The Sitges Film Festival, the biggest genre film event in Europe, has unveiled its Sitges Fanpitch and WomanInFan winners as the Catalan fest, one hour’s drive south of Barcelona, rapidly ramps up its industry program.
Sitges Fanpitch feature film winners were “Bloody Mary,” “Rain Catcher” and “Krampusnacht.” “Super-Over” (“Superada”) scooped the Sitges Fanpitch Scripted Series award.
Spanish director Joseph Díaz “Bloody Mary” nabbed the Blood Window – Spanish Screamings plaudit for a tale of female empowerment as heroine Mary is beaten to death by a cult leader, only to be possessed by the vengeful spirit of ancestor Helena, burnt at the stake for witchcraft.
Ventana Sur’s genre platform Blood Window unspools Nov. 28-Dec. 2 in Buenos Aires.
U.K. director Michele Fiascaris scored the Bifan-Naff Award with “Rain Catcher,” produced by Filippo Polesel at Yellow Pill. In it, a voyeur ends up getting stalked himself, a modern social-stalker story. The project was one of the finalists at Netflix’ “Breakout” genre development program, and now will travel to next July’s edition if Asia’s Bifan market
Produced by Capra Films’ Lola Basara and Marc Schlegel, “Krampusnacht,” from Austrian director-producer Peter Hengl (“Family Dinner”), walked off with this edition’s Fantasia-Frontières Award, an invitation to 2023’s Frontières International Co-Production Market in part of the Fantasia Film Festival and one of NorthAmerica’s biggest genre project launching pads.
“It feels like in the last couple of years, the definition of genre has gotten much wider, which of course, is always interesting for filmmakers,” explained Hengl. “There’s no real straight-arrow genre film any more, because genre gets mixed up and films become becomes like genre crossovers,” added producer Basara.
“Super-Over,” created by Ainhoa Menéndez and produced by Roberto Butragueño and Nuria Landete at Spain’s Elamedia, scored Fanpitch’s Scripted Series Award, a €2.500 ($). The series turns on Clara, who hides from partner Luis her identity as Electric Woman, the world’s only women super-heroin. When she gets pregnant, she confronts physical and emotional changes while still having to save the world.
Elamedia is producing “In the Flesh,” Menéndez’ feature film debut.
Another Sitges industry program, WomanInFan, helps to empower and promote woman creators of genre projects via a brace of initiatives.
One is an open call for creatives with no genre background to be selected for mentorship at the Sitges Festival. This year’s mentor was Paco Plaza, co-director of Spanish cult-classic “[Rec]”.
2022’s program received almost 100 submissions with Estíbaliz Burgaleta’s “El chino” nabbing the WomanInFan’ prize, consisting of €10,000 ($9,700) for the creation of a teaser. The story turns on how to survive a zombie apocalypse at a local-store.
“I think [WomanInFan] is necessary because genre has been a male-driven format. It’s changing with some female directors emerging but but just how cosmetic that change is remains to be seen,” Burgaleta explained. “I think genre has to open up much more,” she added.
Sitges Fanpitch Awards:
Blood Window – Spanish Screamings
“Bloody Mary,” (Joseph Díaz)
“Rain Catcher,” (Michele Fiascaris)
“Krampusnacht,” (Peter Hengl)
Frontières Spécial Mention
“Upiro” (Oscar Martín)
“Superada,” (“Super-Over,” Ainhoa Menéndez)
Scripted Series Special Mention
“Newfall,” (Stefano Nurra)
“El chino,” (Estíbaliz Burgaleta)