Short-term proposals also have a place on the Festival’s grid. Sitges viewers will be able to enjoy around sixty short films full of explosive ideas and concentrated and direct concepts. Thus, the festival defends not only this format, which often serves as a starting point for future directors of successful feature films, but also those filmmakers who have carved out their artistic career mainly in this field, such as Claude Luyet or SAM.
A fundamental figure in Spanish genre cinema such as Jaume Balagueró will kick off this edition 28 years after winning the Best Short Film Award with his first work, Alicia. Carlos Vermut will also present his fourth film this year, thirteen years after his first short, Maquetas, surprised the Sitges public. The festival has always promoted and welcomed this format, which sharpens the ingenuity of its creators and which this year will feature the presence of both promising young directors and experienced filmmakers.
The Official Fantàstic in Competition Section will offer, in this sense, a varied assortment of artistic manifestations, all of them bearers of a special sensibility with respect to the fantastic genre. We can find discourses on the contemporary world in Gideon Van der Stelt’s New Babylon, a futuristic dystopia about individualism; in Hantu, by Kim Kokosky Deforchaux, an approach to the colonial wound still present in our society, and in Ding-Dong Challenge, by Sang-hoon Ahn, a comment about generation Z and the virtual world not so different from Creator by Andre Leblanc.
You can also enjoy different incarnations of the killer, such as the dog from Good Boy, the sixth short film from Eros V; the mermaid from Mermaid Killer, directed by Israel González and Joel Codina, or the sadistic game of Reptile, by Jordan Giusti. Likewise, we will have bizarre premises (The Newt Congress, by Matthias Sahli & Immanuel Esser), experimental proposals from a formal point of view (From Beyond, by Fredrik S. Hana), and even daring fusions between genres, as occurs between dystopia futuristic and western in The Ballad of Maddog Quinn, by Matt Inns, or between science fiction and zombie cinema in Zombie Meteor, by José Luis Farias and Alfonso Fulgencio.
In addition to the latter, the national scene will feature names that are already common in Sitges. SAM, which in the 2020 edition presented Routine: La prohibition, will bring us Parallels, her ninth short film. On the other hand, Daniel Padró will present his fifth short film, Psicario; Joseph Díaz will show his terrifying The 6 Relics of Helena Mason; Iván Villamel will give us La Nueva, and Ignacio Malagón will introduce us to the pagan ritual of Ad Inferos, among many others.
The Anima’t section will once again be an unappealable demonstration of the good health enjoyed by animated films, including both emerging filmmakers and long-standing short filmmakers. The second group includes veterans such as Claude Luyet, who will present Lucky Man; Anna Solanas and Marc Riba, who with an 18-year career behind them, will show this year El matí del Señor Xifró; Alain Fournier, who will offer an adaptation of a story by HP Lovecraft entitled The Temple, or the Hungarian Balázs Turai, whose short, Amok, comes to Sitges after triumphing at numerous European festivals.
On the other hand, it will also be possible to enjoy new and promising voices of European animation, such as Jean-Jean Arnoux and his Mon Tigre, Raphaelle Stolz and his Miracasas, Joost Jansen and his third short Drifter, or Joachim Hérissé and his terrifying Écorchée. There will also be no lack of reflections on political and social issues in a more explicit way. Examples of this are Drone, by Sean Buckelew; The Past, by Hamid Mohammadi or Louis I, King of the Sheep, by Markus Wulf.
Noves Visions will house the most intrepid proposals of the format. Mental health, a recurring theme in contemporary fiction, will be present with Nau, the second short by Renata de Lélis, and Waving, in which Rolfin Nyhus and Steven Brumwell aim to raise awareness of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Gonzague Legout will provide the art-house touch with Il ya beaucoup de lumiere ici, shot in blinding analog black and white, while Holiday, by Laura Guerricaecheverría, will imbue us with its supernatural atmosphere.
The Brigadoon section is also no stranger to the small format. Among the more than forty works of his are eight short films that will delight the public of Escorxador: Chelsea Lupkin’s Scooter; I call upon thee, by Michael Anthony Kratochvil; The countenance, by Raul Cerezo and Carlos Moriana; Nu, by Olivier Labonté LeMoyne; Paura: La notte di Evelyn, by Tommaso Ottomano; L’armadio (The Closet), by Matteo Macaluso; The Ceremony, by Isaac Berrocal Bravo, and Seaborne, by Dylan Ashton.
Finally, the SGAE Nova Autoria Awards section, which the Sitges Festival organizes together with the SGAE and the SGAE Foundation, through the Territorial Council of the SGAE in Catalonia, will feature the participation of thirteen works from different film schools and universities of the autonomous community. These are the titles:
Agoraphobia, by Carla Carreras Palau; El balneari, by Max Sorribas and Eloi Román; Nice to meet you, by Maddi Sánchez; Polar cold, by Albert Perdices; Invisible, by Javier Vargas; Look child, by Sergio Avellaneda; No one will be able to believe, by Héctor Medrano; Don’t worry, by Àlex Mateu; Stone; paper; scissors, by Diego Acosta; Dirty, by Iván Sitz; Sweet Side, by Albert García Boté; Returning Home, by Ariadna Pastor and Wellness, by Núria Gebellí, Maricella Vilca, Diego Véliz and José Javier Castro. Thus, the festival once again ratifies its commitment to new creators, who represent the most immediate future of the film industry.