Susan Sarandon, Grand Honorary Award Winner, seduces Sitges' audience
The Sitges Zombie Walk pays tribute to the great horror master George A. Romero, who passed away this year.
Today Sitges was zombie and rock cult territory. The Sitges Zombie Walk –kicked off by Robert Englund– flooded the town with zombies arriving from all over. When midnight roll around, glamour and rock will come together at the presentation of the Grand Honorary Award to Susan Sarandon, just before the screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In addition, today the SGAE-Nova Autoría Awards were handed out, the virtual reality piece Campfire Creepers was presented and another feature was the world premiere of Musa: the eagerly awaited new work by Jaume Balagueró.
Today in Sitges can be summed up in a word: tremendous. Early this morning, the very first zombies already started to appear, many of them emerging from Sant Sebastià Beach, where a makeup station was set up. The Sitges Zombie Walkhad its high point with its kickoff, this year changing its location to the front of the emblematic Sant Sebastià chapel. Following the iconic Robert Englund –Freddie Kruger’s alter ego–, Ángel Sala, Director of the Sitges Festival, had words of remembrance for George. A. Romero, creator of the zombie universe and who passed away this year in the month of July. The Festival wished to pay tribute to the North director by placing a memorial on Balmins Promenade, where fans can show their affection and respect for the director.
In front of a Noray Marquee packed with Festival fans and guests, actress Susan Sarandon –who is receiving the Festival’s Grand Honorary Award tonight– was all charm and intelligence from head to toe at her encounter with the public at noon. Accompanied by Catalan actors Sergi Mateu and Àlex Casanovas, as representatives of the Catalan Association of Professional Actors and Directors, Sarandon commented that “today it’s very hard and it takes a long time to find a really good screenplay”; and she shared her work method: “when I get a role that convinces me, I try to build and add things that can enhance my character; I talk to the screenwriter and director a lot to find out exactly what they want”.
New talent also had its spot and acknowledgement today with the presentation of the 2017 SGAE-Nova Autoría Awards, which reward the talent of emerging authors from Catalan film schools, as a part of the Festival’s Noves Visions section. The short film Celebració, presented by Pompeu Fabra University, picked up the SGAE Nueva Autoría Award for best direction-production; Una Caja Cerrada, by author Anna Agulló from La Casa del Cine, won the SGAE Nueva Autoría Award for best screenplay; and Sesgo, una Historia de Prejuicios y Golosinas from the Escola Universitària ERAM - Audiovisual i Multimèdia, was the winner of the SGAE Nueva Autoría Award for best original music.
Taking place at the Samsung VR Experience venue –in the marquee located by the Hotel Meliá– was the exclusive premiere of Campfire Creepers, the first virtual reality horror series with 360º vision, attended by French director Alexandre Aja and the legendary actor Robert Englund, star of the series’ first episode. The series is inspired by the horror stories explained around a summer campfire.
The afternoon started off with crew the from Sólo se Vive una Vez gathering at the Meliá Sitges Auditori’s red carpet. Director Federico Cuevas was accompanied by actors Hugo Silva, Arantxa Martí and Santiago Segura, one of the Festival’s longtime friends, who received the Time Machine Award, right before the screening. Sitges also enjoyed the world premiere of the supernatural thriller directed by Jaume Balagueró, Musa. The film’s crew, with actresses Franka Potente and Manuela Vellés, actor Elliot Cowan and writer José Carlos Somoza, author of the novel the movie is based on, also paraded down the red carpet where they were welcomed by Ángel Sala. “I have two muses, and they’re both by my side right now”, director Jaume Balagueró commented standing in the middle of the film’s two leading ladies. In Musa, the Catalan filmmaker continues to explore the topics present in his work, and filming a metaphor about the process of creation. Also seen in the Official Selection was Mom and Dad, directed by Brian Taylor, with a hilarious storyline, a bizarre epidemic that causes lethally violent attacks of parents against their children. Prior to the screening, Italian filmmaker and producer Sergio Martino, one of the fundamental names in giallo, received the Festival’s Honorary María Award.