08-09-2015 13:30

News

North American horror and the best genre films from emerging countries, the stars of Sitges 2015

The survival drama ‘Into the Forest’ will be closing the Festival

The most genuine horror there is will be the indisputable star of Sitges 2015, with films like The Devil’s Candy or We Are Still Here, representing the most extraordinary North American horror. The 48th Sitges Film Festival will be including veritable eye candy from countries that are emerging fantastic and horror film powers, like Baskin (Turkey) or Ludo (India).

The complete lineup for the 48th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is a reality as of right now. Stunning fantastic genre films from all over the world, as well as the most transgressive and radical genre projects, new emerging talent, the latest in Asian cinema and a painstakingly chosen selection of documentaries will all be coming together this year at a Festival promising powerful emotions.

The Official Fantàstic In Competition selection will be including stimulating projects, like the Turkish film Baskin, directed by Can Evrenol, a gore fest where a group of cops will come up against a genuinely terrifying occurrence; the North American The Devil’s Candy, Sean Byrne, a horrifying tale of satanic possessions from the director of the surprising The Loved Ones; Bone Tomahawk, by S. Craig Zahler, a western starring Kurt Russell and Matthew Fox, that goes on to become an exquisite horror movie, or Macbeth, by Justin Kurzel, a visceral adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedies, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

The Festival’s lineup also includes productions like Marcin Wrona’s Demon, that tells the story of a couple that discovers some human bones on the grounds of their future home, the first in a whole series of bizarre events that will culminate in the intrusion of a turbulent spirit; Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls, with the rising actress Taissa Farmiga (who attended Sitges 2013 with Mindscape) and Malin Akerman, a film where the daughter of a horror film star goes to the screening of a slasher movie starring her mother, but an accident will end up pulling the girl and her friends into the film; Kiyoshi Kurosawas’ Journey to the Shore, a story where a woman who lost her husband at sea sees her partner’s ghost appear before her very eyes; or the Danish What We Become, by Bo Mikkelsen, where a family winds up isolated due to the outbreak of a lethal flu in the community and will have to do everything they possibly can to protect themselves while, on the outside, the situation grows tenser until exploding in utter chaos.

This selection will also include titles like The Boy, by Craig Macneill, an intimate, dusty thriller starring David Morse and Rainn Wilson; Cemetery of Splendour, by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, an evocative film where a group of soldiers are treated for a strange disease that causes constant sleepiness; André Turpin’s Endorphine, where the lives of three women named Simone begin to mysteriously and almost dreamily communicate with each other, or the latest project from Alex van Warmerdam who, after picking up the Award for Best Feature Length Film at Sitges 2013 for Borgman, presents the film Schneider vs. Bax this year, loaded with humor that’s blacker than ever.

The 48th Film Festival will be brought to an end at its closing with the Canadian film Into the Forest, by Patricia Rozema, a survival drama where the magnificent Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood play two sisters trying to survive in a future world where a massive blackout sends humanity hurtling towards its termination. 

These projects are added to the previously announced ones, all top level films like Love, by Gaspar Noé; Victoria, by Sebastian Schipper; Green Room, by Jeremy Saulnier; The Gift, by Joel Edgerton; Turbo Kid, by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell; Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld, by Takashi Miike; Life, by Anton Corbijn; Le tout noveau testament, by Jaco Van Dormael, or Last Days in the Desert, by Rodrigo García, among many others.

Genre diversity

The Festival will also be screening films that are open to other genres which often live side by side with the fantastic genre. The Official Òrbita section becomes the paradigmatic space for these productions, presenting thrillers like Cédric Anger’s La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur, a film where a brilliant and disturbing Guillaume Canet plays a shy cop in charge of investigating the crimes committed by himself; Veteran, by Ryoo Seung-wan, –award winner at Sitges 2011 with The Unjust–, a new and exciting thriller from the Korean master where a detective out for justice declares war on a very powerful tycoon; or the British comedy The Legend of Barney Thompson, the first venture into directing by Robert Carlyle, who in it also plays a shy, mediocre barber in Glasgow who will suffer a drastic change in his life. On the other hand, the Official Sessions Especials (Special Screenings) Section will be offering works like the latest adventure from the Monty Python crew, Absolutely Anything, directed by Terry (Life of Brian) Jones, and starring the charismatic Simon Pegg, or the new film by Paolo Sorrentino who, after delighting us with La grande bellezza, now presents Youth, a nostalgic portrayal of maturity, with Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.

Noves Visions

Once again this year, the most transgressive cinema from around the world will be coming together in Noves Visions, a section that will be restructured into two big subsections this year: One and Plus. One will be screening the latest from the most renowned profiles on the international scene: Anomalisa, by Charlie Kaufman, the brains behind the great films by Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry; Cosmos, the latest from the legendary Andrzej Zulawski, a recent award winner at the Locarno Festival, as well as the latest works from first-rate filmmakers like Michael Winterbottom with The Face of an Angel or Takeshi Kitano with the black comedy Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen. Noves Visions One will be kicking off with the Spanish film La novia, by Paula Ortiz, an imaginary take on the classic Bodas de sangre, by Federico García Lorca, and closing with Evolution, by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, one of this season’s most disturbing films.

