The Neon Lights of 'Tron' Illuminate Sitges 2022
The new projects from Dario Argento, Quentin Dupieux or Peter Strickland will be part of an Official Selection featuring the most diverse and innovative genre
In today's era of hyperconnectivity and metaverses, the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia looks back and ventures into the dazzling virtual worlds of Tron (Steven Lisberger, 1982) to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. Both visionary and pioneering, this film starring Jeff Bridges inspires the poster for the Festival's 55th edition and invites us to take a voyage to the other side of the screen. From October 6th to 16th, Sitges will once again be the epicenter of genre film and the essential annual event for all its fans.
Once again, the poster for this year's edition has been created by the China agency. Regarding the creative process they developed, they remarked: "For those of us who are of a certain age, it's very special to be able to work based on a science fiction classic from our childhood like Tron, a work that is more contemporary than ever, with words like metaverse or virtual reality slipping into almost any conversation. Taking the graphic universe where Kevin Flynn is trapped when he enters his computer's circuits as our inspiration, we saw the opportunity to recover the Festival's great icon and, for the first time, totally give it center stage. Virtual reality and Sitges, merged into an image conceived from digital and for digital. To design it, we went with the Barcelona visual artist Sergi Delgado who, with his minimalist style and rich in optical effects, explored until he found the perfect balance between the simplicity and forcefulness that every poster needs and the disorder of distorted, immersive lines that, up close, invite you to literally enter this edition's leitmotif.”
Sitges 2022 also reveals a preview of the first confirmed films in its Official Selection’s lineup. Predominantly European films that present different takes on fantasy from directors with a long track record and Sitges regulars, like Dario Argento, Quentin Dupieux or Peter Strickland, along with up-and-coming names like Hanna Bergholm or Léa Mysius.
Horror maestro Dario Argento returns a decade after his last work Dracula 3D with Occhiali Neri (Dark Glasses), the story of a young woman who loses her sight and who, with the aid of a young Chinese boy, tries to take down a serial killer. The Italian filmmaker deploys his inimitable bloody universe in a film starring Ilenia Pastorelli and Asia Argento, and which brings us a new encounter with an essential figure in the world of horror.
The French king of the absurd, Quentin Dupieux, will be presenting his two latest films at Sitges 2022. Incroyable mais vrais (Incredible But True), with a cast starring Alain Chabat, Léa Drucker, Anaïs Demoustier and Benoît Magimel, is a funny, eccentric film about a married couple and the mysterious basement of their new home, arriving at the Festival after its run in Berlin. With Fumer fait tousser (Smoking Causes Coughing), Dupieux presents a satire on superhero movies, with demonic turtles, which was presented in Cannes in the official out-of-competition section and once again features Anaïs Demoustier and Alain Chabat, joined by Adèle Exarchopoulos, Vincent Lacoste and Benoît Poelvoorde.
Another Sitges classic is Peter Strickland. The British director's new work, Flux Gourmet, revolves around a gastronomic collective, their artistic interests and power struggles, as they explore the concept of "sonic cuisine". Asa Butterfield and Gwendoline Christie are the stars of this delirious and disturbing production.
From Finland arrives Hatching, Hanna Bergholm's debut feature, a daring and surprising family horror story, complete with a monstrous creature and all. A combination of coming-of-age and body horror that made its world premiere at Sundance, where Bergholm revealed herself to be one of genre's most solid promises.
Another outstanding female debut is Les cinq diables (The Five Devils), by Léa Mysius, a frequent screenwriter for filmmakers including Claire Denis, Jacques Audiard and Arnaud Desplechin. Presented at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight, this film is halfway between thriller and drama with fantastic touches; a family story set at the foot of the Alps about a girl with an extraordinary olfactory sensitivity starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Daphne Patakia.
Galician director Alberto Vázquez will be presenting Unicorn Wars in Sitges, a French co-produced anti-war animated feature film that recently competed in the official selection of the Annecy Festival. In the film, Vázquez, a three-time Goya award winner, reflects on the origin of armed conflicts through the story of an ancestral war between bears and unicorns.
