In 1968 the Sitges Film Festival, or Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya was first created. Its first edition was originally called International Week of Fantasy and Horror Movies. The festival is one of the most famous film festivals in the continent, being the most important international one focused on horror and fantasy movies.
The Sitges Film Festival is overall the number one fantasy film festival in the world; and subsequently it represents the cultural impact of the media expression in Catalonia. Indeed, this is a stimulating universe of encounters, exhibitions, presentations and screenings of fantasy films from all over the world.
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About the Sitges Film Festival
The festival has 13 different sections. Official Fantàstic Selection awards films from all nationalities with the Maria Award in the following categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Interpretation, Best Screenplay, Best Fantastic Genre Short Film, the latter being eligible for the Oscars. Another section, Phonetastic Sitges Mobile Film Festival, elects the best short film made with mobile devices. Other sections include Noves visions, Panorama, Anima’t, Seven Chances, Midnight X-Treme, Focus Asia, Brigadoon, Sitges Classics, Sitges Family, Blood Window and Serial Sitges. Sitges’ status as the number one fantasy film festival in the world allows it to receive visits from top-level movie stars, directors and producers.
One of the main venues of the Festival is the auditorium at the Hotel Meliá Sitges. The Auditorium has a capacity of almost 1,400 people, which makes it one of the largest in the Mediterranean area. The venue is where the opening and closing ceremonies of the event have their place, and it has five to seven daily sessions each day during the week. Two smaller theatres also host the festival.
Cine El Retiro is one of the most characteristic venues of the Sitges Film Festival and just went through a renovation recently. Cine Prado, the smallest of all three, fits a total of 450 people.
Sitges Film Festival is of such magnitude that attracts notorious names such as Quentin Tarantino, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz, Taissa Farmiga, Vin Diesel and Sarah Michelle Gellar. In 2014, “I Origins” was awarded for Best Film; and Jonas Govaerts for Best Director for “Cub”; Nathan Philips for Best Actor in “These Final Hours”, Koji Yakusho also for Best Actor in “The World of Kanako”; and for Best Actresses Essie Davis in “The Babadook” and Julianne Moore for “Maps to the Stars”. In addition, most of its resources come from the sponsors, companies and collaborating institutions that consider their alliance to the Festival to be an excellent platform for widening their scope and branding.
One of the coolest parts about the Sitges Film Festival, except from watching a lot of movies, is the Zombie Walk which will take place on October of the last years. During this walk 1000 people will make their way through Sitges; before finding a place in one of the many bars to party for the rest of the night. There’s no entrance fee for this walk and you can get your zombie look by applying professionally for free. But make sure you arrive early, because usually there are huge queues.
Practical information about the Sitges Film Festival
Address: Sant Honorat, 32-34, 08870 Sitges (Barcelona), Spain
Most importantly, The Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is a part of the E.F.F.F.F; as well as the venue chosen year after year for the presentation of the Méliès d’Argent Award. This is granted by the Federation.