The 49th Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia has now put together its complete lineup. A comprehensive, courageous look at fantasy made up of more than 200 titles, including this year's most ground-breaking proposals. Besides continuing to add new titles to the Official and Noves Visions sections, the rest of the sections now have their turn also, completing the Festival's final lineup.
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM, a British production based on Peter Ackroyd's novel entitled Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, will be closing Sitges 2016. In its European premiere, Juan Carlos Medina will be presenting this film set in Victorian London, revolving around a series of murders that are terrorizing the population, to the point that people believe the legendary creature called Golem is causing them. The cast of THE LIMEHOUSE GOELM includes Spanish actress Maria Valverde. PAINLESS, Juan Carlos Medina's previous work, winner of several awards at different festivals, competed in the Official Selection as Sitges 2012.
After passing through the Toronto Film Festival, the eagerly awaited BLAIR WITCH will be arriving in Sitges, returning spectators to the horror that 17 years ago, in 1999, passed through our Festival with THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. This time it's directed by Adam Wingard, who everyone will remember from YOU'RE NEXT and THE GUEST. From Latin American you can also see, in the Noves Visions section, THE UNTAMED from Mexican Amat Escalante, who just received the award for best director at the Venice Film Festival. Another Mexican film is Daniel Castro Zimbrón’s THE DARKNESS, a fantastic psychological thriller by Brontis Jodorowsky that will be seen at a special screening in its Spanish premiere. In their world premiere, but this time from Europe, other highlights are the Belgian film MONAGE, by Harry Cleven, a story of love between an invisible boy and a blind girl, and the French ARES, a science fiction film by Jean-Patrick Benes, where a dystopic Paris is immersed in poverty and the population pulls through by participating in illegal fights where everything goes. Also screened at a special screening, like ARES, will be QUE DIO NOS PERDONE, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, a Spanish film starring Antonio de la Torre and Roberto Alamo that follows Madrid during the 2011 crisis, where two police detectives will undertake a race against the clock to track down the whereabouts of a serial killer. The Japanese GANTZ: 0 can also be seen at a special screening: a prodigy of digital animation from the creators of HARLOCK: SPACE PIRATE (seen at Sitges 2013). The film ARE WE NOT CATS by Xander Robin, just screened in Venice and that was highly acclaimed by both critics and audiences, can also be seen in the Noves Visions section.
The Panorama Section, where most independent genre proposals rendezvous, will bring together at Sitges 2016 directors that are well known by the public like Don Coscarelli, cult filmmaker since 1979 when he presented PHANTASM; Bryan Bertino, who in 2008 surprised and terrorized us with THE STRANGERS, and director Macus Dustan, screenwriter for some of the sequels from the SAW saga and THE COLLECTOR. PHANTASM RAVAGER (2016), written by Coscarelli himself and directed by David Hartman, is the return to the Morningside cemetery and to a parallel world inhabited by strange creatures, as well as a 'famous' steel ball. The section's opening day will feature INTO THE FOREST, the return of director Guilles Marchand, screenwriter of WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY... For the section's closing, Sitges 2016 has set aside a monster movie, the American THE MONSTER by Bryan Bertino.
Continuing in the Panorama section, but in its documentary dimension - Parorama Cocumenta - added to the previously announced film about Leonard Nimoy, FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK (Adam Nimoy, 2016), are the excellent depiction of Brian de Palma in the documentary DE PALMA, a journey through the monsters in film and their creators in CREATURE DESIGNERS - THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX (Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet, 2016), and DRAGON GIRL! LES AMAZONES POP ASIATIQUES, a documentary that takes a tour of the female warriors in Asian action movies, directed by Frenchman Yves Montmayeur. Also screened in this section, at a special screening, will be the documentary HEREDEROS DE LA BESTIA, directed by Diego Lopez and David Pizarro. The film revolves around the creation, filming and subsequent premiere and success of Alex de la Iglesia's film, THE DAY OF THE BEAST, and at the same time analyzes its influence on an entire generation of filmmakers.