Coupez! (Final Cut), the opening film at Cannes 2022, will also be at the Festival. Michel Hazanavicius directs this remake of One Cut of the Dead -the surprising Japanese zombie comedy that was an absolute phenomenon at Sitges 2018- maintaining its festive meta spirit and starring Romain Duris and Bérénice Bejo.
Thrillers return with Órbita
The 55th edition of the Festival brings back Òrbita, the section dedicated to thrillers, which draws on renewed strength and presents the preview of a film from South Korea, one of the most powerful film industries today.
Hunt, the directorial debut of Lee Jung-jae -star of Squid Game- is a frenetic spy thriller set in 1980s South Korea. A crime action movie brimming with violence that will be landing in Sitges after being screened in Cannes in its official out-of-competition section.
Lee Sang-yong directs The Roundup, the sequel to The Outlaws (Kang Yoon-sung, 2017). The highest-grossing Korean film of the year, hitting pre-pandemic figures, is a crime action thriller starring Ma Dong-seok, popular for his roles in Train to Busan or Eternals.
Industry: Sitges Fanlab and Woman in Fan
The Sitges Film Festival's program for the visibility and incorporation of female creators in fantastic genre filmmaking presents a call for entries to create a teaser short film.
With this competition, Woman in Fan proposes the creation of a piece destined to be shown around the audiovisual market circuit. And as such, the teaser short film should serve as a sample of an idea for a fantastic genre feature film.
As a result, the program expands its field of action to include film production in order to support the work done by female filmmakers within the fantastic genre industry.
The evaluation committee will select ten projects from among all those submitted, from which there will be one winner. The nine finalists and the winning project will have the right to participate in different Sitges Fanlab training sessions during the 55th edition of the Festival. In addition, the winning filmmaker will have a budget of 10,000 euros, which will go entirely towards the production of the winning short teaser, with the support of the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia in the project's production functions. The presentation of the project will take place within the framework of the corresponding edition of the Festival.
SGAE Nova Autoria Awards
The SGAE Nueva Autoría Awards organized by the SGAE and the SGAE Foundation, through the SGAE Territorial Council in Catalonia, will once again be presented together with, and as part of, the Sitges Film Festival.
These auteur awards are intended to discover, promote and help publicize audiovisual productions created by students at universities and film schools across Catalonia. They are presented for the categories of best director, best screenplay and best original music.
This year the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards are celebrating 22 years at our international film competition and the finalist projects will be screened on Saturday, October 8th at the Prado Movie Theater. Many of the auteurs who have participated are now well-known professionals in the audiovisual sector.
Support for the 55th edition
Once again this year, the Festival is grateful for the commitment of all the cooperating institutions and companies: Moritz (main sponsor), Amazon Prime Video (multimedia partner), Sunglass Hut (fashion partner), So de Tardor (official white wine), Primavera Sound (featured partner), Lavazza (official coffee), Vilamòbil Audi & Volkswagen (official vehicle), TV3 (official TV network), La Vanguardia (official newspaper), Catalunya Ràdio (official radio) and Meliá Sitges (sponsor and official headquarters).
The Festival confirms its agreements with Cinemes Verdi, China Madrid, CineAsia, D.O. Ribera del Duero, DRoom, Ediciones Minotauro, ESCAC, FNAC, Fotogramas, FX Animation, Iberia, IES Joan Ramon Benaprès Catering School, Japan Foundation, Manuel Bundó Marqués S.L., Patates Piqué, Port d’Aiguadolç de Sitges Marina, Reial Cercle Artístic, Renfe, Sensacine, SelectaVisión, SGAE and the SGAE Foundation, The Original Cha-Chá, Vertix and Wallbox.
Sitges 2022 is organized thanks to the participation of the Sitges Town Hall, the Retiro and Casino Prado movie theaters in Sitges, the Catalonian Generalitat’s Department of Culture’s Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals (Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises), 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), the Barcelona Diputació (City Council), the Servei Públic d’Ocupació de Catalunya -Conferència Sectorial d'Ocupació i Afers Laborals (Catalan Public Employment Service - Sectorial Conference for Employment and Labor Affairs), and the Carnet Jove - Departament de Benestar i Família (Department of Welfare and Family).