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The Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia reaches full maturity and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. It is the most important international event in the world that specialises in fantasy and horror films, and this time honours the cinema of genre. A unique event for film lovers to enjoy presentations, premières, conferences, exhibitions and a lot of proposals related to the field.
Since it started in 1968, the festival has turned into a cinematic referent on the field's new trends, technology and creativity. Proof of this are the first-class directors, actors and producers who attend every year. Illustrious film-makers like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, John Landis, Takashi Miike or Guillermo del Toro, the patron of the 2017 edition, are just some of the names that have been on the Fantastic Film Festival of Sitges through the years.
The International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia takes place on the first half of October., between the 5th and the 15th of October. This way, this year's edition adds an extra day of shows.
Throughout the ten days of the event, different venues in the city of Sitges host multiple screenings, marathons, forums, exhibitions, concerts and activities organised by the festival.
For some years the festival has been in charge of choosing a specific theme, making it the protagonist of its banner and special programs. On several occasions it has been commemorative of some film. Some of them have been 'Alien' in 2009, 'The Shining' in 2010, the interpretation of dreams in 2014, 'Se7en' in 2015 or the saga 'Star Trek' in the edition of the fantastic film festival last year.
In 2017, the figure of Dracula, the vampire par excellence, will become the leitmotiv of the 50th edition of the International Fantastic Film Festival in Sitges. Proof of this is the design of this year's poster, in which we appreciate the silhouette of mysterious essence of the mythical Count of Transylvania. The intention has been to give the character a timeless presence. Fans of the vampire universe have a mandatory appointment to enjoy screenings, activities and different encounters to worship Dracula, as well as commemorate the iconic 25-year-old version by Francis Ford Coppola.
The section that catches all eyes is, without a doubt, the Oficial Fantàstic, the official section of the festival. It includes all the films that opt for the María Prizes (Sitges award from an international jury) in various categories: 'best film', 'best director', 'best screenplay', 'best photography' or 'best special effects', among many others.
In addition to the aforementioned Maria Awards, there is the Grand Audience Award, that is based on the vote of the attendees, and it is one of the most prestigious. Other prizes will be the José Luis Guarner Award, the Citizen Kane Award for the best debut, Noves Visions Award, Màquina del Temps (Time machine), Nosferatu or Focus d'Àsia award, dedicated to the films of the Asian continent. Out of competition, one of the most important recognition is the Grand Honorary Award, which this year will be given to William Friedkin, acclaimed director of The Exorcist and The French Connection.
The films that will take part in the official section of the International Fantastic Film Festival have not yet been presented. Once the poster is published you will find all the information in that same place.
This year's edition of the Sitges fantastic and horror film festival will for sure pay tribute to the recently deceased George A. Romero, the father and creator of the modern zombie cinema. In 1968 he shot in black and white, and with a budget of just over € 100,000, the film that would turn into a reference: The Night of the Living Dead. Participants of the internationally acclaimed and well-known Sitges Zombie Walk will surely have an emotional memory for the director.
Aside from the presence of Guillermo del Toro as patron of the event, and the award-winning and previously quoted William Friedkin, the film festival will receive Chinese director Johnnie To, the top exponent of the Asian film noir, with titles such as 'Drug War' and 'Election ', that received the Màquina del Temps award in 2005, given by Quentin Tarantino.
You can find more information about all the programme, trailers, activities and tickets on the official website of the Sitges Film Festival.
Header photo from the official website: Sitges Film Festival.
Post photo: Filmoteca de Catalunya