Sitges Presents the WomanInFan Initiative on a Day Marked by the World Premiere of 'Visitante'
A busy day on the Red Carpet this Friday, with the presence of the crews from 'The Execution', 'Visitante' and 'The Deep House'
The Festival's second day came fully loaded with stories about parallel realities, the influence of video nasty, Soviet serial killers or haunted houses at the bottom of deep waters. All these different projects reached Sitges audiences to demonstrate that fantastic genre can emerge from any angle.
The crew from Visitante kicked off this Friday in Sitges with a press conference to present Alberto Evangelio's debut feature, a science fiction film that combines elements of parallel universes along the lines of other movies seen in Sitges like Coherence with an intimist-style story that speaks from everyday life about subjects like motherhood and the consequences of personal choices. At the conference, the director referred to the film's ambiguity: "My intention was to have audiences make this effort when watching it. I find it interesting when viewers work to understand what is being proposed in the story, when a debate ensues following the screening. Fantastic film fans are much more accustomed than any others to this type of movies that approach science fiction.”
Afterwards was the turn for Censor with the presence of its director, Prano Bailey-Bond, co-writer Anthony Fletcher and producer Helen Jones, who commented on the idea of censorship in cinema and the relationship between horror and violence. "The idea came after reading an article on censorship in the UK during the 1980s, a time when blood and breasts were censored. At that time the censors were all men and I wanted to explore it from the perspective of a female protagonist" explained the filmmaker. The co-writer added that "it was a time that was very much associated with the 'video nasty' and how politicians blamed these films for everything negative that happened in society, when it was the very political system that generated it". Prano also commented on the current situation of censorship: "Nowadays there isn't as much in British cinema, but paradoxically there is on social media, where it isn't even possible to publish a picture showing a pair of nipples. There is a lot of fear of how they communicate with us, what we say and how we receive information today."
Continuing with our press conferences, the presentation of the XVI edition of the Minotauro Award took place, which this year has been presented to Fabián Plaza for his novel, Más fría que la guerra. Then around midday, award-winning actress Belén Rueda appeared before the journalists to take a look at her career on the occasion of the Grand Honorary Award that she received last night at the Auditorium. The actress discussed her career with the assembled media outlets, emphasizing her relationship with fantastic genre, which she said "gives you a lot of freedom to tell stories, talk about feelings and take them to extremes where other genres can't go because they break away from reality." Regarding genre festivals like Sitges, she believes that "they are managing to get other more mainstream film festivals to start talking about fantastic genre in the same terms of quality as dramatic or social cinema."
Among the other outstanding films screened today are the return of enfants terribles Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo with The Deep House, a surprising approach to the underwater supernatural that is competing in the Official Selection along with other works including the British The Feast (Glwedd) by Lee Haven Jones, the Chinese espionage film Cliff Walkers by Zhang Yimou and the violent Russian thriller The Execution, presented by its director Lado Kvataniya, who also posed on the Red Carpet prior to its screening at the Auditorium.
A highlight among the industry events was the presentation of the WomanInFan initiative, a project that champions the figure of women filmmakers in fantastic cinema. The round table moderated by Foundation Director Mónica García i Massagué, included the participation of actress Belén Rueda, filmmakers Prano Bailey-Bond and Ana Lily Amirpour, and producer Helen Jones, as well as the program's grant recipients, Laura Ferrés, Irene Moray and Anna Moragriega. Sitges Tabook's also took place with the special participation of director, producer and screenwriter Pedro Olea, who talked about the adaptation of Carlos Martínez-Barbeito's El bosque de Ancines in El bosque del lobo.
The Red Carpet brought the second day of Sitges 2021 to a close with the arrival of directors Oriol Paulo, Victor García and David Pérez Sañudo, who presented the teasers for Los renglones torcidos de Dios, La niña de la comunión and the short film Au Pair, included in the Official Selection.