The Best Fantastic Genre Short Films From Around the World will be at SITGES2023
The 56th edition of the SITGES - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, to be held from October 5th to 15th, is fast approaching and gradually gathering more and more of its final shape with the announcement of the short films that can be seen this year.
Sitges, September 5th, 2023. Via an Instagram livestream, Ángel Sala and Diego López-Fernández announced the short films that can be seen at the 56th edition of the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. A total of 76 shorts make up a program that offers us an unsurpassable global vision of present-day horror, demonstrating that good things come in small packages.
Official In-Competition - Short Films
18 films will compete for the OFFICIAL IN-COMPETITION FANTASTIC SELECTION (SOFC) Best Short Film Award, a selection that offers an excellent overview of the best fantastic filmmaking today. More than 15 countries will be represented in a very diverse selection (including co-productions), but with a strong American accent. Obviously, horror of the purest sort couldn't be absent with shorts like Mike Fontaine's 'ABOMINATIONS' and Charles Lauzirika's 'HONK'; we also find science fiction, with Colin Treneff's 'PARAGON' and Gregg Bishop's 'THE MANY WORLDS OF GEORGE GOODMAN' and black comedy with a touch of horror with Neil Ferron's 'FISHMONGER'. Among the American production, there are also several co-productions with a very strong presence, like ‘ESCAPE ATTEMPT’ directed by Alex Topaller and Daniel Shapiro, which is a co-production with Poland, Australian Jai Love's 'SUGAR RAG' and Argentinean Javier Devitt's 'EYESTRING'.
As for national productions, Spain will have two candidates competing for the SOFC Award: 'AHORA VUELVO', by Lucas Paulino & Gabe Ibáñez 'INTERCAMBIO', directed by Alberto Evangelio, a very well-known Festival participant, and Miquel Díaz Pont's 'PESUDO'. From our northern neighbor, France, comes the western 'BLOODY FURY', shot in Andalusia and directed by Jordan Inconstant. And if we continue our journey towards northern Europe we find ‘I’M NOT A ROBOT’, a feminist black comedy directed by Dutch filmmaker Victoria Warmerdam; 'THE SHORE', a Dutch-Australian co-production directed by Australian filmmaker Eron Sheean; 'STOP DEAD' by British director Emily Greenwood and 'CALLUS' by Irish director Ciarán Hickey.
If we move away from Europe towards emerging film industries, we can find projects that perfectly represent the Festival's global spirit: the terror beneath the tempest of 'STORM', by American director Lena Tsodykovskaya, 'HITO', an experimental social critique by Filipino director Stephen Lopez.
One of the most enchanting and popular sections is Anima’t, a selection of shorts dedicated to animation from all over the world. In this case, the total number of countries represented is 12, with a European majority but also with a relevant participation of both American and Asian productions. As for the latter, a Japanese presence couldn't fail to be here, with two shorts by two of today's most acclaimed filmmakers: 'NEZUMIKOZO JIROKICHI', a beautiful ode to director Sadao Yamanaka, directed by Rintaro and 'GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE', a reflection on love and loss through flowers, featuring Naoko Yamada as its director. More surprising is the appearance of two Taiwanese productions: the fable 'A NIGHT WITH MOOSINA' by Tsai Shiu-cheng and Fish Wang's artisanal 'GHOST OF THE DARK PATH'. As for the USA, it also arrives with two projects, one new and one classic: Tim Webber's 'FLITE', a virtual hyper-reality made entirely with Unreal Engine, and 'NO ROOM AT THE INN', an experimental animation short from 1974 directed by R. O. Blechman and that SITGES2023 rediscovers through Sitges Classics.
Spanish animation is booming, gaining more relevance with each passing year. So, it's no coincidence that it's the country with the greatest number of productions in this section, with a total of three: ‘TO BIRD OR NOT TO BIRD’, a tragicomedy directed by Martín Romero, Vicente Molina Prado's 'LA ÚLTIMA HISTORIA' and 'DE IMPERIO', a Spanish and Portuguese co-production directed by Italian Alessandro Novelli. The only country that matches it in relevance is a powerhouse like France, which will also be bringing three shorts: 'ASTORIA', speculative science-fiction directed by Franck Dion, 'LA GRANDE ARCHE', a beautiful hand-drawn work by Camille Authouart and Sonia Gerbeaud's devastating and pessimistic 'RADIO-PILOTES'. Completing this section are Belgian director Levi Stoops' 'DRIJF', 'EEVA', a Croatian-Estonian co-production by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tsinakov, the biting satire 'SWEET LIKE LEMONS' by Finnish director Jenny Jokela and Dutch director Erik van Schaaik's 'THE SMILE'.
