The French horror film Prey (2010), by Antoine Blossier, will close the Festival in the Teatro Principal on 5th November. Debut work from its director, who is proud to work with outstanding technical professionals such as Pascal Molina who has supervised the special effects in films such as The Bourne Identity (2002) or Transporter 3 (2008) or Nicolas Bonnell, producer of visual effects in Batman Begins (2004) and Eclipse (2010), among many others.
In addition to this film, it is also possible to see a sample of the best genre productions of the year from all over the world during the Festival's seven days: oriental films such as Korean Bedevilled, shown in the Critic's Week at the Cannes Festival and winner of the Public Prize in Austin (Texas); Spanish films such as Secuestrados, double prize winner also at Austin (Best Film and Best Director); new films from old friends of the Festival such as British Chris Smith (Black Death) or Finnish Jalmari Helander who is presenting the feature film Rare Sports after having shown the short films starting his search for Santa Claus five years ago in San Sebastian; bizarre films such as the Canadian 5150 Elm’s Way; the best Japanese animated films (Redline); and many surprises, as we have come to expect.
Below are some of the feature films that will participate this year in the OFFICIAL FESTIVAL SELECTION, therefore competing for the Public Feature Film Prize where 6000€ is up for grabs.
5150 Elm’s Way (Canada, 2009). Éric Tessier
At the end of a quiet street (although its name does have clearly worrying connotations: Elm Street) in a sleepy city in the Canadian provinces, young Yannick falls off his bike and is kidnapped by a strange family led with an iron fist by the authoritarian, ultra-conservative father who is unbeatable at chess. Yannick enters an unknown dimension. He must try and escape not only for the sake of his own freedom but also for his mental health. Third feature film by the Quebecois Éric Tessier, based on the first novel by his countryman Patrick Senécal.
Bedevilled (South Korea, 2010). Jang Cheol-soo
Hae-won works in a bank in Seoul. After witnessing a murder, he decides to take a break and go off on holiday to the remote island of Moo-do that he visited many years ago with his grandparents and where he left a friend, Bok-nam, who he now finds has become a slave of the locaton's scarce inhabitants. She asks for his help and Hae-won seems ready to oblige but life on this tiny island is a million miles away from life in the capital city. Suffocating reflection on human beings and how far their cruelty can go by new boy Jang Cheol-soo: "A crocodile in open country isn't frightening. Hidden in a lake, it's terrifying. It's not walls, trees or laws that hide Evil. It's us. And our neighbours."
Black Death (United Kingdom-Germany 2010). Christopher Smith
Fourth feature length film by British Chris Smith who also appeared at San Sebastian in previous years showing Severance (2006) and Triangle (2009). Sean Bean - Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) - and Carice Van Houten - The Black Book (2006) - star in this medieval story of witchcraft, dark forces, biblical plagues and faith. It is said that the plague scouring all of Europe has not reached a village hidden in the forests, maybe due to the presence of a wizard capable of bringing the dead back to life with his evil powers. A young monk is in charge of guiding a group of mercenaries to find out exactly what is going on. The forces of good and evil (or only men and women?) up against each other in a hostile period.
Caged (France, 2010). Yann Gozlan
Three doctors working in the former Yugoslavia are kidnapped as they return home after several months in very difficult conditions. Locked up, terrorised, they don't know what will happen to them, whilst they wait to find out their fate and why they have been captured. Then the phone rings. This seems to be the signal that something is going to happen and it doesn't seem to be anything good. Claustrophobic and suffocating debut work by Yann Gozlan based, he says, on a true story.
Red Nights (France-Hong Kong, 2009). Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud
A Cantonese opera tells the story of the "Jade Executioner" who created a poison that kills anyone who drank it, giving them a final moment of extreme pleasure. Today the legend seems to have come true in this elegant thriller starring a woman who murders her lover to get this poison. This is a film with elements of giallo, Hong Kong action films and romantic fantasies featuring capes and oriental swords, first work by its directors, who have spent years in Hong Kong, where they have written films for Johnny To -Running Out of Time (1998) - or Tsui Hark - Blask Mask 2 (2002) - and have worked with filmmakers such as Wong Kar-wai.
Prey (France, 2010). Antoine Blossier
(NATIONAL PREMIERE) (NOT IN COMPETITION)
Claire must tell her family that she is pregnant and that she wishes to leave the family pesticide company where she has always worked. However, that very day the patriarch is attacked by a wild boar or something pretty similar. All the men in the family, including Claire's husband, go into the woods to find out what's happening and if what attacked Grandpa was definitively a wild boar.... or something pretty similar. The family that hunts together stays together... particularly when they become the prey. This first work by Antoine Blossier lies halfway between the purest horror film and "Falcon Crest" (1981-1990).
