Sitges 2015 Lineup Expands with The Witch, Bone Tomahawk, Baskin, We Are Still Here, Hellions, Into the Woods, and Much More!
Back in July we brought you the first details of the lineup for the 48th annual Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, taking place from 9 to 18 October; and now we’re back with more info, including the fest’s opening and closing night films.
Kicking things off is American production The Witch, directed by first-time feature director Robert Eggers, who picked up the award for best filmmaker at Sundance 2015. The film, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, and Harvey Scrimshaw, maintains the viewer in an oppressive nightmare atmosphere set in mid-17th century New England. A family of Christian settlers, made up of a married couple and their five children, lives near a forest that, according to popular belief, is controlled by a supernatural evil. When their newborn child disappears and their harvest fails, the family members begin to rebel against one another.
Also screening during the fest is the Wes Craven-produced The Girl in the Photographs, directed by Nick Simon. It is a slasher movie set in the fashion world that focuses on the story of a celebrity photographer and his entourage, who leave behind the luxury of big city life to travel to a small town and investigate the bloody crimes being committed by a serial killer.
The closing film will be Canada’s Into the Forest, by Patricia Rozema, a survival drama where the magnificent Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood play two sisters trying to survive in a future world where a massive blackout sends humanity hurtling towards its termination.
Below is a list of what else attendees have to look forward to. For more info visit the official Sitges website.
From the Press Release:
Stunning fantastic genre films from all over the world, as well as the most transgressive and radical genre projects, new emerging talent, the latest in Asian cinema, and a painstakingly chosen selection of documentaries, will all be coming together this year at a festival promising powerful emotions.
The Official Fantàstic In Competition selection will include stimulating projects like the Turkish film Baskin, directed by Can Evrenol, a gorefest where a group of cops come up against a genuinely terrifying occurrence; the North American The Devil’s Candy, by Sean Byrne, a horrifying tale of satanic possession from the director of the surprising The Loved Ones; Bone Tomahawk, by S. Craig Zahler, a western starring Kurt Russell and Matthew Fox that goes on to become an exquisite horror movie; and Macbeth, by Justin Kurzel, a visceral adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedies, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.
The festival’s lineup also includes productions like Marcin Wrona’s Demon, which tells the story of a couple who discover some human bones on the grounds of their future home, the first in a whole series of bizarre events that will culminate in the intrusion of a turbulent spirit; Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls, with rising actress Taissa Farmiga (who attended Sitges 2013 with Mindscape) and Malin Akerman, a film where the daughter of a horror film star goes to the screening of a slasher movie starring her mother, but an accident will end up pulling the girl and her friends into the film; Kiyoshi Kurosawas’ Journey to the Shore, a story where a woman who lost her husband at sea sees her partner’s ghost appear before her very eyes; and the Danish What We Become, by Bo Mikkelsen, where a family winds up isolated due to the outbreak of a lethal flu in the community and will have to do everything they possibly can to protect themselves while, on the outside, the situation grows tenser until exploding in utter chaos.
Also included are titles like The Boy, by Craig Macneill, an intimate, dusty thriller starring David Morse and Rainn Wilson; Cemetery of Splendour, by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, an evocative film in which a group of soldiers are treated for a strange disease that causes constant sleepiness; André Turpin’s Endorphine, where the lives of three women named Simone begin to mysteriously and almost dreamily communicate with each other; and the latest project from Alex van Warmerdam, who, after picking up the Award for Best Feature Length Film at Sitges 2013 for Borgman, presents the film Schneider vs. Bax this year, loaded with humor that’s blacker than ever.
Blue Ruin’s director, Jeremy Saulnier, made an impact in Cannes with Green Room, a bloody battle between a punk band and one of skinheads; it’s an ultraviolent American independent film starring Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart. Following his transgressive Irreversible and Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé, an Argentinean director residing in France, closes the trilogy with Love, a 3D experiment in pornographic romanticism that also sparked controversy in Cannes. The film maintains the claustrophobic environments from his previous films, but venturing into the area of melodrama with the story of a love triangle full of flashbacks, drugs, music, and fluids.
The festival lineup couldn’t go without a subgenre with tons of always-faithful followers: haunted house horror. At Sitges 2015 they’ll have a blast with We Are Still Here, Ted Geoghegan’s debut feature film, starring the legendary Barbara Crampton (Body Double, Re-Animator, The Lords of Salem, among others).
Special attention is being paid to Japan with three productions being added to the other previously announced new projects from Takashi Miike (Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld), Sion Sono (Love & Peace), and the two parts of Attack on Titan: Parasyte, the adaptation of the manga by the same name by Hitoshi Iwaaki, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, that will also be seen in two parts, and The Ninja War of Torakage, the return of director Yoshihiro Nishimura, that veers away from the gore of previous films like Tokyo Gore Police or Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl.
The festival will also be screening films that are open to other genres which often live side-by-side with the fantastic genre. The Official Òrbita section becomes the paradigmatic space for these productions, presenting thrillers like Cédric Anger’s La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur, a film where a brilliant and disturbing Guillaume Canet plays a shy cop in charge of investigating the crimes committed by himself; Veteran, by Ryoo Seung-wan, award winner at Sitges 2011 with The Unjust, a new and exciting thriller from the Korean master where a detective out for justice declares war on a very powerful tycoon; and the British comedy The Legend of Barney Thompson, the first venture into directing by Robert Carlyle, who in it also plays a shy, mediocre barber in Glasgow who will suffer a drastic change in his life.
