'The Limehouse Golem' brings a Sitges 2016 rewarding the most daring cinema to a close
Christopher Walken receives the Grand Honorary Award at the final gala
The British production The Limehouse Golem, directed by Juan Carlos Medina, is the film in charge of closing the 49th Sitges –International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia on a day loaded with awards. This evening, the Festival will be presenting its Grand Honorary Award to Christopher Walken as a deluxe climax to Sitges 2016’s list of award winners. This year the official jury granted Swiss Army Man, the unclassifiable and irreverent film by Daniels, the award for Best Feature Length Film, while the Special Jury Award went to The Autopsy of Jane Doe. The Korean Train to Busan and The Wailing, Grave (Raw), The Neon Demon or Under the Shadows are just some of the other award winning films.
Juan Carlos Medina is no stranger to Sitges. In 2012 he presented Painless, his directing debut. This year, with his latest film The Limehouse Golem, he is closing the 49th Film Festival. The filmmaker as well as María Valverde, the leading actress, and Joanna Laurie, producer of the film, were at the press conference today. A touched Medina explained the involvement of actor Alan Rickman in the project before falling ill: “Alan, besides being an excellent actor, was a great person who got involved in the production body and soul; unfortunately on the first day of the film’s pre-production, I was told about his illness and a month later he was hospitalized”. Regarding his gothic depiction of London in the movie, the filmmaker stated “that he wanted to capture a romantic, baroque and beautiful London; a portrayal infected by the poetry of William Blake”. Speaking about the film’s subject matter, the filmmaker commented that The Limehouse Golem is about identity: “In Victorian London, woman was required to have an innocence, a virginity and a submission to man that constricted her”. To which actress María Valverde added: “I will always be indebted to Juan Carlos for giving me a role so different from the ones I’d played before. A woman fighting against her destiny”.
Animation in the theaters and in the side events
The starring side event of closing day was the master class by the heads of Square Enix Studio, creators of the Japanese saga of films and videogames Final Fantasy, which took place in the Tramuntana Room with the participation of Takeshi Nozue, director of the latest version of Final Fantasy; Shinji Hashimoto, producer at the Square Enix Studio, and British actress Andrea Tivadar, who gives life to Clarus Amicitia in the saga’s latest film. During the master class its moderator, Mike Hostench, deputy director of the Sitges Film Festival, invited Shinji Hashimoto to be a member of the Official Jury at next year’s Festival. The Japanese producer was delighted to accept the proposal, keeping in mind that next year is the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy. Following the master class, the latest film in the series Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV was screened.
In addition, this morning was the screening of two other animated films. In The Retiro was the second screening of Gantz:O, a spectacular animated film adapting the legendary Osaka arc from the manga by Hiroya Oku, accompanied by One Piece Gold, a new adventure with Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates.
And in addition...
In The Prado, as a part of the Noves Visions One Section, was the screening of the Indian film Autohead, a screening including the attendance of its director Rohit Mittal, and its leading man, Deepak Sampat. Also in Noves Visions, but in its Plus section, it was the turn for the supernatural drama from Laos Dearest Sister.
On Sunday, Festival fans will be able to enjoy the traditional movie marathons programed for the Festival’s four theaters: Auditorio, Prado, Retiro and Tramuntana, in morning and afternoon screenings.