The Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia announced their first wave of programming today and there are some heavy hitters in the mix. Big name titles include COSMOPOLIS by David Cronenberg (Review), Cannes hit HOLY MOTORS by Leo Carax (Review), FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE from HK legend Tsui Hark (Review), and Scott Derrickson's SXSW Midnight surprise SINISTER (Review).
Sitges continues its commitment to showcase Catalan films by premiering Oriol Paulo's psychological thriller THE BODY as the fest's opening night film. Many other other exciting films are included in the announcement from Ben Wheatley's latest SIGHTSEERS to Anurag Kashyap's 4+ hour epic GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. The full press release is below with more info and be sure to check back as the next wave of films washes ashore soon.
The 45th Sitges - International Fantastic Film
Festival of Catalonia will be held from October 4th to the 14th, 2012 with the
suggestion of an imaginary Apocalypse threatening from its image. Chosen to
open this celebration of cinema is the Catalan production The Body, by debut director Oriol Paulo,
a psychological thriller chock full of suspense starring Belén Rueda, José
Coronado, Hugo Silva and Aura Garrido. It is a Rodar y Rodar, Antena 3 Films,
Televisió de Catalunya and Canal + production, distributed by Sony Pictures
Releasing Spain, that has become one of the most anxiously awaited nationally
made films of the year.
Catalan cinema will also be one of the stars in the Festival's Official Selection, with two films that will be going in for the María Award for Best Motion Picture, the Festival's main prize, based on the popular robotic character from Fritz Lang's classicMetropolis. The first is Painless, Juan Carlos Medina's first feature film, a passionate fantastic fable that takes root in the Spanish Civil war and stars Àlex Brendemuhl. The second film isEl Bosc, based on a story by Albert Sánchez Piñol that the author himself has adapted for the big screen, starring North American actor Tom Sizemore.
MORE OFFICIAL SELECTION TITLES
The Official Selection -both in and out of competition- will be offering a varied and wide-ranging spectrum from this year's fantastic harvest. So you will be seeing the latest proposals from directors like David Cronenberg, with Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson and based on the Don DeLillo novel; Leo Carax, with the acclaimed Holy Motors, a beautiful tribute to the European film imaginary; Tsui Hark and his 3D epic adventure Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, one of the biggest local hits of the year in China; and Jennifer Lynch, winner of the 2008 Festival who returns this year with a terrifying story about a serial killer entitled Chained.
In its Official Selection, Sitges 2012 will also accommodate the genre cinema that's been most eagerly awaited by audiences, like North American productions Sinister, by Scott Derrickson, where Ethan Hawke faces a terrifying paranormal case, or two films that revamp the imaginary of Evil, like Sam Raimi's production The Possession, directed by Ole Bornedal (a Sitges regular), and Lovely Molly, the new movie by Eduardo Sánchez, one of the creators of The Blair Witch Project (screened at Sitges 1999).
We would also highlight two filmmakers whose return has been long-awaited by all genre lovers: Pascal Laugier, responsible for the controversial Martyrs, who will be presenting his impressive The Tall Man, starring Jessica Biel, and undisputed cult director Don Coscarelli will be bringing his eagerly-awaited John Dies at the End, with Paul Giamatti leading the cast. And in this horror-dominated section we can't forget to mention the presence of the remake of the classic 1981 American slasher, Maniac. Produced by Alexandre Aja (High Tension) and starring an extraordinary Elijah Wood, it will delight anyone addicted to intense emotions.
In the section containing more atypical proposals, one of the most outstanding and biggest surprises showing currently around USA theaters is the big Sundance hit, science fiction comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, by Colin Trevorrow, and the British comedy Sightseers, by Ben Wheatley (director of the acclaimed Kill List), one of the big sensations at the recent Cannes Festival's Directors' Fortnight.
The Sitges Festival will also include the required presence of the Apocalypse this year that's marked by the end of time, with the extremely violent The Day, by Douglas Aarniokoski, or the Korean segment film Doomsday Book, co-directed by Kim Jee-wong (I Saw the Devil) and Yim Pil-Sung (Hansel and Gretel). The second will not be the only Korean film present on the program, also represented in the Official Selection by Jong-bin Yun's Nameless Gangster, one of this year's huge box-office sensations from this country and a true tour de force by its star Choi Min-sik (Old Boy).