Noves Visions – Shorts
The Noves Visions section, also in its small format version, is symbolic of a Festival that always strives to give a voice to all kinds of works, regardless of whether they are of a more classical or more experimental nature. In short, it is a meeting place for the most daring film lovers. Victor Matellano's 'PRINT THE LEGEND' and Ion de Sosa's 'MAMANTULA' will be the Spanish representatives in a highly international section, where more than 10 countries are represented with a total of 15 shorts. The Korean 'A KIND OF GIRL WHO KNOWS BLANCHE', by Seyoung Lee and the compilation of micro-stories 'COLLECTION OF EXTREMELY SHORT STORIES' by Brazilian Pedro Frago Villaça, represent the section's most peripheral works.
And of course, the USA couldn't be absent with Theo Taplitz's 'GABLE', 'PRUNING', a reflection on the rise of the extreme right by director and actress Lola Blanc, and 'THE OLD YOUNG CROW', a co-production with Japan by New York based director Liam LoPinto. From Canada comes Edith Jorisch's 'MOTHER AND MONSTERS' and from Mexico (with a co-production that also includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 'SPOOR', directed by Statten Roeg and Sunita Soliar.
And we return to Europe for the titles that complete the section: French director David Padilla's 'CULTOS', the Dutch films 'DAYS OF SPRING' by Arianne Hinz and 'WE ARE ANIMALS' by Frank Wever; 'HALF-DREAM' by Polish director Jan Grabowski and RETRODREAMING, a German and Japanese co-production directed by Alisa Berger.
Short Films in Brigadoon
Speaking of spaces for cinephiles, we can't leave out a section where a total of 10 short films will be screened during the Festival's first weekend. The selection includes works of all kinds: 'ZUIGER', a Dutch drama-fantasy featuring a robot that falls in love with its mistress; 'MY DREAMS HAVE BEEN DARK OF LATE', an English short where a knight confronts his armor; 'L’ISOLA DEI RESUSCITATI MORTI', an Italian exploitation short by Domenico Montixi; 'THE NIGHT HUNTER', a cosmic horror short by Portuguese director Paulo Leite; 'THE FLEDGING' by American director Joe Gietl or 'KNOCK KNOCK', a monstrous story by Marli Lee. However, the selection's accent is mainly Spanish, with the national shorts 'EL PADRASTRO' by José Casas Arévalo and 'ELLOS' by Néstor López and Óscar Romero; in addition, the Chilean vampire short 'MÁS ESPESO QUE LA SANGRE' by Joaquín Campos Astroza and 'LA OTRA HERMANA' by Argentinean filmmakers Abril Dores and Malena Martins Yanz will be round out an awesome line-up.
The Sitges Film Festival has always been committed to the industry's development and to national talent with initiatives like the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards, where a jury made up of Jaume Balagueró, Marta Grau and Alfonso de Villalonga will present the awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Music from among a selection of 10 short films from 10 Catalan film schools. The selected films are as follows: the documentary 'NOT YET', directed by Pau Ballesté Aguirre, Maria Bros Carreras and Jorge Librero Cano; Javier Sáez's 'EL ÚLTIMO RECUERDO'; Martí Rovira Cortada's 'LOS FRUSTRADO'; Mikel Garrido Linares' 'TENEMOS PATRIA'; Karen Joaquín's 'O QUE ME PARTA UN RAYO'; Iris Dalmau's 'TIET'; Ariadna Puigdemasa's 'LIFETIME'; Asha Ruiz's 'FUEGO AMIGO'; Albert Mariné's 'CALIFORNIA' and 'THE SUN THIEF', by Joan Cerdà Montero and Maria Agustina Montaña.
And we conclude today's barrage of short films with those screenings that will take place outside of the usual sections. A total of 6 short films will be part of SITGES2023's special screenings: the Spanish 'LA LEY DEL MÁS FUERTE' directed by Raul Monge and 'PARADERO 893' by Marc Martínez; the French 'DARK CELLS' by Jean-Michel Tari and 'VENUS' by Jolan Nihilo and Mickaël Dusa; the experimental and retro Swiss animation of 'ALEXX196 & LA PLAGE DE SABLE ROSE' by Loïc Hobi and the American horror comedy 'TOOTH', by Jillian Corsie.
