The countdown has begun for our favourite European genre film festival (and my personal favourite film festival in the world), the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. A mere four months less a day away, the first announcement of awards recipients and films has dropped, and I couldn't be more excited (at least until the next announcement is made).
This year's poster is an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, featuring the great monolith hovering over the famous Sitges seascape (and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if it actually appeared there). The festival will also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter's Halloween, and the bicentennial of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the first science fiction novel, without which arguably so many of the films that grace festivals like Sitges would not exist.
Sitges is known for bringing in great guests to receive their multitude of awards, and this year will be no exception. The Grand Honourary Award recipient for 2018 is the one and only Peter Weir, whose incredible career spans almost five decades and includes such classics as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Last Wave, The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poet's Society and Master and Commander.
Pam Grier, herself with a decades-long career that includes iconic roles in films such as Foxy Brown, Sheba Baby, Jackie Brown, Mars Attacks!, and Ghosts of Mars, will receive a Time Machine Award for her contribution to fantastic cinema. German actress Helga Liná, known for her roles in classic Spanish horror films such as Horror Express and Horror Rises From the Tomb, will receive the Nosferatu Award in the Brigadoon section. And pop icon Traci Lords, who has worked with everyone from Roger Corman to John Water and has also had a stellar music career, will receive the Honorary Maria Award.
And to top off this first announcement are the first wave of amazing titles. Several titles out of Cannes will be making an appearance, such as Lee Chang-dong's Burning, Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro, Panos Cosmatos' Mandy, Lars von Trier's The House that Jack Built, and David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake.
Some Sitges festival alumni are returning: Nicholas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) returns with his latest, Piercing, starring Mia Wasikowska and Catalan actress Laia Costa. Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) comes with his psycopath horror Ghostland. And the creators of Turbo Kid will be back with another retro-style film, Summer of '84.
More films and guests will be announced in the coming weeks, and you can find more information in the link below.