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Sitges International Film Festival focuses on “terror in all its forms”

Almost 200 fantastic and terror genre films will be projected, from the 9th to the 18th of October, in the 48th edition of Catalonia’s International Fantastic Film Festival, in Sitges. The opening film this Friday will be the lauded “The Witch”, whose director Robert Eggers won the best director award in Sundance Festival. Sitges 2015 will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of David Fincher’s ‘Seven’ and tribute north-American director Oliver Stone, who will be awarded the Honorific Prize. The Festival, in partnership with Mobile World Capital Barcelona, have launched ‘Phonetastic’ a novelty of this year which aims to power all the potential of new generation mobile devices as movie-making tools.  According to his director, Àngel Sala the pace of tickets sales is similar to last years but a new venue has been added to the seven existing, Cinema Tramuntana. 

 

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09 October 2015 10:39 AM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- Mid-October is time for terror and fantastic cinema in Sitges, a coastal village 30 km south off Barcelona. The 48th edition of Catalonia’s International Fantastic Film Festival starts this Friday with the lauded debut film from Robert Eggers “The Witch” and will project 169 films, 37 of them competing in the official section, until the 18th of October. Sitges 2015 will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of David Fincher’s ‘Seven’ and pay tribute to North American director Oliver Stone, who will be awarded the Honorific Prize. The Sitges Film Festival is one of the most consolidated dates in Catalonia’s cultural calendar and besides projections, most of which are international ‘premieres’, it offers exhibitions, roundtables and seminars related to the fantastic and terror genre.

 


“This year terror dominates Sitges” stated Catalonia’s International Fantastic Film Festival’s director Àngel Sala, “the directors have made terror films in all their forms”. According to Sala, the Festival’s programme shows that “fantastic is the richest and most fertile of genres and give chances to new talent”.

Many sections to cover the whole genre

169 films from all over the world, most of them international premieres, will be projected in Sitges and 37 of them will compete in the Official Section. Other sections, such as ‘New Visions’, ‘Midnight X-treme’, ‘Classic’ and ‘Anima’t’, focused on animated films, will try to cover the different areas of the genre.

There is also space for television in ‘Serial Sitges’; the festival recently opened its doors to this genre, presenting fantastic genre and thriller TV series, as well as TV movies, web series and other formats. The purpose of this section is to house a growing and emerging sector: fantastic genre series.

A novelty of this year is ‘Phonetastic: Sitges Mobile Film’. The Festival, in partnership with Mobile World Capital Barcelona and publicity agents Sr. Watson, have created a new venture to take advantage of and power all the potential of a new generation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as movie-making tools and film community platforms to promote new talent and to give world-wide exposure to their productions.

From ‘B series’ to ‘mainstream cinema’

The opening film is the debut from North American director Robert Eggers, who won the best director award at the Sundance Festival. ‘The Witch’ is an oppressive horror film set in New England, in the 17th century and has been one of the most acclaimed genre films of the season.

Not everything is independent in Sitges; there is also room for mainstream cinema. The closing title will be ‘Into the Forest’, a Canadian apocalyptic thriller by Patricia Rozema with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood. The Hollywood actresses play the role of two sisters who try to survive in a future world which leads humanity to its extinction.

The Honorific Prize will go to Oliver Stone. The North American director will be awarded for his contribution to cinema with films such as ‘Platoon’ ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ and ‘Wall Street’.

New venues and the ‘Fantastic tour’

This year, the Sitges Film Festival will add a new venue to the eight existing venues. Besides the main Meliá Hotel Auditorium, Retiro and Prado cinemas and the Brigadoon, Fnac, Movistar and Maricel spaces, Tramuntana will also host projections and many other events. Also located in Meliá Hotel, Tramuntana will be a venue for holding inaugural projections but also seminars and master classes.

Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, stated that the government contribution to the Festival “has increased by 33%”. Mascarell also expressed his wish to make Sitges “the number one Fantastic Film Festival in the world” in two years’ time, when the Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“We have launched the ‘Fantastic tour’” Sitges Mayor Miquel Forns announced at the Festival’s presentation press conference “180 establishments and venues in Sitges will be decorated according to the Festival’s theme and will offer special discounts” he added. “People come to Sitges for the cinema, but we want to favour the cultural industry business as well”, he concluded.

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  • Sitges Film Festival's director, Àngel Sala, Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell and Sitges Mayor, Miquel Forns presenting the 48th edition of the festival

  • Sitges Film Festival's director, Àngel Sala, Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell and Sitges Mayor, Miquel Forns presenting the 48th edition of the festival