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Here's the poster and the first guest star of Sitges2024

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Cannes, 18 May 2024.


The countdown to the 57th edition of the SITGES -  International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia has officially begun.


Le Freak c'est chic

Today, in the Fantastic Pavilion of the Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival, was the official kick-off of the preview of the 57th edition of SITGES - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia.


Ángel Sala and Mònica Garcia i Massagué, the Festival's Artistic Director and the Director of the Foundation, presented an event attended by journalists, film industry agents and institutional representatives, during which the new edition of the world's leading celebration of fantastic genre filmmaking began to take shape.


One of us, one of us...

The 57th, no more and no less, will be held from October 3 to 13, and it will be under the gloriously deforming image of one of the great classics in film history. 92 years after its shocking premiere, the spirit of the “Freaks” from the movie Freaks will invade Sitges' streets and movie theaters.


The film directed by Tod Browning is undoubtedly one of the milestones that can best explain the powerful sense of community surrounding fantastic films. To this must be added, organically, the contagious festive atmosphere that permeates our Festival every year... as if it were, in a certain way, a direct heir to those fairs where people used to come together to be equally astonished and horrified.


Once again this year, our film competition's visual identity is the result of a joint collaboration with the creative minds at the agency CHINA - part of LLYC whose representatives have made the following statement for the occasion:


 “It wouldn't be unusual to say that the Sitges Film Festival is the place of that which is different, that which is strange, in other words, that which is unusual. And neither would it be unusual to think that it has been this different and daring filmmaking seen here that has given rise to a typology of fans that doesn't resemble that of any other festival. This is precisely what we wanted to combine in this year's poster: the transformative power of film and the fear of what is different. To do this, we have collaborated with photographer Mikel Bastida on a project where we have manipulated a portrait to which we applied some of the chemicals that have historically been used in cinema. The result, a distorted, deformed face. But also a visual metaphor that tells us how we fear what is different, what we can't recognize, and how we exclude it. That doesn't happen here, on the contrary: it is celebrated”.


Freaks that generate films and films that generate freaks. Images of beautiful faces disfigured by products and processes that speak to us of the passage of time... of how adopting monstrosity can generate a new kind of beauty: strange, mysterious; more magnetic if possible.


SITGES once again makes a commitment to a visual impact that invites us to become dissolved in all its layers and textures; in the whole that they constitute... and that calls audience members to embrace this new look: to become one of our own..


In this regard, at today's event we have taken the opportunity to announce the first star that will answer to this call.


Ladies and Gentlemen... Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan (Salem, Massachusetts, 1978) has spent more than a decade established as one of the key figures in horror cinema. During this period, he has emerged as a tireless creative force, engaging in directing, writing, editing, and producing.


His movies and series form a rich ecosystem of chilling and equally thrilling offerings, from global audience phenomena to cult productions, further confirming his unique talent. From 'Absentia' (2011) to 'The Fall of the House of Usher' (2023), including 'Oculus' (2013), 'Before I Wake' (2016) (both screened in the Official Competition Section of the Sitges Film Festival), 'Ouija: Origin of Evil' (2016), 'The Haunting of Hill House' (2018), 'Doctor Sleep' (2019), 'Midnight Mass' (2021), or 'The Midnight Club' (whose first episodes were also presented at Sitges)...


Amidst this spectacular production pace, what stands out is the ambition of a filmmaker who successfully tackles the monumental challenge of adapting works by giants such as Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Henry James, or Edgar Allan Poe. His impressive ability to imbue each title with a unique personality is also noteworthy. Steering clear of jump scare noises, the most terrifying moments in his films are often slow-cooked and can even occur in broad daylight.

The close rapport he establishes with his actors defines him as much as his care for spoken words, clean-cut editing, and, of course, the awareness that the supernatural is the best gateway to stories loaded with overwhelming human substance. In his universe, ghosts carry the same weight as the good and bad decisions that can lead us down the tortuous paths of forgiveness and redemption.


