Everything about the Sitges Film Festival 2023

Written by Patricia Benavente| 14-04-2024 |2 Comments

Everything About the Sitges International Film Festival 2023

If you're a film lover and in the mood for some thrilling experiences, we've got the perfect plan for you: the Sitges International Film Festival - Sitges Film Festival 2023. Being the world's first fantastic and horror film festival, it's considered one of the most prestigious film events in all of Europe.

The Sitges Film Festival was born in 1967 and has been held every year without interruption in this beautiful coastal town of Catalonia since then. Located just 40 kilometers from Barcelona, Sitges is known for its Mediterranean beaches and luxurious areas, but for a few days, its streets transform and are inhabited by zombies and all kinds of characters from the fantastic realm.

In the 56th edition, which will take place from October 5th to 15th, 2023, Spanish fantastic cinema will play a significant role, with the presence of films directed by renowned directors such as Álex de la Iglesia, Carlota Pereda, and Paco Plaza. It will be a film by the latter, "Sister Death," that will kick off this edition.

The Main Attractions of the 2023 Sitges Festival

Sitges Film Festival 2023

Fantastic genre films and series will not disappoint, even in the midst of the screenwriters' strike in Hollywood. Once again, streaming platforms will have a significant presence, as the opening title, "Sister Death," will arrive on Netflix after its presentation at Sitges. This film marks the return of Paco Plaza, director of genre hits like "Veronica" (2017) or the "REC" trilogy.

Another important event at the 2023 Sitges Festival is the world premiere of "The Hermitage," a new supernatural drama by Carlota Pereda. Pablo Berger, on the other hand, will showcase "Robot Dreams," a film that received a warm welcome at the Cannes Film Festival. As if that weren't enough, F. Javier Gutierrez, the director of "Rings" among others, will present "The Wait." The world of series will be highlighted by the second season of the acclaimed "30 Coins" by Álex de la Iglesia and the premiere of "The Other Side," starring Berto Romero on screen and directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro.

Of course, Spanish films and series will be accompanied by titles from other countries. France will have a significant presence with "Acid" by Just Philippot or "The Animal Kingdom," directed by Thomas Cailey with Romain Duris and Adèle Exarchopoulos. There's also room for Malaysian "Tiger Stripes" by Amanda Nell, Pakistani "In Flames" by Zarrar Kahn, and Indian "It Lives Inside" by Bishal Dutta.

The Impressive Journey of the Sitges Film Festival

In addition to international recognition and prestige, the Sitges Film Festival boasts the presence of great figures from the world of cinema, such as Quentin Tarantino and Jodie Foster on the international stage, and Alex de la Iglesia and Alejandro Amenábar at the national level. Over its more than 50 years of existence, over 300 films have been screened, and more than 100,000 spectators have attended. Furthermore, hundreds of media outlets travel to this Catalan town to cover this major event.

In Spain, this festival is one of the most important, alongside the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Valladolid International Film Week. Distinguished personalities serve on the jury, such as Luis García Berlanga, Luis Buñuel, or Peter Fleischmann, among others. Sitges also stands out every year for featuring Asian cinema at its festival, becoming the stage for world premieres of major films from the East.

The Sitges Film Festival is an event qualified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscars, so winning short films are automatically preselected for these prestigious awards.

The two historic cinemas in Sitges, El Retiro and El Prado, are the venues for this festival. In addition to film screenings, this coastal town also hosts presentations, exhibitions, and professional gatherings, along with a famous zombie parade.

The Zombie Walk: Zombies in the Streets of Sitges

Zombie Walk Sitges

The Zombie Walk is a parade of zombies through the streets of Sitges. This event was created in 2008, during its 41st edition, as a tribute to George A. Romero's horror film "Night of the Living Dead," recreating a zombie invasion in the town with hundreds of dressed-up fans.

Today, this parade is one of the most popular activities of the festival. From early in the morning, professional makeup artists start transforming all attendees who want to become terrifying creatures. Such is its popularity that each year, long queues form with people waiting to be made up for the occasion.

It's in the late afternoon when hundreds of people dressed as zombies emerge from the Hermitage of San Sebastià, and the famous Zombie Walk begins. Once this event is over, a long night of concerts begins, and you can also visit some of Sitges' museums for free.

The Touristic Origin of the Event

In the 1960s, the Sitges City Council aimed to boost tourism in the town, and that's when the Photo Cinema Association proposed the creation of a film exhibition.

In its early days, this festival showcased films from local film schools. But later on, they began inviting foreign academies, which joined annually and put an end to the event's initial simplicity.

It's worth noting that this festival had a tough start in its early days. The road connecting Barcelona to Sitges was not in great condition, and it was full of twists and turns. This is why many viewers gave up on attending the festival. In response to this problem, the mayor of Sitges promised a new road that took a whopping two decades to materialize.

History Through the Poster

Throughout the history of the Sitges International Film Festival, the posters have always been inspired by icons of world fantastic cinema. For example, in 2021, the poster featured a werewolf to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the release of The Wolf Man by George Wagger. If we go back to the first poster of the inaugural edition, it showcased the iconic figure of Charles Chaplin.

How to Attend the Sitges International Film Festival

If you'd like to attend the Sitges International Film Festival, you should know that you can purchase your ticket on the official event website or even buy them in person at the box office of the Hotel Meliá Sitges auditorium or at the Sitges Tourist Office.

If you're a cinema fan and want to experience a major event in one of the finest locations in Spain, don't miss the Sitges International Film Festival. If you decide to come and are looking for accommodation, discover the best vacation rentals in the area with Hello Homes. You can enjoy long days of cinema combined with sun, beach, gastronomy, and beautiful luxury-filled streets.

Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 1
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 2
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 3
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 4
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 5
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 6
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 7
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 8
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 9
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 10
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 11
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 12
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 13
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 14
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 15
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 16
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 17
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 18
Hello Homes Sitges - Instagram 19