Sitges 2014 Honoring Roland Emmerich; Lineup Includes REC 4, Shrew's Nest, It Follows, Alleluia, Late Phases, and Much More!
American horror fans dream of attending the Sitges Film Festival, and now that the first word on this year's lineup has been released, all we can say is, "Don't wake us up!"
From the Press Release:
Sitges 2014, taking place from 3 to 12 October, will feature renowned directors like Jean-Luc Godard and David Cronenberg with their latest films as well as the anxiously awaited presentation of Musarañas (Shrew's Nest), a psychological horror movie produced by Álex de la Iglesia.
German director, producer, and screenwriter Roland Emmerich, an important figurehead in action and disaster movies and creator of popular films like Independence Day, Godzilla, 2012, Stargate, Anonymous, The Day After Tomorrow, White House Down, and Universal Soldier, will receive the Festival’s Grand Honorary Award at this year’s edition.
Ticket sales for the 47th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Spain, will be handled exclusively through the Festival’s website. 18 July is the date that the VIP Pass, Auditori Pass, Matineé Pass, 10 Pass, 20 Pass, and last day Marathons will go on sale. For additional information visit the official Sitges Film Festival website.
Sitges 2014 will be offering Adieu au langage, the latest sophisticated and intriguing work by Jean-Luc Godard, the genius of nouvelle vague, who’s back to show us that he’s still in tiptop shape, now experimenting with 3D in a story full of metaphors and barking. David Cronenberg arrives at Sitges 2014 with his decadent portrayal of the film industry, Maps to the Stars, an unmerciful satire with an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, and John Cusack. Belgian filmmaker Fabrice Du Welz, a familiar face at the Festival, where he picked up the Méliès d’Argent in 2003 for his first feature length film, Calvaire, is back to present Alleluia, his particular outlook on the notorious “honeymoon killers” from back in the 1940s in the USA. Like Du Welz, another excellent representative of the Sitges Generation is Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are, Stake Land), who will be visiting Sitges this year with Cold in July, a bloody vengeance movie and an example of the very best in American independent film.
Jonathan Glazer will be landing at Sitges 2014 with his eagerly awaited Under The Skin, a sci-fi drama starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien. On this occasion, the director of Birth (Sitges 2004) presents a visually powerful film with a very particular view of the human species. Equally stimulating is the Dostoyevski adaptation that Richard Ayoade proposes with The Double, a black comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. The famous graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi will be premiering The Voices, another black comedy where Ryan Reynolds tries to hide a dead body, which the Iranian director presents in Sitges after its fantastic reception at Sundance. Arriving from the same American festival is The Guest, the latest from Adam Wingard, that delves into the story of a former soldier who unleashes violence when he returns home from the war, and that has been compared to Drive. Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, directors of Livid, will be bringing their Aux yeux des vivants (Among the Living), another disquieting example of French horror. Guaranteed horror as well with David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, a hair-raising film that made a huge impact at Cannes 2014.
Sitges presents itself as a festival where the classic monsters all coexist, even though they are sometimes filtered through a more iconoclastic sieve. Fantastic tradition and a more transgressive modernity join hands to reinvent immortal subgenres like vampire cinema. This 2014 offers us two clear examples. On the one hand, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, a marvelous reinterpretation of the vampire myth embodied in an adolescent American girl of Iranian descent, which was a huge hit at Cannes. Shot in the Farsi language, it’s a work from young filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour, and Elijah Wood is one of its producers. The other example of these non-dead regenerative proposals is the black comedy and faux documentary from New Zealand What We Do in the Shadows, directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.
Catalan and Spanish cinema will be especially featured at Sitges 2014. In addition to having [REC]4: Apocalipsis by Jaume Balagueró as its inaugural film and La Distancia by Sergi Caballero, the Festival will be premiering Musarañas, a psychological horror movie set in the post-war era that recaptures Iberian classic gothic and fantastic. This is the first film financed by Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang’s new production company, Pokeepsie Films, and is directed by Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel. It stars a good number of famous faces: Macarena Gómez, Carolina Bang, Luis Tosar, and Hugo Silva.
As usual, the Festival will be showing some of the very best in Asian cinema with a bunch of the titles most eagerly awaited by faithful genre followers. From Hong-Kong (with the inestimable collaboration of The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs Office) arrive That Demon Within by Dante Lam, The Midnight After by Fruit Chan, and Aberdeen by Pang Ho-Cheung. South Korea will be contributing the films A Hard Day by Kim Seong-hun; Mad, Sad & Bad by Avie Luthra; and the latest film from Kim Ki-duk, One on One, which tells the story of the persecution of a young girl’s killer. Arriving from Japan is the latest film from Takashi Miike (Grand Honorary Prize winner at Sitges 2013), The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, the story of a police officer who has infiltrated a mafia gang. Also with a Japanese accent are R100 by Hitoshi Matsumoto, the real life adaptation of the famous manga Lupin the 3rd, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and distributed in Spain by Mediatres Estudio, and the extremely controversial The Torture Club by Kota Yoshida.
The new Blood Window category, geared towards Latin American fantastic cinema, will include the latest work by Adrián García Bogliano, Late Phases, where a war veteran, during his final battle, will have to fight a werewolf. Argentinean Martín Desalvo will present El día trajo la oscuridad, about the terror caused by an outbreak of rabies in a small town, and Uruguayan Gustavo Hernández arrives with Un dios local, a daring experimental film.
On the other hand, this year the Brigadoon category will be presenting a lineup including the outstanding Bombshell Bloodbath, a film directed by Brett Mullen and influenced by Italian zombie movies like Zombi 2 and Nightmare City. In addition, the executive producers of The Ring present Dark Awakening, a supernatural thriller directed by makeup specialist Dean Jones.
Documentaries will also have a notable presence this year: Vicente Aranda. 50 años de cine, by brothers Francisco and Javier Prada, reviews the movie career of the Catalan filmmaker. Eurocine 33 Champs Elysées, by Christophe Bier, is a work focusing on the legendary French production company Eurocine, a factory closely linked to works by filmmakers Jesús Franco and Jean Rollin. Brigadoon will also offer a film series in homage to actor Craig Hill, who passed away last April. This year the Nosferatu Award will go to actress María Kosty, dedicated to this profession since the late Sixties and with a strong presence in Seventies Spanish horror and fantastic films.
This year the Phonetastic Sitges Mobile Film Festival is celebrating its second edition as a showcase for audiovisual productions shot with tablets and smartphones. PhonetasticFestival.com is the reception channel for pieces from all over the world. And genre TV series will once again have a featured presence at the Festival with their very own space, lineup, and section: Serial Sitges.
This year the Festival is adding a new award: Cine365Film, which will distinguish filmmakers with a short film selected for the Festival with financing of resources for shooting a fantastic genre film. The award is born from an agreement between the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, the Apaches Entertainment Production Company, and Cine365.
Cine365Film is cross-sectional, and all Spanish directors participating with a short in the Official, Brigadoon, Phonetastic, and SGAE Nova Autoria categories at Sitges 2014 are eligible. The winner will receive 10,000 Euros and will be able to shoot a film that will be included in the lineup at the Festival’s 48th edition in 2015. The winner will be chosen during the 47th edition. This new award positions Sitges as the first festival in the world to incorporate a prize of this magnitude, allowing the stimulation of fantastic genre production and, at the same time, rewarding new emerging filmmakers.
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