Werewolves take centre stage at Sitges Film Festival
The 54th edition of the celebrated fantasy and horror fest is the second hampered by the pandemic
The 54th annual Sitges Fantasy and Horror Film Festival got underway this Thursday, with werewolves taking centre stage as the official leitmotiv of this year’s edition.
The current Covid-19 measures in Catalonia say that cultural venues such as cinemas can open at 70% capacity with at most 1,000 people indoors (4,000 outdoors) or else 3,000 inside if the facilities are adequately ventilated.
Lasting until October 17, a total of 169 feature-length films will be screened over the course of the festival and 100 shorts, while another 53 movies will be available online as part of Sitges’ hybrid in-person and digital format this year.
Ana Lily Amirpour’s ‘Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon' got this year’s festival underway, the second that will be held amid the ongoing pandemic.
The film premiered at the Venice film festival and tells the story of a girl with special abilities who has escaped from an asylum in New Orleans. The work is Amirpour’s third directorial piece after the successes of ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ (2014) and ‘The Bad Batch’ (2016).
Werewolves and the beast within
‘Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon' sets the tone for the festival that will have the running theme of werewolves and the beast within.
Some of the classics to be shown at this year’s festival include 'The Wolf Man', by George Waggner (1941), ‘The Ancines Woods' by Pedro Olea (1970), ‘Nazareno Cruz and the Wolf’ (Leonardo Favio, 1975), 'Night of the Werewolf’ (1981) by Paul Naschy', ‘The Howling' (Joe Dante, 1981) and a 4K screening of 'An American Werewolf in London' by John Landis (1981).
Other highlights of this year’s programme include Julia Ducournau's ‘Titane’ (2021), Edgar Wright's eagerly awaited ‘Last Night in Soho’ (2021), while ‘The Green Knight’ (David Lowery, 2021) will be the closing night’s movie.
A section of the festival in collaboration with the Catalan Association of Film Criticism and Writing will also see a screening of 'The Amusement Park' (1973), by George A. Romero.
The film had been lost for years, before being rediscovered by his widow and restored in 4K and tells a harrowing nightmare of old age and elder abuse.
Directors Mamoru Hosoda and Carlos Saura and actress Belén Rueda will receive the Grand Honorary Awards at this edition of the Sitges Film Festival.
The Time Machine Awards will go to director Neill Blomkamp, actress Alice Krige and screenwriter Nick Antosca, while actor Emilio Gutiérrez Caba will receive the Nosferatu Award.
Lucile Hadzihalilovic will be given the Career Award from the Méliès International Festivals Federation (MIFF).
One of the other highlights of the event is that of Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, star of films such as 'Alien: Covenant' (2017) and the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson's 'Millennium' series, will present 'El viaje' on the first Saturday of the festival.