Najwa Nimri captivates Sitges' audience accepting a Grand Honorary Award
'The Barcelona Vampiress', Lluís Danés' terrifying drama, celebrates its world premiere in Sitges
Sitges 2020 kicked off its first weekend with a bang, programming spectacular premieres in all of the Festival's sections, such as the eagerly awaited The Dark and the Wicked and Mandibules in SOFC, Minor Premise in Noves Visions, the late-night double screening in Panorama Fantàstic with The Funeral Home and The Night, the essential Kubrick by Kubrick in Sitges Documenta, the first open-air screening at the Hort de Can Falç and the presentation to the media outlets of The Barcelona Vampiress with a spectacular premiere at the Meliá Auditori, before Najwa Nimri received the Festival's Grand Honorary Award, on a day full of entertainment and intense emotions.
The second day of the Festival revealed many of the most eagerly awaited surprises at this year's edition. In the in-competition Official Selection, today we could see Mandibules, the surprising new comedy by Sitges regular Quentin Dupieux, this time starring giant flies. Bryan Bertino, who surprised audiences everywhere with The Strangers, presented The Dark & the Wicked, his new piece about how there can be worse things than death. In Noves Visions we got to see the psychological thriller Minor Premise, Eric Schultz's directorial debut. The Prado Theater was in charge of opening Sitges Documenta Kubrick by Kubrick, an essential document and a definitive tribute to the Stanley Kubrick the person from the hands of Gregory Monro who recovers new and exclusive recordings of the filmmaker, where he reflects on his philosophy of life. And the Fantastic Panorama section programmed a double bill in the Tramuntana Theater to present the feature debut by two young directors, La funeraria (The Funeral Home) by Mauro Iván Ojeda and Iranian The Night by Kourosh Ahari. This Friday also saw the opening of our open-air film screenings at the Hort de Can Falç, with showings of the animated feature films One Piece: Stampede by Takashi Otsuka and City Hunter by Phillippe Lacheau. And as a grand finale to the world premiere of Malnazidos at yesterday's opening gala ceremony, its directors Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro participated in a special broadcast from the headquarters of the Marea Nocturna Festival, the podcast dedicated to fantastic and horror films on Radio Primavera Sound, hosted by Desirée de Fes, Angel Sala, Jordi Sánchez-Navarro and Xavi Sánchez Pons.
At a press conference held this noon at the Festival's headquarters, another of today's main attractions was presented, The Barcelona Vampiress, the terrifying drama directed by Lluís Danés. The film, based on real events that took place in Barcelona in the early 20th century, has a strong cast of Catalan actors including Nora Navas, Sergi López, Francesc Orella, Pablo Derqui, Bruna Cusí, Roger Casamajor and Núria Prims. Lluís Danés, accompanied by a large part of the artistic crew, spoke about the film's origin and production, citing Fellini's Casanova as the main reference for his filmmaking and masters such as David Lynch or The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the leitmotiv of this 53rd edition, which "explore territories and scenarios between theater and cinema, where the scenography becomes another character". Before the official presentation in the Auditori, the artistic and technical crews walked the red carpet for the accredited print media journalists.
After 10 pm and before the screening in the Auditori of the short film Routine: The Prohibition by Sam and Quentin Dupieux’s Mandibules, Najwa Nimri Najwa Nimri took to the Auditori stage to receive the Grand Honorary Award for her lifetime achievement. Following her debut in Jumping into the Void (1995), one of the milestones in independent Spanish film, for which she won the Award for Best European Actress at the Berlin Festival, the artist born in Pamplona and of Jordanian-Spanish descent launched a dazzling career that has made her one of the most outstanding Spanish actresses of her generation, with genre films such as Alejandro Amenábar’s Open Your Eyes (1997), one of the key films in European fantastique, Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998), Faust 5.0 (2001), Verbo (2011) and Quién te cantará (2018). In addition to combining film with her other great passion, pop music, she has also become a huge TV star thanks to the series Vis a Vis (Locked Up) and Money Heist.