Jan Harlan and Lamberto Bava are Honored in an Espectacular New Day in Sitges
A day of tributes at the 56th edition of the SITGES - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Jan Harlan receives the first of the Festival's Grand Honorary Awards this year and Lamberto Bava receives the Time Machine Award. Meanwhile, Carlota Pereda presented 'La ermita', her latest work, while eagerly awaited films like 'Kubi' or 'Infested' were also screened.
The Sitges Film Festival is a place to have unique and unrepeatable experiences. This was the case with the screening of 'THE SHINING (EXTENDED VERSION)', which was preceded by an incredible talk by Lee Unkrich, director of Pixar films like 'Toy Story 3' or 'Coco' and an expert on Stanley Kubrick's fascinating masterpiece. In addition, prior to the screening, Jan Harlan, producer of Kubrick's work from 'A Clockwork Orange' to 'Eyes Wide Shut', received the first of the two Grand Honorary Awards that will be presented at the 56th Sitges Film Festival.
One of the big stars of last year's edition, Carlota Pereda, returned to Sitges to present 'LA ERMITA' at the Auditori, which was also the Red Cross "Premiere". The film, a mixture of drama and supernatural horror, tells the story of Emma and her mother, who is suffering from an advanced terminal illness and will try to remedy it by any means possible. This morning, the film crew, headed by Carlota Pereda, appeared at a press conference. Despite being her second film, the director talked about how "this project chose me long before 'Piggy' and, in fact, a week after presenting 'Piggy' we were already shooting". Meanwhile, Belén Rueda emphasized her good connection with Carlota Pereda and also with fantastic genre films, albeit with nuances: "I like fantastic films, but it depends on how you tell the story, and what I liked about this film was precisely how Carlota Pereda told it."
Late in the evening, another of this year's most eagerly awaited films was screened. KUBI', directed by Takeshi Kitano, thrilled a jam-packed Auditori, delighted with the latest madness from this Japanese genius. The film, which was also screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival, has all the elements to become one of the favorites for audiences at this edition: it's brutal, funny, bloody and full of decapitations. Before the screening, Lamberto Bava took the stage to receive the Time Machine Award, celebrating an illustrious lifetime career as a benchmark in Italian genre cinema, auteur of cult classics such as 'Demons', 'La Maschera Del Demonio' or 'La Venedere d'Ille' (the last two have been screened during the Festival).
The Official In Competition Selection continues to provide us with some of the most interesting genre films of the year. This is the case of 'INFESTED', a film not suitable for arachnophobes where a man, passionate about exotic animals, will unleash an infestation that will plunge his neighborhood into a state of absolute chaos. On the other hand, 'DIVINITY' was screened late in the evening at the Prado, a fascinating display of science fiction shot in black and white that took the audience on a psychedelic journey to the limits of genre moviemaking.
Regarding Noves Visions, we would highlight the last screening of 'HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS' at the Prado, one of the films that are making the most waves at the Festival, both for the movie's originality and for the absolutely madcap film crew, who are making some of the most memorable presentations in recent years in Sitges. Mike Cheslik directs this absurd comedy about a drunken firewater salesman who must defeat hundreds of beavers to become the biggest fur trapper in North America. In the evening, also screened at the Prado, 'THE VOURDALAK', an adaptation of Aleksei Tolstoy's well-known story about vampires who drink the blood of their loved ones with an auteur cinema style.
At the Retiro, the protagonist of the day was, as usual, the Panorama section. Some fascinating projects were screened today, such as 'THE PRIMEVALS', the life project of the legendary stop motion animator Dave Allen, which was completed more than 20 years after his death. Also shown was 'NINA DEI LUPI', a post-apocalyptic film with folk horror elements and an intriguing story.
At Sitges Industry, today was punctuated by the celebration of a total of four Encounters with some of the most relevant figures in genre film: Takashi Miike, Hideo Nakata, Lee Unkrich and Phil Tippet. In addition to these Encounters, the event "Building Futures: Cinema, Design Fiction, Future Scenarios, City and Mobility," also took place, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the world of design fiction and futuristic scenarios as seen through film.
Meanwhile, in parallel activities, this afternoon visitors could enjoy the "PUCK", a caravan set up as an itinerant movie theater, turning its interior into a tiny projection room. Today in the MERCAT VELL and the PALAU DEL REI MORO there were some special activities for the little ones: a workshop of interpretation of a horror story, and a workshop of masks and board games in the street, an activity sponsored by Abacus Cooperativa.