Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival 2016 Full Lineup Announced

With little more than three weeks to go, the 2016 Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia has revealed its full lineup, and things just keep getting juicier and juicier.

With confirmed bookenders Miguel Ángel Vivas’ curtain-raising Inside and Juan Carlos Medina’s curtain-closing The Limehouse Golem, Sitges 2016 will play host to more than 200 titles, rocking some of this year’s most ground-breaking films.

And if the list of films isn’t already enough to get sweaty-palmed about, the guest list keeps on growing with Ti West just one of various names added to the extensive list of talent putting in an appearance at the festival. Thus far, confirmed guests include Dolph Lundgren, Rob Zombie, Barbara Crampton, Max von Sydow and Bruce Campbell whilst a whole bunch more are expected to be announced.

With such a bumper selection of films to choose from, the best thing to do is probably just to follow this link to the complete lineup, but at first glance, a few of the flicks not to be missed this year include Sion Sono’s Anti-porn, Tim Reis’ Bad Blood: The Movie, Nacho Vigalondo’s creature feature Colossal, André Øvredal’s The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden and The Mo Brothers’ adrenaline-fueled Headshot.

Be sure to check back for the aforesaid complete list of festival guests and, more importantly, our coverage of the festival when it kicks off this coming October 7th.

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From the Press Release:
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 première, 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 Golem includes Spanish actress María Valverde. Painless, Juan Carlos Medina’s previous work, winner of several awards at different festivals, competed in the Official Selection at Sitges 2012.

Following its recent screening at the Toronto Film Festival, the eagerly awaited Blair Witch will be stopping off at Sitges, allowing audiences to re-experience the horror that 17 years ago, in 1999, visited our festival in the form of The Blair Witch Project. The sequel is this time directed by Adam Wingard, whom everyone will remember from You’re Next or The Guest. From Latin America the Noves Visions section will include 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 can be seen at a special screening in its Spanish première. Also making their world première, but this time from Europe, other highlights include the Belgian film Mon Ange, by Harry Cleven, a story of love between an invisible boy and a blind girl, and the French Arès, 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 anything everything goes. Just like Arès, there will also be a special screening of Que Dios Nos Perdone, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, a Spanish film starring Antonio de la Torre and Roberto Álamo that follows Madrid during the 2011 crisis, where two police detectives are flung into 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, which just screened in Venice, receiving glowing reviews from both critics and audiences, can also be seen in the Noves Visions section.

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The Panorama Section, the rendezvous for independent genre proposals, brings together well known directors such as Don Coscarelli, cult filmmaker since 1979 when he presented Phantasm; Bryan Bertino, who in 2008 surprised and terrorized us with The Strangers, and director Marcus Dustan, screenwriter for various Saw sequels and The Collector. Phantasm Ravager (2016), written by Coscarelli himself and directed by David Hartman, returns us 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…. To bring the section to a close, Sitges 2016 has set aside a monster movie, the American The Monster by Bryan Bertino.

Sticking with the Panorama section, but in its documentary dimension – Panorama Documenta – additions 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 voyage through monsters in film and their creators in Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex (Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet, 2016), and Dragon Girls! Les Amazones Pop Asiatiques, a documentary that takes us on a tour of the female warriors in Asian action movies, directed by Frenchman Yves Montmayeur. This section will also include a special screening of the documentary Herederos de la Bestia, directed by Diego López and David Pizarro. The film revolves around the creation, filming and subsequent première and success of Álex de la Iglesia’s film, The Day of the Beast, and at the same time analyzes its influence on an entire generation of filmmakers.

The lineup’s more transgressive proposals come together in the Midnight X-Treme section. In ‘La noche más zombi’ (The Zombiest Night) audiences can enjoy the world première of the surprising It Stains the Sands Red, by the Vicious Brothers, or what is said to be the first Tamil Indian zombie movie, Miruthan by Shakti Soundar Rajan; a genuine blockbuster brimming with infected and environmental critique. In ‘La noche de acción’ (Action Night), highlights include the B-movie Don’t Kill It, by Mike Mendez, where Dolph Lundgren – who will be receiving the Time Machine Award at the Festival – plays a demon hunter; and a film which looks all set to become the action movie of the year, Headshot (by the Mo Brothers, directors of Killers, seen at Sitges 2014), with cult actors Iko Uwais and Julie Stelle. Following with ‘La noche más freak’ (The Freakiest Night), besides seeing bizarre giant mutant amphibians in Bad Blood: The Movie (Tim Reis), audiences will be witness the reuniting of 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 premières including the American film Hidden in the Woods (Patricio Valladares) starring William Forsythe, Psychophonia (Brianne Davis), and 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 más killer” (The Most Killer Night) and ‘La noche del terror’ (Horror Night).

There will be thirteen productions at the Festival’s Òrbita Section, dedicated exclusively to the most eagerly awaited thrillers. These include the outstanding debut from directors Corey Asraf and John Swab, Let Me Make You a Martyr, a vengeance thriller about two siblings who plan to kill their abusive father and which stars Marilyn Manson. Sitges also welcomes the long awaited return of Korean director Kim Jee-won (I Saw the Devil) with The Age of Shadows, seen in the Official Selection of the recently concluded Venice Film Festival that places the action in Korea during the Japanese invasion.

Rounding up Sitges 2016 is the Seven Chances section, programmed by the ACCEC, the Catalan Association of Film Critics and Writers of Catalonia. One particular highlight of these seven films is the documentary that explores the childhood, adolescence and early work of filmmaker David Lynch, David Lynch: The Art Life, recently presented in Venice. Sitges is also excited to have one of the Festival’s best-loved directors, Ti West, returning to present 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.

The complete lineup and screening times for Sitges 2016, running from 7 to 16 October, can be consulted at the official festival website: sitgesfilmfestival.com.

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