The Sitges Zombie Walk, the virtual reality at Samsung Sitges Cocoon and TV series were the stars of the Festival’s second day
Today was zombie day in Sitges. Thousands of them took over the streets on the occasion of the Sitges Zombie Walk and participated in the different screenings scheduled with movies of this genre. But this Saturday, the Festival also offered much more, like the films The Void and The Love Witch –both in the in competition Official Selection–, the presentation of Samsung Sitges Cocoon –the venue and section dedicated to virtual reality–, the starting shot of Serial Sitges –accompanied by the presentation of the Movistar+ series for this season– and the presentation of the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards –rewarding the works of young talents from film schools around Catalonia–, among many other proposals that packed the schedule.
Throughout the entire day, Sant Sebastià Beach welcomed the very first zombies, who this afternoon went out in an organized demonstration around the streets of downtown Sitges following the starting shot fired by the famous actress Barbara Crampton, winner of the Time Machine Award at this 49th Film Festival.
Today the in competition Official Selection presented the Canadian production The Void. With references to Carpenter’s cinema, to the universe of Lovecraft and to the movies by British Clive Baker, the film is directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Guillespi, both from the world of special makeup effects and visual design. At the press conference, both Guillespi and Kostanski commented that their main goal was to “create a film like the ones that used to be made before the arrival of digital effects”. With a screenplay that unfolds like the pieces of a puzzle in order to produce a mystery effect in spectators, the film gives way to the arrival of its leading players at hospital reminiscent of those not so far away monster movies that weren’t created by a computer. “Our way of working has been very different from the one used today, since we spent more time on the film’s pre-production and the creation of the creature, than on the post-production”.
Also presented in the Official Selection was The Love Witch, a film that explores female fantasies based on a mise en scène reminiscent of classic films from the sixties shot in Technicolor. American Anna Biller pointed out that “after reading the essay Visual pleasure in film, that advocates cine made solely for male pleasure, I wanted to vindicate that pleasure in cinema isn’t just for men, you can also make a movie designed for female sensitivity”. Interested in classic mythology and the use of cinematic language, Biller defined her film as “a fairytale created in a psychological environment”.
Today Sitges welcomed filmmaker Colin Trevorrow, who offered a master class, returning to the Festival after directing the super production Jurassik World. Trevorrow was already at Sitges 2012 –without making any media noise– to present the indie production Safety Not Guaranteed, which won him great recognition in the industry upon being nominated for the Spirits Awards. Today, the now famous director highlighted that “the important thing about making a movie is trying to make sure it’s universal. That the message can be understood by a young person living in California or in Barcelona or in a big Chinese city”.
Today was also the presentation of the new room that Sitges 2016 inaugurated this year, la Samsung Sitges Cocoon, dedicated to virtual reality. As indicated by Eduardo Rodríguez, director of the IM division Spain for the Samsung company, “virtual reality technology is a super strong tool in all sectors of society, from medicine to distribution”. In that regard, Rodríguez continued saying “if we refer to the world of cinema, collaborating with the Sitges Film Festival was basic and we are extremely pleased with the experience and with the creation of this new room as another alternative of leisure and enjoyment in the Festival”. On the other hand, director Nacho Vigalondo, who got involved with this Samsung initiative by directing one of the shorts that make up the lineup of this new room, Ceremony, remarked that he felt he was “privileged to be able to make this piece”, his first experience with VR 360 (360 degree virtual reality). Vigalondo commented that “I had a blast during the shoot, although it was all an incredible effort of coordination”. You can enjoy a total of eight virtual reality shorts over the 8 Festival days still left. A new room that makes Samsung a technological collaborator at Sitges 2016.
This morning Movistar+, the Festival’s multimedia associate, presented its season of series, as a part of this year’s Serial Sitges section. The crew from the program Pool Fiction, along with Miguel Salvat, director Premium Content at Movistar+, described the TV selection offered by the channel, as well as reviewing the series that are at part of the lineup of Serial Sitges this year at the Festival like Halcyon, Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Timeless or Mr. Robot. Salvat spoke about the fast changes that are happening in the consumption of series and is convinced that “Movistar+ is the channel that at this time is offering the best types of series thanks to their variety, their quality and their immediacy”. Cristina Teva, the voice and image of cinema at Movistar+, was thankful for “the Festival’s commitment to the impact of these TV series in movie theaters”, while also pointing out “the intention of Movistar+Xtra to bring the Sitges Film Festival closer to their viewers”. The screenings in the Espacio Movistar+ will be going on throughout the Festival.
The second day at Sitges 2016 welcomed other presentations and talks in the Fnac marquee and also started the al fresco screenings at Hort de Can Falç. The climax of the day will be tonight’s screening at the Retiro of Aliens, which, 30 years later, is being screened again with simultaneous translation, as was done back in 1986 at the Festival.