Jalmari Helander's Energetic War Movie 'Sisu' wins Best Feature Film at Sitges 2022
Masaaki Yuasa receives this year's final Time Machine Award for his enormous influence on contemporary animated filmmaking
Sitges 2022's screen is about to shut down, but before saying goodbye once and for all, the Festival revealed this year's winners. Jalmari Helander, who already won three awards in 2010 with Rare Exports, has once again conquered Sitges, winning another three awards, including best feature film. Quite an achievement for an edition that has turned out to be a record-breaking one. The Foundation's director, Mònica García-Massaguè, announced that the 55th edition has brought in more audiences than ever, with 10.3% more in the number of moviegoers and 6.3% more box office takings than in 2019. In addition, Sitges has welcomed the visit of 610 guests, an unprecedented figure to date.
In addition to Sisu, the other big winner of the edition was Pearl, for which its two co-writers were also winners: Ti West, for her directorial work, and Mia Goth, for her dazzling performance. Regarding the prequel to X, distributor Christophe Mercier, a member of the official jury, emphasized at a press conference the incredible symbiosis between actress and filmmaker. Along with Mercier, the other four members of the jury, Mariana Enriquez, Heidi Honeycutt, Susanne Wuest and William Lustig, took advantage of their appearance before the media outlets to emphasize the need to celebrate the art of storytelling, as well as to stress that the criteria for evaluating a film are measured by what one feels during its journey, and not only in relation to its technical aspects.
Sisu and Pearl were joined on the list of award winners by Project Wolf Hunting, which won the Special Jury Award; Quentin Dupieux, who picked up the award for best screenplay ex-aequo for the two films he brought to this edition (Smoking Causes Coughing and Incredible but True), and Tereza Nvotová, who won a special mention for "her great eye in elegantly representing the modern days of witch-hunting".
But the awards weren't the only recognition given on the last day. Japanese anime master Masaaki Yuasa received the last of the five Time Machine Awards that the Festival has presented this year for the boundless creativity he has shown throughout his twenty-year career. The Japanese filmmaker, who visited the town to present Inu-oh, his latest film, was the protagonist of this year's last press conference, where he explained the reason for the strange fusion between rock and the classic beats of Noh, a classical form of Japanese theater: "Noh, as it is understood today, is very slow and hard to understand, but there is a register in which six hundred years ago it was more aggressive and the tempos were faster. I took that reference and tried to combine it with those tempos. In addition, I chose rock instruments because I couldn't express what I wanted to express with the Noh instruments alone".
All the above-mentioned awards were presented at the Festival's closing ceremony, which included the screening of Bones and All, Luca Guadagnino's latest film, a story of cannibal love between two young people who live on the fringes of society. In addition, in the evening, the screenings of this year's three surprise films will take place: first, Halina Reijn's Bodies Bodies Bodies will be screened in an individual session, and afterwards, the audience will enjoy a double bill consisting of Zach Cregger's Barbarian and Chris Sivertson's Monstrous.
Meanwhile, first thing in the morning, Rodrigo Sorogoyen and his team appeared at a press conference after having thrilled the Auditori yesterday with his As bestas. At it, co-screenwriter Isabel Peña reflected on the evolution of the characters over the five years that the script was on hold: "When you are naiver you lean towards a more arbitrary darkness, and as the years go by you realize that there are more interesting things to tell. Then, they tend to remain in a more tempered terrain, more human and less caricatured".
The industry agenda also included the presence of Masaaki Yuasa, who held a meeting with his fans, where he talked about his creative process and his criteria when it comes to choosing the stories he adapts. In addition, there was another Sitges Green Film Lab session, which kicked off yesterday and will hold its final session as part of tomorrow's agenda.
The parallel activities also held their own closing day today. At the Mercat Vell, the Citoplasma Animació Stopmotion Workshop entertained the little ones by animating plasticine frame by frame using substitution and morph techniques. In addition, today many writers stopped by the Fnac Tent in a grand finale. In the morning, Manolo Dos and Vicky Hidalgo presented the latest novel from the Minotauro publishing house, Temores crecientes (Growing Fears); in the afternoon, the turn was for Javier Moragón and Octavio López Sanjuán, who presented Bienvenidos a noche de miedo (Welcome to Fright Night), the official book of the saga authorized by Tom Holland, and in the evening, the tent closed with Julio Ángel Olivares Merino and his latest novel, La cacería (The Hunt).
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