Quentin Dupieux Receives the Time Machine Award Warning us that 'Smoking Causes Coughing'
Nacho Vigalondo, Alice Waddington, Salvador Calvo and Jaume Balagueró present the second season of episodes of 'Historias para no dormir'.
While Sitges 2022's square one is starting to look a little far away, the Festival still has a long way to go. The last time Quentin Dupieux premiered a film in Sitges, he got the audience to embrace a recurring comment made by the main characters as the Festival's slogan. Thanks to this level of achievement and his enormous inventiveness when it comes to cultivating the absurd humor that is his trademark, Sitges is presenting him with the third Time Machine Award at this edition of the Festival. This year, Dupieux offers two examples of his talent: Incredible but True, which could be seen yesterday at the Auditori, and Smoking Causes Coughing, the most eagerly awaited film of the day.
The French director was the protagonist of today's second press conference, during which he reflected on his own creative process: "It's difficult to write the absurd and I trust my ideas that come without any reflection, and later on I do reflect on them, of course, but I love it when they come unconsciously". He also added, in relation to his way of creating stories, that "a linear script seems boring to me. Rather than pinning my ideas to a preconceived structure, I like the structure of the film to adapt to my ideas". After 11 p.m., before the screening of Smoking Causes Coughing, he received his award among wild applause and shouts of "Toro".
The other awards presented today were the Méliès d'Or, given annually by the Méliès International Festivals Federation. This year's Méliès Career Award went to Claudio Simonetti, the Italian composer whose collaboration with Dario Argento in the 1970s provided some of the most unforgettable melodies in Italian giallo, which have since been so widely replicated. In tears, Simonetti thanked his father, who encouraged him to pursue his career as a musician, for the award. The Méliès d'Or Award for Best Feature Film went to Piggy, the feminist slasher by Carlota Pereda, while the award for Best Short Film went to Fredrik S. Hana's From Beyond, an experimental and daring proposal. The award ceremony took place early this afternoon, prior to the screening of Ego, a particular Finnish horror drama, directed by Hanna Bergholm, which made a big impact at the past Sundance Festival.
After revolutionizing last year's Festival with an entourage featuring the best from the Spanish star system (Dani Rovira, Inma Cuesta, Eduard Fernández, etc.), Historias para no dormir invaded Sitges once again on the occasion of the screening of the four episodes from its second season, directed by Nacho Vigalondo, Salvador Calvo, Alice Waddington and Jaume Balagueró. The quartet of filmmakers appeared at a press conference along with a large cast of actors, including Javier Gutiérrez, Roberto Álamo and Carlos Areces. Nacho Vigalondo commented that: "this series' great attribute is, for practical purposes, in creating a mini-festival of fantastic film that allows you to take a look and assess the state of the Spanish fantastic film scene". Meanwhile, the team of producers commented that they don't rule out the possibility of making original scripts, totally independent from the legendary series by Chicho Ibáñez Serrador.
Also today, the Minotauro Award was presented to Víctor Conde and Guillem Sánchez for their novel Horizonte de estrellas (Horizon of Stars). The award winners attended a special cocktail party where they received the award and expressed their commitment to the science fiction genre: "we creators of content always have our sights set on the future".
Besides the aforementioned films by Bergholm and Dupieux, the official in-competition lineup offered three other films that the Official Jury will have to evaluate: Matt Jenkins' unique Enys Men, which tells the story of a woman isolated on a desert island; the generic cocktail of Something in the Dirt, by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, a regular Sitges duo, and Nightsiren, the new folk horror film by Slovakian filmmaker Tereza Nvotová, which was a big hit at the past Locarno Festival.
In addition, the Òrbita section had a special place in the limelight today. After nightfall, the Auditori witnessed the premiere of The Roundup, the third South Korean action thriller to be screened at the Festival after Hunt and A Man of Reason. Fellow actor Lee Sang-yong presents this action thriller about a series of tourists who are murdered. At midnight, the Marathon dedicated exclusively to the Orbit section takes place, which will include Detective vs Sleuth, by Hong Kong's Wai Ka-Fai, Johnnie To's usual directing partner; Kenuke Sonomura's Bad City, which falls under the long tradition of Japanese noir; Takbir, a short film that delves into terrorist affairs; and H4Z4RD, an action film on wheels. These last two films presented by their respective directors: Jordi Calvet and Jonas Govaerts. Added to these five films is the screening of Han Jae-rim's Emergency Declaration, also in the Òrbita section. Another highlight is the screening of Christmas Bloody Christmas, with the presence of Joe Begos, included in the Retiro night marathon along with Sissy, the singular horror comedy by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, and V/H/S/S 99, the fifth installment of the emblematic found footage saga.
As regards the industry section, the winners of the Sitges Fanpitch, an event that took place yesterday morning, were announced today. In the feature film category, the winning projects were Bloody Mary, directed by Joseph Díaz, Rain Catcher, directed by Michele Fiascaris, and Krampusnacht, directed by Peter Hengl. As for TV series, the winning project was Superada, by Ainhoa Menéndez. The people responsible for the projects were able to access the training event It's Bloody Green, a workshop conducted by Helene Granqvist and Valeria Richter and attended by the winner of WomanInFan, Estíbaliz Burgaleta, and the three previous winners: Cristian Ponce's La hora de los brujos; Óscar Martín's Upiro; and Sooyung Kim's Reboot. The purpose of the workshop is to train those responsible for the projects in sustainable, ecological and inclusive film production.
As is customary, the Festival also collaborated with the Blood Bank by offering a free donation space, a mobile unit that could be found parked in Catalunya square. Continuing with the parallel activities, students from the Miquel Utrillo School presented their fantastic short films in the MEETING area.