Barcelona-based digital marketplace Filmarket Hub and Catalonia’s Sitges Festival have unveiled this year’s lineups for the Sitges Pitchbox, an international pitching event focused on genre feature films and series currently in development.
This year’s event will run Oct. 8 – 15 as part of the larger industry activities at the Sitges Film Festival. Reps from each project will be given time to pitch in front of assembled industry personnel from major international companies including Exile Content Studio, Red Arrow Studios, The Mediapro Studio, Wild Bunch and many more.
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Four cash development prizes are up for grabs with the best feature taking €5,000 ($), two runner up films scoring €1,000 ($) each and the best series scooping €2,500 ($). Winners will be selected by juries including Blood Window’s Javier Fernández, Frontières’ Annick Mahnert and Jongsuk Thomas Nam from NAFF-BIFAN for films and Movistar Plus’ Ana Diez, Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir from Vesturport and Candela Izquierdo from Federation Spain for series.
All five series projects will also be invited to the Showrunners LAB and offered one-on-one advisory sessions as well as access to a series of masterclasses.
Credit: Filmarket Hub
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILMS
“Anima” (Andres Beltran, Colombia, U.S.)
Written and directed by one of Colombia’s busiest up-and-comers, “Anima” is Andres Beltran’s (“Wild District,” “Tarumama”) way of expressing the grief and mourning he felt when he lost his father at a young age through the medium where he thrives, horror cinema. Natalia Echeverri (“Wild District”) of Colombian “Narcos” producers Dynamo, who are developing a strong relationship with Beltran, produces with Luisa Fernanda Velosa (“Bad Days”)
“Jane” (Aram Garriga, Spain)
Javier Calvo (“Veneno”) and Mara Lethem co-wrote this period drama which turns on Jane Wolfe, a fading Hollywood star who moves to Sicily to live with her spiritual mentor and romantic correspondent, Aleister Crowley, only to find as unwelcoming a situation as could be imagined. Garriga directs and produces for Visualsuspects and Carles Torras produces for Zabriskie Films.
“La virgen de la tosquera” (Laura Casabé, Argentina, Mexico)
Written by celebrated Argentine filmmaker Benjamin Naishtat, based don two stories from author Mariana Enríquez, this thriller unspools in a rural suburb of Buenos Aires where three recently graduated young women become smitten with a boy their age. Attraction turns to dismay however when his eyes fall and an attractive older woman, provoking one of them to recruit her grandmother to cast a spell on the young man which, of course, backfires. Valeria Bistagnino and Tomás Eloy Muñoz of Mostra Cine, Alejandro Israel of Ajimolido Films and Diego Martínez Ulanosky at Caponeto produce.
“Mother of Pigs” (Jennifer van Gessel, Australia)
“If you can’t choose your family, design one,” goes the logline for this sci-fi thriller from down under. “Mother of Pigs” turns on talented young scientist Anna, who is developing ways to treat human ailments through genetic modification. After a series of misfortunes in her personal life, she is involved in an accident and ends up in a coma, before waking up in a world where she is forced to suffer the consequences of her controversial work.
“The History of Monsters” (Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz, U.S.)
Based on Arias’ eponymous 2019 short film, a Sitges participant that year, “The History of Monsters” is psychological thriller which blends elements of horror and drama to tell the story of Evelyn, who isolates herself in the words to survive monsters which roam the world each night. When stranger Adam shows up in the woods injured, Evelyn must decide whether to trust the man and invite him in, or her own instincts and leave him outside, sure to be killed by the monsters.
“Tormenta de abril” (Norma Vila, Spain)
Genre specialist filmmaker Norma Vila (“Jules D.” “El fin de todas las cosas”) directs and, with Ana Hormaetxea, co-wrote this story of Abril, middle aged and insecure, who lives with Jorge, 20-somthing and attractive. The problem with Jorge though, is that he’s not real, but a figment of Abril’s imagination based on an ex who left her two decades ago. Things take a strange turn when the real Jorge shows up. NewCo Audiovisual’s Alexandre Bass and Not Alone Productions’ Cristina Urgel and Eva Moreno produce.
Credit: Filmarket Hub
EUROPEAN SCRIPTED SERIES
“Dark Road” (Paul Fitzsimons, Ireland)
Like so many other strong thrillers, “Dark Road” starts with a dead body. When Ryan Watts is found dead in a posh London neighborhood, journalist Claire Goodwin begins investigating and quickly gets the impression that the locals are hiding something. Her suspicions grow stronger still when her primary suspect dies just after confessing to murder. Why he confessed turns out to be a greater mystery than either crime that first caught her attention.
“In Your Skin” (Tina Steffan, Germany)
A dystopian sci-fi story set in a world where human labor has been replaced by robots, “In Your Skin” unspools amongst a populace riddle with poverty and addiction. Mourning the overdose death of her father, a talented engineer uses secret technology to swap bodies with the CEO of her company to bring it down from the inside.
“Madriz” (Dani Reina, Iker Aizpuru, Spain)
Set in an alternative Madrid where humans live in the north of the city and zombies in the south, this series is equal parts horror and comedy. Unlike the characters in “The Walking Dead” though, the two Spanish communities have learned to co-exist, with the zombies working for the humans in exchange for their afterlives. “Madriz” is the story of Ana, a zombie mother who keeps house for a wealthy human family and discovers a secret that threatens the tenuous balance within the capital city… a cure for the zombie virus.
“Nexus” (Sergio Campo, Spain)
Voz Audiovisual’s Fernanda Tabarés produces this sci-fi road movie in which Vega, a wild teenager, is kidnapped and the only person who can saver her is her twin sister Esther, using a telepathic connection the two have shared since childhood. Utilizing her gift, Esther recruits two friends to hit the road and track down her twin in a trip across Spain’s north coast.
“Bad Teeth” (Sînziana Cojocărescu, Romania, U.K.)
Set in 15th century Eastern Europe, this fantasy horror series is the story of Mara, a headstrong teenager forced into marriage but who is raped and killed on the way to her new life. Shirking death, Mara returns as an undead revenant, a Strigoi. Historically, Strigoi – created when powerless characters suffer violent deaths – shine a light on the plight of female, queer, Muslim and Roma experiences. Unlike more traditional vampires, Strigoi enjoy a great deal of agency and can chose whether to be violent or merciful.
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