For all these reasons, Mike Flanagan is the ideal filmmaker to start unveiling our guest list for the 57th edition of the SITGES – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. In 2024, we will have his presence and will present him with the Honorary Time Machine Award.


28 years after...

…the premiere of 'Linked', that impressive short film that would land him at the gates of the Academy Awards, we were also joined by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.


The acclaimed filmmaker from Tenerife, who is the Godfather of Fantastic 7, spoke face to face with Ángel Sala about the current state of the fantastic genre, as a preview of this program, which tomorrow, Sunday, May 19th, at 12:00h, will kick off its 6th edition.


Once again, the SITGES - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, will capture the spotlight of the Cannes Marché du Film, leading an initiative of brotherhood between major festivals, and bolstering films destined to mark the near future of the fantastic genre film scene.


The film that we will be backing is ‘Daniela Forever’, the eagerly awaited new feature by Nacho Vigalondo. On this occasion, the brilliant author of films like 'Timecrimes' or 'Colossal' combines romance with science fiction to present us with the grieving process of Nicolás, a man who, after losing his girlfriend Daniela in a traffic accident, decides to undergo a series of tests with a new drug that, in theory, will allow him to have absolute control over his dreams... an ability that, in the long run, will make him wonder about the need to stay awake.


The Bucheon Festival will be attending the event with Jae-hoon JUNG's 'Esper's Light', a horror-adventure hybrid with a documentary tone, which follows the steps of a dozen teenagers living in a world where anyone can be anyone they want to be and create any story they choose. In the middle of the dark night of the city of Lisan, the Alstroemeria forest and the island of Ashua, their imagined stories will flow through a myriad of choices, searching for faint glimmers of light.


The Cairo Festival's selection will be Ahmed El-Hawarey's 'A Tale of a Feather & a Fish', a family drama with touches of magical realism, where a disease that condemns the body to paralysis is carried as a burden of guilt, shame and social stigma.


The Guadalajara International Film Festival will be presenting Antonio Gäehd's 'Maleficarum', a tale that warns us about the terrifying counterparts of revenge, and where a teenage girl invokes the mysterious powers of an ancient king to deal with the attacks of the aggressors who make her life a living hell.


Meanwhile, Austin's SXSW will be opting for the punk comedy in James Morosini's 'Mommy's Home', an outrageous sci-fi piece with touches of erotic thriller, where family ties will be subjected to the most disturbing tests of fire when Hope, Jack's mother, is is brought out of cryo freeze... and discovers that she's younger than her son.


The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival will transport us to the always spine-chilling territories of folk horror with Raitis and Lauris Ābele's 'Dog of God'. The story will place us in 17th century Swedish Livonia, an inhospitable enclave where the disappearance of a certain relic will unleash the equally nightmarish and festive incantation of fantastic figures including witches and werewolves... signs of a devilish disinhibition that is on the verge of possessing an entire community.


And finally, the New Zealand International Film Festival will be endorsing Tom Sainsbury's 'Foreign Body', a confrontation of cultures wrapped in psychological horror; a terrible string of misunderstandings between a European traveler and a New Zealand host family that will awaken the darker side of the laws of hospitality.


Support for the 57th edition

Once again this year, the Festival is grateful for the commitment of all the cooperating institutions and companies: Moritz (main sponsor), Cupra (automotive partner), Repsol (multi-energy partner), TV3, Catalunya Ràdio (official TV network and radio station), La Vanguardia (official newspaper) and Meliá Sitges (sponsor and official headquarters).


Sitges 2024 is organized thanks to the participation of the Sitges Town Hall, the Catalonian Generalitat’s Department of Culture’s Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals (Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises), the Casino Prado movie theater and the Escorxador – Centre Cultural in Sitges, and receives financing from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports’ Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts), and the Barcelona Diputació (City Council).