Author Pablo Tébar wins the Minotauro Award in Sitges
Ticket sales increase 10% at the Festival’s halfway point
Fantastic literature was the big star today at the Sitges Festival. TV screenwriter Pablo Tébar received the Minotauro Fantastic Literature Award for his novel Nieve en Marte (Snow on Mars). Cinematically speaking, in the Official Selection we could see the new film by Sadrac González-Perellón Black Hollow Cage, and The Villainess, an action movie with the Korean hallmark. As a part of the Sitges Industry Hub activities, today there was a conference about the future of film production in Catalonia, and an encounter dedicated to the old Tórax Hospital in Terrassa, converted into the most important studio set in Catalonia. And while Sitges 2017 reaches its halfway point with a 10% increase in ticket sales, the Director Ángel Sala announced that the 2018’s Festival will revolve around 2001: A Space Odyssey, which will be commemorating its 50th anniversary.
For the fourth year in a row, the International Science Fiction and Fantastic Literature Award, organized by Ediciones Minotauro, was presented at the Sitges Festival. “This year we have received more than 500 works, and we have confirmed that the Award’s drawing power increases year after year”, commented Marcela Serras, managing editor of Minotauro, during the award presentation. A ceremony attended by Festival Director, Ángel Sala, writer Manel Loureiro, and publisher José López Jara. Pablo Tébar, with a long track record in the world of television –in series like Médico de família or Mar de plástico–, debuts as a novelist with Nieve en Marte. “I’ll be satisfied if I’ve managed to transmit the enjoyment I experienced while writing this novel to the reader”. Nieve en Marte is a science fiction novel that is read at a movie pace. A work that combines intrigue, nonstop action and a heterogeneous gallery of characters.
Two titles from the Official Selection stood out today. On the one hand, Black Hollow Cage, a Catalan production directed by Sadrac González-Perellón –starring actresses Lowena McDowell and Haydee Lysander, and actor Julian Nicholson–, who accompanied the director at the presentation of the film. “I lived almost my entire childhood in a room, afraid to go out into the outside world. My relationship with the world has been through movies. I would see four or five a day”, commented the director. Black Hollow Cage is a film that addresses universal themes like loss, rendition and the relationships between parents and entre padres and their children in a genre wrapping; science fiction. The film, seen this afternoon, just won the Jury Award at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in Korea. And precisely from Korea arrives The Villainess, the second film of the day. One of the best action films of the year that was attended by its director, Jeong Byeong-gil, at its presentation in the Meliá Sitges Auditori. Programmed for tomorrow is the screening of Confession of Murder, this Korean director’s previous movie, in the Brigadoon section.
Sitges Industry also intensified its agenda today. Included among its activities were two forums. The PAC conference, an encounter about the future of the film and audiovisual industry in Catalonia, presided over by Mònica Garcia, Deputy director of the Festival’s organizing Foundation, with the participation of speakers Xavier Díaz, director of the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises, as well as representatives from distribution, exhibition, digital platforms and television. This afternoon, there was an informal encounter with filmmaker Jaume Balgueró, and art director Balter Gallart, who offered anecdotes, experiences and recollections about his collaboration with the Tarrassa Audiovisual Park, the old Tórax Hospital.
Today the ticket sales numbers were made public. At the Festival’s halfway point, it was confirmed that the 50th anniversary and the proposals offered by this year’s film competition are of great interest to the public. Yesterday, Monday, 58,467 tickets had been sold, while the same day at last year’s Festival, 53,383 had been sold. This means an increase of 10%, despite the decrease in cultural consumption over recent weeks in Catalonia, due to all the different mobilizations. The total number of tickets sold last year –when the record was broken– was 62,255 tickets. And from one 50th anniversary to another 50th anniversary: Ángel Sala announced that the leit motiv of Sitges 2018 will be 2001. A Space Odyssey, by Stanley Kubrick, shot in 1968.