The zombies featured in 'Malnazidos' revive fantastic genre on Sitges 2020's opening day
Starting today and until Sunday October 18th, Sitges will become the epicenter for fantastic films from around the world
Today, Thursday October 8th, Sitges 2020 has finally opened its doors to a new, eagerly awaited edition for fantastic genre fans, with a first day that can be interpreted as a declaration of principles that will define the decisive profile of its line-up for the next eleven days: emerging talents, an extensive array of first rate Catalan and Spanish productions, and a line-up featuring innovative and daring initiatives, while continuing to highlight genre classics and well-established filmmakers. Fantastic film is more alive than ever and, from October 8th to 18th, Sitges will become its finest showcase. And as a testimonial, a magnificent opening gala ceremony featuring the premiere of the Catalan co-production Malnazidos, a zombie movie set in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, and a high-profile preview with Dar-Dar, the short film about the story of a demon from Basque folklore directed by the director of Errementari, Paul Urkijo.
The Festival's first day kicked off its film section with major titles from its principal sections to start to get a feel for fantastic genre again and to demonstrate, this year more than ever, that genre's talent and bold, consolidated initiatives are still going strong and that Sitges is the ideal place to enjoy them. In the early hours of the morning, the Festival's youngest and future fans opened the Auditori to see Little Vampire at the special screening for schools, an animated adaptation of one of the most popular comics by its author and director, Joann Sfar, and which can be seen these days at a special screening in the official section. Fans of the undead are also in for a treat with the long-awaited release of the Korean film Peninsula, the sequel to Train to Busan, which picked up the awards for best director going to Yeon Sang-ho and best special effects at Sitges 2016.
This afternoon at a press conference, it was the turn to present Malnazidos, the film chosen to officially open the 53rd edition of the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Its directors, Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro, and the lead players, Aura Garrido and Miki Esparbé, explained all the details of this zombie action movie set during the Spanish Civil War and which adapts Manuel Martín Ferreras' novel. They expressed their excitement and sense of responsibility for officially opening Sitges 2020 with their film, in such a special and peculiar year. The cast, in addition to Miki Esparbé and Aura Garrido, also includes Luis Callejo, Álvaro Cervantes, María Botto and Dafnis Balduz. The film follows a group of soldiers fleeing from rival factions during the Civil War and who must become allies to take on a common enemy, the zombies.
At the gala ceremony held this Thursday afternoon at the Hotel Meliá' s Auditori, presented once again this year by Melina Matthews and Dafnis Balduz, in addition to the crew from Malnazidos, including Oriol Tarragó, who was responsible for the film's sound design and who will receive the Festival's Honorary Maria Award this Saturday, October 10th, the stars of the opening short film Dar-Dar, Almudena Cid, Elías García, Udane Elosegui and its director Paul Urkijo, also walked down our red carpet, and the Official Fantastic Jury for this 53rd edition, made up of producers David Matamoros and María del Puy Alvarado, actress Juana Acosta and directors Víctor García and Borja Crespo, appeared before the photo journalists.
In the seats of an Auditori equipped with all the necessary distancing and safety measures and guarantees, highlighted among a long list of guest celebrities and attendees were the Minister of Culture and Sports, H.E. Mr. José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, the Minister of the Presidency of the Generalitat, the Honorable Meritxell Budó, the Minister of Culture of the Basque Government, H.E. Mr. Bingen Zupiria and the representatives of the ICCA - the Ministry of Culture and Sports’ Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, Ms. Beatriz Navas Valdes and Mr. Ildefonso Rodriguez, among other institutional representatives, at a very special gala due to this year's exceptional circumstances.