The Official Panorama Section, dedicated to a spectrum of pure, clearly independent genre films, will offer titles like Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact, an innovative and hair-raising ghost story that was recently been a big surprise hit at UK box offices, and also James Nunny Ronnie Thompson's Tower Block, a real horror film revolving around the siege a hidden sniper subjects the tenants of an apartment building to.
The evermore popular Nuevas Visiones (New Visions) Section, dedicated to more radical, transgressive or experimental proposals, will include in its fiction section top level films like Keyhole, the latest production from one of the great filmmakers in current cinema, Guy Maddin (a Sitges classic), Mystery, by Lou Ye, the film that opened Un Certain Regard at the latest Cannes Festival, or For Love's Sake, by yet another Festival regular, Takashi Miike. As for documentaries, Nuevas Visiones will be presenting prestigious pieces like Rodney Ascher's Room 237, a work revolving around the universe suggested and generated by Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
Casa Asia, the section dedicated genre films from the Asian continent, will be opening its doors with Gang of Wasseypur, a epic Indian crime adventure with a runtime of over four hours and that is a milestone in this country's cinema. Other outstanding titles are Takashi Miike's Ace Attorney, or the essential martial arts movie Wu-xia, by Peter Chan, recovering mythical actor "Jimmy" Wang-Yu for cinema.
Anima't, in addition to its customary selection of short films, will be offering celebrated feature films like Yeun Sang-Ho's The King of Pigs, screened at the Cannes Festival's Directors' Fortnight; Czech production Alois Nebel, by Tomás Lunák, and The Suicide Shop, the animated film debut from prestigious French filmmaker Patrice Leconte, conceived in spectacular 3D. In addition, Anima't will be vindicating the figure of Japanese animator Sugii Gisaburo, close collaborator of mythical Osamu Tezuka, presenting the premiere of his latest film, The Life of Budori Gusuko, as well as some of his previous works and a documentary on his work.
Once again this year, Sitges Family will be presenting a selection of the best fantastic cinema for the youngest audiences, like the big hit Japanese 3D animated production Naki on Monster Island, by Takashi Yamakazi.
For lovers of intense, nighttime emotions, Sitges has prepared a program of marathons where you can see, among many other films, Zombie Ass, by Noburo Iguchi, and the British Cockneys vs. Zombies, by Matthias Hoene.
Our slots dedicated to retrospective screenings will be starring Cult cinema, with a selection of genre films that, over the years, have become entrenched in the popular imaginary. This retrospective will be illustrating the book from this year's Festival, dedicated precisely to the world of cult movies.
And still within the retrospective spectrum, Sitges 2012 will be celebrating centennial of Nikkatsu, the historic Japanese movie studio, with a double screening in the Mondo Macabro section.
COLLABORATIONS AND INICIATIVES
Sitges 2012 will be maintaining its collaboration with the Catalonian Film Library, coordinating the program for the Seven Chances section, and with a special screening prepared by the Film Library revolving around Antoni Padrós, a surprising 1970's experimental Catalan filmmaker, with his film Shirley Temple Story.
Filmin, the best online movie gateway in Spain, has reached an agreement with the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia to offer, through its platform, some of the premieres programmed at this year's Festival. These premieres can be seen on Filmin starting the day after their screening at the Festival and for a certain period of time.
This year the Festival has teamed up with 3XL, TV3's youth channel, to explore the fantastic world of the BBC. Sitges 2012 opens a window onto genre TV, focusing on what's new but also with a retrospective glance. For this first venture, the Festival has chosen the world of the BBC's TV production in recent years, that has successfully shaped an extensive fantastic genre tradition, like the mythical series Doctor Who or the successful and revolutionary vision of Sherlock, the Conan Doyle character, or other productions that have become instant cult around the world like Misfits, Psychoville and The Fades. The Sitges Festival is carrying out this proposal in collaboration with TV3's youth channel 3XL and the support of the BBC.
For the eighth year running, Sitges will have a Carnet Jove Jury, created for the first time in 2005, thanks to collaboration between the Direcció General de Joventut de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the Carnet Jove and the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. The five young men and women who make up the jury will be in charge of delivering the Carnet Jove Award for Best Motion Picture from the In-Competition Official Selection, and the Award for Best Motion Picture in the Midnight Xtreme Section.
Sitges 2012 is especially grateful for the support of the institutions, sponsors and collaborators who, once again this year, are making it possible to hold the Festival, as well as the spectators who, year after year, make the Festival an essential meeting point for film lovers.