On the other hand, Noves Visions Plus will be the ideal place to get to know new, up-and-coming talents, hybrid formats and the most experimental cinema. Plus will be including the radicalism of Rick Alverson and his Entertainment, the piece that will be kicking off a selection that includes peculiar works like Moonwalkers, by Antoine Bourdon-Jacquet; innovative formats like the ones used by Sean Baker in Tangerine, or one of the most terrifying experiences at this year’s Festival, Der Nachtmahr, a German production directed by multidisciplinary artist Akiz and that will be causing genuine nightmares among the audience. Noves Visions Plus will be closing, out of competition, with a review of historical Korean cinema, the surprising The Royal Taylor, by Lee Woon-Suk.

Fantàstic Panorama and Documenta

The main, independent, fantastic and horror genre productions will be screened under the umbrella of the Fantàstic Panorama Section, that will include titles like El eslabón podrido, by Valentín Javier Diment; Hellions, by Bruce McDonald; Nina Forever, by Chris and Ben Blaine; Scherzo Diabolico, by Adrián García Bogliano; Southbound, by diverse directors; Tales of Halloween, directed by eleven famous directors; The Dead Room, by Jason Stutter, or The Mind's Eye, by Joe Begos. In addition, the Panorama Documenta Section will be introducing non-fiction pieces revolving around genre, as well as its creators. Such is the case with Dark Star - HR Giger's World, by Belinda Sallin, a documentary that shows the more intimate facet of the father of one of the most dreadful creatures in cinema: Alien, or I am Your Father, by Toni Bestard and Marcos Cabotà, a tribute to the actor who played Darth Vader in the first part of Star Wars.

Anima't and Midnight X-treme

Anima’t has designed a selective and attractive lineup of animation projects from all over the world, with works like Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', by Tadayoshi Yamamuro, its screenplay written by Akira Toriyama in person, and that takes the saga back to its purest roots, and Evolution Man (Pourquoi j'ai pas mangé mon père), by Jamel Debbouze, a comical adventure between the human and the animal element, made with motion capture.

On the other hand, the Midnight X-treme Section will be screening the most daring independent horror movies, including the outstanding film Bite, by Chad Archibald, where a girl holding her bachelorette party in an exotic paradise sees her body start to transform after being randomly bitten by a creature. Horror and hemoglobin will be keeping up the level of tension in  Midnight X-treme with other films like Bloodsucking Bastards, by Brian James O’Connell; German Angst, by Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall; Sendero, by Lucio A. Rojas, and Bite (at Sitges 2015 there are two different films with the same title) by Alberto Sciamma, among others.

In addition, the Sitges Clàssics Section, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, will be paying homage to the film Seven, star of the poster for our 48th Festival, a psycho-thriller that set a precedent and confirmed the talent of its director, David Fincher. This section will also be screening The Thief and the Cobbler, by Richard Williams, a film showing its director’s original work, inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.  

Asian cinema will also have an important presence at Sitges 2015. Renowned and other up-and-coming filmmakers offer their projects included in most of the sections, among which are the outstanding Two Thumbs Up, The Assassin, Helios, Port of Call, or the previously announced The Taking of Tiger Mountain and SPL2: A Time for Consequences. Once again, the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia will be collaborating with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs Office.

The Festival adds a room

The 48th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia will be launching a fourth room, added to its four classic screening areas, the Auditori, the Retiro Theater, the Prado Theater and Brigadoon. The Tramuntana Room, also located in the Hotel Meliá Sitges, the official Festival headquarters, will be fit out as a theater and will host a good number of screenings, as well as certain relevant master classes. The new room will allow the Festival more flexibility when it comes to structuring its schedule and give Festival viewers and fans more opportunities. In addition to these five theaters, the Festival will also have other ,U populars, estance amb el guardvenues offering free screenings.

Schedules and tickets

The lineup schedules for all the different venues will be published this upcoming Monday 14 September. Tickets go on sale Friday 18 September at 12 noon.

Support for the 48th Film Festival

The Festival is grateful for the commitment of all the collaborating entities and companies: Gas Natural Fenosa (main sponsor), Moritz and Torres (sponsors), Meliá Sitges (sponsor and official headquarters), Movistar TV (multimedia partner), Deluxe (collaborator), La Vanguardia (official newspaper), TV3 (official TV), Autolica - Mercedes Benz (official vehicle), Bacardí (official cocktail) and Montibello (official hair and beauty partner).

Sitges 2015 is organized thanks to the participation of the Sitges Town Hall and the Catalonian Generalitat’s Department of Culture’s Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals (Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises) and is supported by 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) and the Carnet Jove - Departament de Benestar i Família (Department of Welfare and Family).

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