On the other hand, the Official Sessions Especials (Special Screenings) Section will be offering works like the latest adventure from the Monty Python crew, Absolutely Anything, directed by Terry (Life of Brian) Jones and starring the charismatic Simon Pegg, and the new film by Paolo Sorrentino, who, after delighting us with La grande bellezza, now presents Youth, a nostalgic portrayal of maturity, with Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.
Once again this year, the most transgressive cinema from around the world will be coming together in Noves Visions, a section that will be restructured into two big subsections this year: One and Plus. One will be screening the latest from the most renowned profiles on the international scene: Anomalisa, by Charlie Kaufman, the brains behind the great films by Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry; Cosmos, the latest from the legendary Andrzej Zulawski, a recent award winner at the Locarno Festival; as well as the latest works from first-rate filmmakers like Michael Winterbottom with The Face of an Angel and Takeshi Kitano with the black comedy Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen. Noves Visions One will be kicking off with the Spanish film La novia, by Paula Ortiz, an imaginary take on the classic Bodas de sangre, by Federico García Lorca, and closing with Evolution, by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, one of this season’s most disturbing films.
On the other hand, Noves Visions Plus will be the ideal place to get to know new, up-and-coming talents, hybrid formats, and the most experimental cinema. Plus will be including the radicalism of Rick Alverson and his Entertainment, the piece that will be kicking off a selection that includes peculiar works like Moonwalkers, by Antoine Bourdon-Jacquet; innovative formats like the ones used by Sean Baker in Tangerine; and one of the most terrifying experiences at this year’s festival, Der Nachtmahr, a German production directed by multidisciplinary artist Akiz, that will be causing genuine nightmares among the audience. Noves Visions Plus will be closing, out of competition, with a review of historical Korean cinema, the surprising The Royal Taylor, by Lee Woon-Suk.
Fantàstic Panorama and Documenta
The main independent, fantastic, and horror genre productions will be screened under the umbrella of the Fantàstic Panorama Section, which will include titles like El eslabón podrido, by Valentín Javier Diment; Hellions, by Bruce McDonald; Nina Forever, by Chris and Ben Blaine; Scherzo Diabolico, by Adrián García Bogliano; Southbound, by diverse directors; Tales of Halloween, directed by eleven famous directors; The Dead Room, by Jason Stutter; and The Mind’s Eye, by Joe Begos.
In addition, the Panorama Documenta Section will be introducing non-fiction pieces revolving around genre, as well as its creators. Such is the case with Dark Star – HR Giger’s World, by Belinda Sallin, a documentary that shows the more intimate facet of the father of one of the most dreadful creatures in cinema: Alien, and I Am Your Father, by Toni Bestard and Marcos Cabotà, a tribute to the actor who played Darth Vader in the first part of Star Wars.
Anima’t and Midnight X-treme
Anima’t has designed a selective and attractive lineup of animation projects from all over the world, with works like Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, by Tadayoshi Yamamuro, its screenplay written by Akira Toriyama in person, which takes the saga back to its purest roots, and Evolution Man (Pourquoi j’ai pas mangé mon père), by Jamel Debbouze, a comical adventure between the human and the animal element, made with motion capture.
On the other hand, the Midnight X-treme Section will be screening the most daring independent horror movies, including the outstanding film Bite, by Chad Archibald, where a girl holding her bachelorette party in an exotic paradise sees her body start to transform after being randomly bitten by a creature. Horror and hemoglobin will be keeping up the level of tension in Midnight X-treme with other films like Bloodsucking Bastards, by Brian James O’Connell; German Angst, by Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski, and Andreas Marschall; Sendero, by Lucio A. Rojas; and another Bite (at Sitges 2015 there are two different films with the same title), by Alberto Sciamma, among others.
In addition, the Sitges Clàssics Section, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, will be paying homage to the film Seven, star of the poster for our 48th Festival, a psycho-thriller that set a precedent and confirmed the talent of its director, David Fincher. This section will also be screening The Thief and the Cobbler, by Richard Williams, a film showing its director’s original work, inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.
Asian cinema will also have an important presence at Sitges 2015. Renowned and other up-and-coming filmmakers offer their projects included in most of the sections, among which are the outstanding Two Thumbs Up, The Assassin, Helios, Port of Call, and the previously announced The Taking of Tiger Mountain and SPL2: A Time for Consequences. Once again, the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia will be collaborating with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs Office.
The Festival Adds a Room
The 48th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia will be launching a fourth room, added to its four classic screening areas: the Auditori, the Retiro Theater, the Prado Theater, and Brigadoon. The Tramuntana Room, also located in the Hotel Meliá Sitges, the official Festival headquarters, will be fit out as a theater and will host a good number of screenings as well as certain relevant master classes. The new room will allow the festival more flexibility when it comes to structuring its schedule and give viewers and fans more opportunities. In addition to these five theaters, the festival will also have other venues offering free screenings.
Schedules and Tickets
The lineup schedules for all the different venues will be published this upcoming Monday 14 September. Tickets go on sale Friday 18 September at 12 noon. In the meantime you can watch trailers for all the films here to help you decide which ones to see.