From the 4th to the 14th of October will take place this year the Sitges International Film Festival, one of the most important horror and fantasy genre festivals in the world and an event where here in Ganiveta we have been attending since the magazine was founded. This 2018 is the 51st festival and the chosen theme is a homage to the 50th anniversary of iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The monolith taken from the Stanley Kubrick science-fiction masterpiece will be the event image this year, being the star in all the promotional posters and decoration of the festival.
But a film festival is nothing without the movies. Some of them have already been announced, and beware because this year looks very promising! Two of the most outstanding titles this year will be the long-awaited Lars Von Trier return with a thriller with his very personal and twisted point of view which is The House That Jack Built (2018). Also, another highly anticipated title that surely is going to be one of the highlights of the festival is Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy (2018), which will also count with the presence of its main star Nicolas Cage to introduce the film. Other movies standing out could be Under the Silver Lake (2018) by David Robert Mitchell, the director who surprised the genre fans a few years ago with It Follows (2014), Incident in a Ghostland (2018) (or merely called Ghostland) by Pascal Laugier, creator of the essential Martyrs (2008) or Summer of 84 (2018), another retro-futuristic tale by the tandem who brought Turbo Kid (2015). Those are perhaps the highlighted titles that have been announced to date, but other movies on the line-up are Piercing (2018) by Nicolas Pesce, Burning (2018) by Korean Lee Chang-Dong, Happy as Lazzaro (2018) by Alice Rohrwacher or La Nuit a dévoré le monde (2018) by debutant Dominique Rochers. Finally, the always unclassifiable Gaspar Noé returns with his visually lysergic new perturbed work Climax (2018).
What about the guests and honorary awards this year? This year the Grand Honorary Awards will be granted to Nicolas Cage for his long and unique career, and actor, producer and director Ed Harris who will receive it from the hands of veteran director Peter Weir. Other honorary awards winners this years will be Pam Grier, Traci Lords, Helga Liné and Ron Perlman, who of course will also attend to the festival. Another stellar presence will be musician and filmmaker John Carpenter, the Master of Horror, who will perform a unique show with his band. To the scores from his most unmissable movies Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Christine (1984) or Prince of Darkness (1987) will join some of the tracks of his recently released albums. That will be one of the concerts of the year, that’s for sure.
Classic side events at the festival will take place as every year, creating a complete experience for any attendant to the magical 10 days in the little Catalan coast city. The already world famous Zombie Walk will take place the first Saturday of the festival, which this year is marked on the 6th of October. A horde of zombies will take over the town and DJ sessions and concerts will follow the party. Also, one of the alternative proposals to the regular festival is the Brigadoon sessions. This year they will be centered on the memory of Italian filmmaker Umberto Lenzi, who passed away last year. Hits in his filmography like Ironmaster (1983), A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) and City of the Walking Dead (1980) will be screened. A collection of other new and old films and documentaries will also take place in the infamous Brigadoon sessions. Other art exhibitions and cinema-related improvised museums will be open to the public in the days of the festival.
This 51st Sitges Film Festival looks so far one of the most intense and interesting ones from the last decades. This year a handful of good genre films have been produced and all of them will want to be present at the festival. Plus, come on, guests of honor like Nicolas Cage, John Carpenter or Pam Grier are something you don’t see every day! I can’t wait for October and have the blast to attend to what is one of the most important events every year.