When Evil Lurks Wins the Award for Best Feature Film at Sitges2023
Hideo Nakata and Brad Anderson receive the final Time Machine Awards on a day that crowned 'WHEN EVIL LURKS' as the best feature length film in the Official In Competition Selection at the 56th edition of the SITGES - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. 'DREAM SCENARIO', a film produced by Ari Aster and A24, was the film chosen to bring a new and record-breaking edition, in terms of audiences, of the Sitges Film Festival to a close.
'WHEN EVIL LURKS' has become the very first Latin American movie to win the award for Best Feature Film in the entire 56-year history of the Sitges Film Festival. In addition, the film is a major achievement for Sitges Industry given that it was a project that began to take shape as part of the Sitges Fanpitch. 'TIGER STRIPES', another of the award-winning films (in this case, Zafeen Zairizai won a special mention for best actress), is also another project that was incubated at the Sitges Fanpitch and ended up being screened at the Cannes Film Festival before coming full circle and returning to Sitges.
The list of Official Selection winners was very widely spread, with a total of thirteen films winning awards. 'INFESTED' and 'STOPMOTION' joined the list of winners of the Grand Jury Award, with a well-deserved joint acknowledgement. The Award for Best Director went to one of the Festival's big revelations, director and musician Baloji for his work behind 'OMEN'. Meanwhile, the awards for best actor and actress went to Karim Leklou for 'VINCENT MUST DIE' and Kate Lyn Sheil for 'THE SEEDING'.
Beyond the award winners in the sections, today was a day with a double helping of Time Machine Awards. The first was the one given to Brad Anderson, an outstanding genre director over the last two decades who already knows what it's like to triumph at the Sitges Film Festival. He did it in 2004, when he won two awards for 'THE MACHINIST' (Best Cinematography and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Christian Bale). The American director returned to Sitges to present his latest work, 'BLOOD', a terrifyingly true story about a boy who, after being bitten by a dog, develops an unquenchable thirst for blood.
Today's other Time Machine Award went to Hideo Nakata, one of the masters par excellence of J-horror, who received the Time Machine Award in recognition of a career devoted body and soul to horror cinema. The director attended a press conference this morning to talk about his career and his latest film 'THE FORBIDDEN PLAY', which he presented in the Panorama section. Hideo Nakata, who won the award for best feature film in the 1998 Official Selection with 'The Ring', said that he is "delighted to be back here after 24 years, since Sitges was the first International Festival to give me an award in an official selection". Regarding his future, the director declared that "I've already directed more than 30 films, but my goal is to end up surpassing the level of 'The Ring' or 'Dark Water'".
Hideo Nakata received the award at the closing gala ceremony, which featured, in the purely cinematic category, the screening of 'DREAM SCENARIO', the latest production by A24 and Ari Aster. The film is based on the premise that everyone suddenly starts dreaming about the character played by Nicolas Cage. Directed by Norwegian Kristoffer Borgli, this movie is destined to be one of the biggest sensations, not only at Sitges, but of the year in general.
Sitges Industry ended in style with the last two Encounters. The first of the day was with Brad Anderson, who spoke about a remarkable career dedicated to genre moviemaking and in the afternoon the turn went to David C. Fein, producer who in 2022 was behind the making of 'STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE - THE DIRECTOR'S EDITION', a work that could be seen at the Festival.
Regarding the parallel activities, today was a very busy day, especially in terms of children's activities. For example, there was a new storytelling session for the "little ones" at the PALAU DEL REI MORO and in the morning the children were able to get made up in a workshop that was organized in the Port d'Aiguadolç Marina. Meanwhile, these are the last two days to enjoy the exhibitions, the FANSHOP and the FOODTASTICK caravans, so you should really make the most of it.