Rare Exports (Finland-Norway-Sweden-France, 2010). Jalmari Helander
After the cult short films Rare Exports Inc. (2003) - Public and Jury Prizes from the Festival in 2005- and Rare Exports: Official Safety Instructions (2005), the Finnish director Jalmari Helander is completing the real story of Santa Claus. In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres down, there lies the best kept secret of Christmas. The time has come to bring it to light, to tell the world who Santa Claus really is. After seeing this film, award-winner in Locarno, Christmas holidays will never be the same again.
Redline (Japan, 2010). Takeshi Koike
The wildest and most destructive race in the universe has just started. Only the toughest drivers participate in Redline, including JP and Sonosee, fierce racing competitors but secretly in love with each other off the track. Spectacular Japanese animation film presented in the Piazza Grande in Locarno before 10,000 spectators last year, declaring itself to be proud that its images show the potential of 2D animation, now that it seems that any animated film worth its salt has to be shot in three dimensions.
Secuestrados (Spain-France, 2010). Miguel Ángel Vivas
Jaime, Marta and their daughter Isabel, a well-off family, have just moved to their new home on an estate on the outskirts of the city. The first night that they spend there they are attacked by a band of criminals looking to get as much money as possible. Panic and terror take over. Miguel Ángel Vivas –director of Reflejos (2003) and the short film on zombies I’ll See You In My Dreams (2003), shown at the Festival a few years ago – presents this bare, realistic film, with no concessions starring Fernando Cayo –El orfanato (2007), Pájaros de papel (2010)–, Manuela Vellés –Caótica Ana (2007), Camino (2008)– and Ana Wagener –El séptimo día (2004), Biutiful (2010)–. Awarded Prizes for the Best Film and the Best Director at the recent Fantastic Fest in Austin (Texas).
A selection of the genre’s most significant feature lenght films will compete for the Audience Award, endowed with €6,000 in prize money. Voted on by the Festival audience, the award will be given to the Spanish distribution company. If the film has no distributor, the prize will go to the producer or company responsible for entering the film for competition.
An award will be grant for Best Spanish Short Film from among those selected at the Festival.
Among the selected films, three prizes will be awarded:
A Golden Méliès nomination will be awarded to the Best European Fantastic Short Film of the Year.
A new sidebar is incorporated to the program of the Festival, where a selection of some of the best animated feature films of the year will compete for the Best Animated Film Award, a €3,000 prize voted by the audience. Voted on by the Festival audience, the award will be given to the Spanish distribution company. If the film has no distributor, the prize will go to the producer or company responsible for entering the film for competition.
Dubbed as “the biggest pervert in England”, “the Beast 666” and “the wickedest man in the world”, hedonist, bisexual, spy, adventurer, groundbreaker in the use of psychedelic drugs, poet and occultist, Aleister Crowley was unquestionably the most famous magician of the 20th century and modern history... What’s not so well known is his enormous influence on fantasy and horror movies. His legendary figure was to inspire classics like The Magician (1926), The Black Cat (1934), Night of the Demon (1957) and The Devil Rides Out (1968), from silent movies to Hammer and beyond, although perhaps the most fascinating aspect is how his occult philosophy and magik (yes, with a “k”) rituals found their echo in the work of moviemakers like Albin Grau, Kenneth Augur, Curtis Harrington, Orson Welles, Clive Barker, Jodorowsky, Robert Fuest, Donald Cammell, Elias Merhige... and in Spain too with Agustí Villaronga and Carlos Atanes, among others. Crowley was also a pioneer in the wildest of magik, diabolical and experimental fantasy cinema.
Sponsored by KUTXA, the Festival will screen two children’s fantasy feature films at the Victoria Eugenia Theater.
The Festival continues to showcase work by the authors of Basque comics. This year the exhibitions will focus on Guillermo González and Dani Fano.
After spending a little over a decade concentrating on traditional professional animation (basically 2D animation, and occasionally other areas like story and layout), Guillermo has redirected his career towards traditional illustration, having recently published a book on the world of dwarfs in France (L’univers des nains) which is currently garnering remarkable acclaim placing this author alongside the great names in illustration.
Born in Donostia in 1968, Dani Fano started working as cartoonist in 1995. Since then, he has published strips in the magazines Mutxo, Elhuyar, Ipurbeltz, Ardi Beltza and Kale Gorria. In the last few years he has made the TeleATOIand Anubis 3.0 series for the comic Xabiroi. His work also includes posters, design, animation, literary and didactic illustration.
2010 - Semana de Cine Fantástico y de Terror. Unidad de Cine.
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