Eva Green Dazzles the Audience at the Presentation of 'Nocebo' in Sitges
Spanish horror is back with Víctor García's 'La niña de la comunión'
On the last day before the Official Jury deliberates on its final verdicts, Sitges is getting ready to wind down to its finale. Today the Festival received one of the most eagerly awaited visits of this year's entire edition. From femme fatale to mother courage, and not to mention her sinister roles in Tim Burton's films, or her more independent works under the orders of Gregg Araki or Roman Polanski, Eva Green has managed to win over fans' affection thanks to her great versatility and stage presence. Sitges welcomes her with open arms along with Lorcan Finnegan, director of Nocebo, who returns to the Catalan coast after his big 2019 success with Vivarium.
The Auditori's audience dressed up in their finest attire to welcome Eva Green who, together with the rest of the Nocebo team, presented the film at its official screening after posing for the photographers on the red carpet.
Spanish cinema has been one of the backbones of this Festival, and in its final stretch it presents two outstanding national titles. Today was the turn for La niña de la comunión, the terrifying film by Víctor García, whose trailer was presented at last year's Festival. With the film already completed, García visited the Festival and held a press conference where he had the opportunity to point out his influences when it came to recovering the 1980s myth that gives the film its title: "James Wan's films are a reference for current genre films and are the ones I saw most often during the production process, but when it came time to start shooting, they were the first ones I moved away from. Right now there are some very clear references surrounding horror films with dolls, such as Annabelle or The Conjuring 2 but there are also many references in the 80s."
The other protagonist of the day was Rodrigo Sorogoyen, who returns to Sitges this year after being part of the retinue for the first season of Historias para no dormir at last year's edition. On this occasion, he presented his new film, As bestas, a rural thriller based on a true story that amazed audiences and critics at the recent Cannes Film Festival. The fifth film by the Madrid-born director is set in remote Galicia and tells the story of a couple of French immigrants who have a tense relationship with their neighbors, a tension that ends up reaching unsuspected heights. The film was the main highlight of the penultimate screening of the day in a packed Auditori. Out of competition, Sitges' audience also enjoyed the premiere of La exorcista, the new feature film by Adrián García Bogliano and Elizabeth Avellan, which follows the story of a nun who has to practice expelling a demon from a pregnant woman.
As for the Official In Competition Selection, the last two films that the Official Jury will have to evaluate before its deliberation are The Origin, Andrew Cumming's directorial debut, which follows a group of primitive men and women who suspect that a mystical force is after them; and The Stranger, where Thomas M. Wright tells the story of a policeman who feigns friendship with a murder suspect in order to get a confession out of him.
But, although the Official In Competition screenings ended at mid-morning, the Festival still had more surprises to offer in its parallel sections. The lycanthropes from Wolfkin, the virtual ghosts in Social Distancing, the infernal landscape of The Harbinger and the mysterious figure from Glorious terrified Festival fans in the Panorama Fantàstic section. Meanwhile, Noves Visions closed its lineup with the eagerly awaited Petite fleur, by the celebrated Argentinean filmmaker Santiago Mitre. Before the section's conclusion, Unidentfied Objects, a sci-fi comedy directed by Juan Felipe Zuleta, and Del Kathryn Barton's Blaze, about a young woman's catatonic trauma after witnessing a sexual assault, were also screened. The Anima't section offered The Other Shape, a fable about a round-headed man who doesn't fit into his geometric surroundings. Seven Chances, the section organized by the Associació Catalana de la Crítica i la Escritura Cinematogràfica (Catalan Association of Film Critics and Writers - ACCEC), presented Cut-Throats Nine, the Spanish spaghetti western directed by José Luis Romero Marchent.
Today's agenda, in terms of industry, is marked by the round table discussion where Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Isabel Peña, Luis Zahera and Diego Anido talked about the scriptwriting process of As bestas, as well as the conflicts that the film raises. Meanwhile, the Green Film Lab workshop kicked off today, and will be held over the last three days of the Festival, with the aim of promoting sustainable film production. In addition, this year, for the first time, Unifrance is supporting French genre films with the Unifrance x SoFilm x Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival initiative. At the presentation session, which took place today, ten feature film projects were presented in a video-pitch. In addition, CineAsia held their traditional presentation of their contents for the rest of the year and the beginning of next year.
On the next-to-last day with leisure activities in the King Kong Area, the visitors could attend the presentation of the MangaBarcelona Auditorium section and JIDAI (Era del presente), a work-in-progress teaser of the Manga BCN animation short created by the students of the Escola Joso. In the FNAC Tent, Antonio Gómez-Pan presented and signed copies of his book El arte de la renuncia (The Art of Resignation). Finally, around half past eight in the evening, a special session of the Cerdanyola Fantosfreak short film festival took place, which this year pays tribute to its twenty-third anniversary by compiling some of its most memorable short films.
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