bacardí (official cocktail).
Sitges 2016 is organized thanks to the participation of the Sitges Town Hall and the Catalonian Generalitat’s Department of Culture’s Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals (Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises) and is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports’ Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts), the Barcelona Diputació (City Council) and the Carnet Jove - Departament de Benestar i Família (Department of Welfare and Family).
The Festival’s institutional press conference has been held thanks to the collaboration of the Catalan Film Library.
Grand Honorary Award
Max Von Sydow (actor)
Christopher Walken (actor)
Time Machine Award
Walter Koenig (actor)
Barbara Crampton (actress)
Paul Schrader (director)
Bruce Campbell (actor and director)
Dolph Lundgren (actor)
Honorary Maria Award
Ruggero Deodato (director)
Terele Pávez (actress)
Bacardí Sitges Untamable Spirit Award
Mario Casas (actor)
Official Fantàstic Jury
Mick Garris (producer)
Axelle Carolyn (director)
Geoffrey Gilmore (programmer)
Brian Yuzna (director)
Franck Ribiere (producer)
Noves Visions Jury
Marie Duhamel (programmer)
Landon Zakheim (programmer)
Manuel Teil (casting director)
Blood Window / Méliès Jury
Diana Peñalver (actress)
Ryan Wickers (producer)
Miguel Arjona (critic)
Focus Àsia – Anima’t Jury
Choi Yongbae (programmer)
Thierry Phlips (programmer)
Eugenio Puerto (programmer)
Marc Carreter (director)
Eva Ayats (FX specialist)
Marta Anaïs (programmer)
Mónica Jordán (critic)
Ramón Alfonso (critic)
Joan Pons (critic)
FEATURE LENGTH AND SHORT FILM CREWS:
Miguel Ángel Vivas (director), Rachel Nichols (actress), Manu Díez (screenwriter), Adrián Guerra (producer), Nuria Valls (producer), Miguel Nadal (producer)
Cinergía Short. En tu cabeza. Parte II: Milagros y Remedios