Asian cinema will have a significant presence at Sitges 2016. Renowned and other emerging filmmakers have directed proposals included in most of the sections, among which are the outstanding latest thriller from Hong Konger Johnnie To, THREE, and TRIVISA, a film produced by To, about whom you can also see the documentary THE WEAVING OF DREAM: JOHNNIE TO'S VISION & CRAFT, a film that examines the filmmaker's creative and work process during the shooting of THREE. Another regular filmmaker in Sitges' lineup is Dante Lam, who will be presenting OPERATION MEKONG at the Festival, a high voltage thriller inspired by true events about the drug mafia in the middle of the Mekong River. Finally, we would highlight the screening of the biggest box office hit in the history of Chinese film: THE MERMAID, from director comedian Stephen Chow. Once again the Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is backed by The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, the official representatives of Hong Kong's special administrative region in the European Union, which promotes financial and commercial links between Hong Kong and Europe, and organizes seminars to promote business and investments, cultural events, film festivals and Chinese New Year celebrations.
The lineup's most transgressive proposals come together in the Midnight X-Treme section. In 'La noche mas zombi' (The Most Zombie Night) you can see, among others, the world premiere of the surprising IT STAINS THE SANDS RED, by the Vicious Brothers, or what is said to be first Tamil Indian zombie movie, MIRUTHAN by Shakti Soundar Rajan, a genuine blockbuster full of the infected and environmental critique. In 'La Noche de accion' (Action Night), we would highlight the B movie DON'T KILL IT, by Mike Mendez, where Dolph Lundgren - who will receive the Time Machine Award at the Festival - plays a demon hunter, and the film destined to become the action movie of the year, HEADSHOT (by the Mo Brothers, directors of KILLERS, seen as Sitges 2014), with cult actors Iko Uwais and Julie Stelle. Following with 'La noche mas freak' (The freakiest night), besides seeing bizarre giant mutant amphibians in BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE (Tim Reis), spectators will also be able to be reunited two of the most famous characters in J-Horror: in SADAKO VS. KAYAKO, the terrifying THE RING and THE GRUDGE go hand in hand. Outstanding premieres like the American HIDDEN IN THE WOODS (Patricio Valladares) starring William Forsythe, or VIRAL from the directors of NERVE, which already premiered in Spain, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, are just some of the movies featured in 'La noche mas killer' (The most killer night) and 'La noche del terror' (Horror night), respectively.
Thirteen is the number of productions you'll be able to see in the Festival's Orbita Section, dedicated exclusively to the most eagerly awaited thrillers. Including the outstanding debut of directors Corey Asraf and John Swab, LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR, seen at Fantasia, a vengeance thriller about two twin brothers who plan to kill their abusive father and starring Marilyn Manson; as well as the long awaited return of Korean director Kim Jee-won (I SAW THE DEVIL), THE AGE OF SHADOWS, seen in the Official Selection of the recently concluded Venice Film Festival that places the action in Korea during the period of the Japanese invasion.
Completing the tour of Sitges 2016 is the Seven Chances section, programmed by the ACCEC, the Catalan Association of Film Critics and Writers of Catalonia. One highlight among the seven films is the presence of the documentary that explores the childhood, adolescence and first works by filmmaker David Lynch, DAVID LYNCH: THE ART OF LIFE, recently presented in Venice, and the return of one of the Festival's best-loved directors, Ti West, who will be presenting IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE, a vengeance western, not without a sense of humor, starring Ethan Hawke, John Travolta and Taissa Farmiga. You can also see the latest work by one of the most fascinating figures in Japanese film, Masao Adachi. Screenwriter for Koji Wakamatsu and Nagisa Oshima and director of some of the most radical titles in 1960's Japanese cinema, at Sitges 2016 he'll be presenting his latest work, ARTIST OF FASTING, that besides being the provocative adaptation of a famous story by Franz Kafka, is a truly hilarious and ruthless in-depth analysis of present-day Japanese society.
You can check the complete lineup and screening time for Sitges 2016, which will be taking place from 7 to 16 October, as of today at the Festival's website: www.sitgesfilmfestival.com.