Short Film List
SOFC – Shorts
‘ABOMINATIONS’ – Mike Fontaine (USA)
‘AHORA VUELVO’ – Lucas Paulino & Gabe Ibáñez (Spain)
‘BLOODY FURY’ – Jordan Inconstant (France)
‘CALLUS’ – Ciarán Hickey (Ireland)
‘ESCAPE ATTEMPT’ – Alex Topaller, Daniel Shapiro (USA/Poland)
‘EYESTRING’ – Javier Devitt (USA/Argentina)
‘FISHMONGER’ – Neil Ferron (USA)
‘HITO’ – Stephen Lopez (Philippines)
‘HONK’ – Charles de Lauzirika (USA)
‘I’M NOT A ROBOT’ – Victoria Warmerdam (Netherlands/Belgium)
‘INTERCANVI’ – Alberto Evangelio (Spain)
‘PARAGON’ – Colin Treneff (USA)
‘PESUDO’ – Miquel Díaz Pont (Spain)
‘STOP DEAD’ – Emily Greenwood (UK)
‘STORM’ – Lena Tsodykovskaya (USA)
‘SUGAR RAG’ – Jai Love (USA/Australia)
‘THE MANY WORLDS OF GEORGE GOODMAN’ – Gregg Bishop (USA)
‘THE SHORE’ – Eron Sheean (Netherlands/Belgium)
‘A NIGHT WITH MOOSINA’ – Tsai Shiu-cheng (Taiwan)
‘ASTORIA’ – Franck Dion (France)
‘BYE BEAR’ – Jan Bitzer (Germany)
‘DE IMPERIO’ – Alessandro Novelli (Spain/Portugal)
‘DRIJF’ – Levi Stoops (Belgium)
‘EEVA’ – Lucija Mrzljak, Morten Tsinakov (Croatia/Estonia)
‘FLITE’ – Tim Webber (USA)
‘GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE’ – Naoko Yamada (Japan)
‘GHOST OF THE DARK PATH’ – Fish Wang (Taiwan)
‘LA GRANDE ARCHE’ – Camille Authouart (France)
‘LA ÚLTIMA HISTORIA – Vicente Molina Prado (Spain)
‘NEZUMIKOZO JIROKICHI’ – Rintaro (Japan)
‘NO ROOM AT THE INN’ – R. O. Blechman (USA)
‘RADIO-PILOTIS’ – Sonia Gerbeaud (France)
‘SWEET LIKE LEMONS’ – Jenny Jokela (Finland)
‘THE SMILE’ – Erik van Schaaik (Netherlands/Belgium)
‘TO BIRD OR NOT TO BIRD’ – Martín Romero (Spain)
Noves Visions – Shorts
‘A KIND OF GIRL WHO KNOWS BLANCHE’ – Seyoung Lee (South Korea)
‘COLLECTION OF EXTREMELY SHORT STORIES’ – Pedro Fraga Villaça (Brazil)
‘CULTES’ – David Padilla (France)
‘DAYS OF SPRING’ – Arianne Hinz (Netherlands)
‘GABLE’ – Theo Taplitz (USA)
‘HALF-DREAM’ – Jan Grabowski (Poland)
‘MOTHERS & MONSTERS’ – Edith Jorisch (Canada)
‘PRUNING’ – Lola Blanc (USA)
‘RETRODREAMING’ – Alisa Berger (Germany, Japan)
‘SPOOR’ – Statten Roeg, Sunita Soliar (UK, Irlanda del Nord, Mexico)
‘THE OLD YOUNG CROW’ – Liam LoPinto (Japan/USA)
‘WE ARE ANIMALS’ – Frank Wever (Netherlands)
‘ZERO AT THE BONE’ – Erin Grant (USA)
Noves Visions – Special Screenings
‘PRINT THE LEGEND’ – Victor Matellano (Spain)
‘MAMANTULA’ – Ion de Sosa (Spain)
Paul Naschy Brigadoon Award
‘ZUIGER’ – Steve Oen (Netherlands)
‘MY DREAMS HAVE BEEN DARK OF LATE’ – Joshua Warren (UK)
‘L’ISOLA DEL RESUSCITATI MORTI’ – Domenico Montixi (Italy)
‘EL PADRASTRO’ – José Casas Arévalo (Spain)
‘THE FLEDGLING’ – Joe Gietl (USA)
‘MÁS ESPESO QUE LA SANGRE’ – Joaquín Campos Astroza (Chile)
‘LA OTRA HERMANA’ – Abril Dores, Malena Martins Yanz (Argentina)
‘THE NIGHT HUNTER’ – Paulo Leite (Portugal)
‘KNOCK KNOCK’ – Marli Lee (USA)
‘ELLOS’ – Néstor López, Óscar Romero (Spain)
‘NOT YET’ – Pau Ballesté Aguirre, Maria Bros Carrera i Jorge Librero Cano (Spain)
‘EL ÚLTIMO RECUERDO’ – Javier Sáez (Spain)
‘LOS FRUSTRADO’ – Martí Rovira Cortada (Spain)
‘TENEMOS PATRIA’ – Mikel Garrido Linares (Spain)
‘O QUE ME PARTA UN RAYO’ – Karen Joaquín (Spain)
‘TIET’ – Iris Dalmau (Spain)
‘LIFETIME’ – Ariadna Puigdemasa (Spain)
‘FUEGO AMIGO’ – Asha Ruiz (Spain)
‘CALIFORNIA’ – Albert Mariné (Spain)
‘THE SUN THIEF’ – Joan Cerdà Montero i Maria Agustina Montaña (Spain)
‘ALEXX196 & LA PLAGE DE SABLE ROSE’ – Loïc Hobby (Switzerland)
‘DARK CELLS’ – Jean-Michel Tari (France)
‘LA LEY DEL MÁS FUERTE’ – Raul Monge (Spain)
‘PARADERO 893’ – Marc Martínez (Spain)
‘TOOTH’ – Jillian Corsie (USA)
‘VENUS’ – Jolan Nihilo, Mickaël Dusa (France)
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