Sitges International Film festival, specialised in fantasy and horror movies, opens this Friday

Film buffs and festival fans will be flocking to Sitges these next 10 days, as the 47th Sitges International Film Festival opens this Friday, a long-awaited event after the success of previous years. Catalan filmmaker Jaume Balagueró will open the festival, with the latest in his popular REC series, ‘REC 4: Apocalypse’. The festival, which already sold nearly 32,000 tickets early this week, has a budget of €1.7 million, 2.5% more than last year. The event is anticipated to have a “wider programme than ever” according to the Festival’s Director, Ángel Sala. While under the umbrella of all things sinister and fantastic, the line-up will include everything from the latest gems to classics of the genre and a wide selection of fictional feature films, shorts and documentaries.

A caption from ''Asmodexia' (by MS Entertainment)
A caption from ''Asmodexia' (by MS Entertainment) / ACN / Nell English

ACN / Nell English

October 2, 2014 10:10 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The long anticipated Sitges Film Festival 2014 will be launched this Friday, a delight for fantasy, science-fiction and horror movies fans alike. With an even greater budget than last year, up by 2.5% to reach €1.7 million,  the 47th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival already sold nearly 32 000 tickets early this week. According to the Festival’s Director, it is anticipated to have a “wider programme than ever”. After the long awaited gems such as ‘Adieu au Langage’ – the latest by legendary Jean-Luc Godard – or ‘Maps to the Stars’ – the controversial expose of behind-the-scenes Hollywood by big name David Cronenberg – there will also be everything from zombie comedy in ‘Buring the Ex’ by Joe Dante to genre classics such as ‘Gremlins’ by the same director. Other highlights include ‘Annabelle’, the impatiently awaited prequel to the big hit ‘The Conjuring’ by John R. Leonetti, and the outstanding ‘Alleluia’ by Belgian filmmaker Fabrice Du Welz, who won the Méliès d'Argent in 2003 for his first feature film. The festival will open with Catalan and internationally-recognised filmmaker Jaume Balagueró’s latest edition to his popular REC series, with ‘REC 4: Apocalypse’. This year’s edition will pay tribute to Roland Emmerich, Director of films such as ‘Independence Day’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, who will be awarded the Grand Honorary Prize. Furthermore, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas will also receive a honorary award. The festival will not only be movies however. Sitges, a pretty seaside resort town popular for weekend getaways, will have a wide range of special deals in restaurants in line with the festival.

Sitges back with a bang with a “wider programme than ever”

According to Director of the Festival, Ángel Sala, the 47th edition of the Sitges International Film Festival, is to have a “wider programme than ever”. In this context, Sala declared with confidence that “it is time to start speaking positively about this panorama of festivals and production […] as not everything is going badly”. This year’s line-up includes everything from latest gems from big name directors, such as Godard’s ‘Adieu au Langage’ or Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars’, as well as long anticipated new additions to series, such as the latest instalment in the REC series by Catalan Director Jaume Balagueró, ‘REC 4: Apocalypse’, which has been chosen to open the festival, and long anticipated prequel to ‘The Conjuring’, ‘Annabelle’ by the director John R. Leonetti. In addition to the 12 film categories Official Fantastic, New Visions, Panorama, Seven Chances, Midnight X-Treme, Focus Asia, Brigadoon, Sitges Classics, Sitges Family, Serial Sitges and PhoneTastic, there is also a new category Blood Window for movies from Latin America.

From fantastic to sinister, everything in the wide world of dreams

Sala emphasized the festival’s commitment to renowned and new Catalan directors, from the opening with ‘REC 4: Apocalypse’, to others such as ‘The Distance’ by Sergio Caballero.

Other big names to look out for are the outstanding ‘Alleluia’ by Fabrice Du Welz, a Belgian filmmaker who won the Méliès d'Argent in 2003 for his first feature film; the bloody revenge thriller ‘Cold in July’ by Jim Mickle; the science-fiction drama ‘Under the Skin’ by Jonathan Glazer starring Scarlett Johansson and ‘The Double’, an adaptation of Dostoyevsky directed by Richard Ayoade. Sala also placed special emphasis on ‘It Follows’ by director David Robert Mitchell.

Also included in this year’s Sitges, are ‘The Mole Song: Undercover agent Reiji’ by Takashi Miike, who won the Grand Honorary Award in the previous year’s edition; and ‘Dark Awakening’ a thriller directed by Dean Jones and produced by the makers of ‘The Ring’. On top of this there will be ‘Tusk’, the highly anticipated new production of Kevin Smith, who in 2011 won the award for Best Film for ‘Red State’.

Sitges Film Festival has a budget of €1.7 million, 2.5% more than in 2013

Regarding ticket sales, Sala confirmed that about 32,000 have already been sold four days before the festival’s kick off. "We have created a very loyal and growing audience who are convincing others to come and have been very pleased with the programming and the festival itself," he added. As for the budget, this is 2.5% higher than last year and reaches €1.7 million.

The "best" Fantasy Film Festival "in the world"

The Catalan Minister of Culture, Mascarell, stressed that Sitges Festival is “the best fantasy film festival in the world”, whose objective has always been, and remains, to “be both a space for Catalan production and one that is strengthening its international dimension”.

It won’t be all films however. The Mayor of Sitges, Miquel Forns, has revealed that the town, which is a popular getaway all year around for its seaside location and attractive architecture, will be organizing the gastronomic side of the festival, with food to compliment the films through a variety of promotional offers in restaurants and shops.