ESCAC talent fills Sitges Festival

ESCAC talent makes its presence felt for yet another year at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, which this year celebrates its 53rd edition from 8 to 18 October.

Malnazidos, opening film 

The zombie action film Malnazidos, directed by ESCAC alumni Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro, will open the festival this year. The film, starring Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo, Álvaro Cervantes and María Botto, is an adaptation of the novel by Manuel Martín Ferreras, set during the Spanish Civil War. The motion picture follows a group of fugitive combatants from rival factions who are forced to form an alliance to fight off a common enemy, the zombies.

Malnazidos was directed by ESCAC alumni Alberto de Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera and edited by Martí Roca, with special effects by Laura Pedro, sound design by Oriol Tarragó and music by Javier Rodero. This is the first film to be directed by Alberto de Toro, who edited Caldera’s entire filmography.

A Perfect Enemy, Official Selection 

A Perfect Enemy, directed by ESCAC alumni Kike Maíllo and starring Tomasz Kot (Cold War), Athena Strates (The Good Liar), Marta Nieto (Madre) and Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen), will be part of the Official Selection of Sitges Film Festival.

The film is an adaptation of Amélie Nothomb’s novel The Enemy’s Cosmetique, which has been translated into 24 different languages and has sold over 700,000 copies across the world. The adapted screenplay was written by Cristina Clemente (EVA), Fernando Navarro (Verónica) and Kike Maíllo himself. This is the third film from the Barcelona-born film-maker after he made his directorial debut with EVA, which won him the Goya Award for Best New Director.

For this, his first international production, he was once again accompanied by a team of professionals mainly trained at ESCACToni Carrizosa  and Ana Eiras as producer, Martí Roca as editor, and Oriol Tarragó as sound designer.

Furthermore, part of the visual effects have been made in the ESCAC’s VFX Lab Pro and some of the film’s props were created by the ESCAC Construction Lab, a project laboratory supervised by professionals active in the field of prop building, in which students extend their training. The laboratory offers prop building students the possibility of expanding their knowledge and practice through various types of projects of an industrial nature, combining creative, technical and budgetary duties.

No matarás, Official Fantàstic – Special Screenings

The David Victori-directed film features graduate Elias M. Felix as DoP, Alberto Gutiérrez as editor, and Ester Velasco as production manager.

Candela, Anima’t shorts 

ESCAC alumni Marc Riba and Anna Solanas, key figures from the Catalan animation industry over the last two decades, return to Anima’t with this sad, harrowing and very human story in which we meet Candela, an elderly lady who lives alone in an old, abandoned building in the middle of an almost dilapidated suburban neighbourhood.

Oriol Tarragó, Honorary Maria Award

Post-production supervisor, sound designer and ESCAC alumni Oriol Tarragó will receive an Honorary Maria Award at Sitges 2020 in recognition of his film work. Tarragó was involved in his first feature film with Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone (2001). He also designed the sound for films such as [REC] (2007), Julia’s Eyes (2010), Sleep Tight (2011), Enemy (2013), Superlópez (2018), A Perfect Enemy (2020) and Malnazidos (2020). Especially noteworthy is his work together with J. A. Bayona, for whom he designed the sound on all his shorts and feature films, from The Orphanage (2007) to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). Tarragó has won four Goya Awards and seven Gaudí Awards, and in 2017 he was awarded Best Sound Designer by the European Film Academy.

Sitges Film Hub

The Sitges Film Hub is the section responsible for creating and developing initiatives aimed at professionals in the audiovisual field, transforming the festival into a meeting place and point of collaboration for national and international figures from the industry.

10 October, Conversation with ESCAC alumni Oriol Tarragó.

As a post-production supervisor and sound designer, Tarragó has worked with directors such as Jaume Balagueró, Kike Maíllo, Denis Villeneuve and Daniel Monzón, as well as Juan Antonio Bayona. He has designed the sound for numerous Spanish and international feature films such as [Rec] (2007), The Impossible (2012), The Kid (2014), Enemy (2013) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). He has won four Goya Awards, seven Gaudí Awards and a Golden Reel Award for The Orphanage (2007), and was nominated by the MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) association for Penny Dreadful (2014). In 2017 he was also awarded Best European Sound Designer by the European Film Academy. At present he combines his work in audio post-production in his Coser y Cantar studio, with teaching at ESCAC and other faculties of the Universitat de Barcelona.

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11 October, Malnazidos panel discussion From the novel to the silver screen. Together with the directors Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro, the author of the novel, Manuel Martin, and the comic designer Luís Bustos.

We will analyse the film adaptation of Malnazidos from four different perspectives. Before coming to the big screen, renowned comic book designer Luis Bustos first made drawings to accompany the adaptation of Manuel Martin’s novel. Said drawings were the source of the visual imagery that the directors managed to capture in the film.

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12 October, VFX Meet-up: If you can imagine it, you can do it. The event will boast the presence of ESCAC alumni Laura Pedro, winner of a Goya Award and VFX supervisor at El Ranchito; Lluís Castells, winner of 3 Goya Awards and coordinator of the ESCAC VFX Lab Pro, and Lio Estivill, VFX supervisor of the ESCAC VFX Lab Pro.

Would you like to know what the job of a visual effects supervisor actually entails first-hand from top professionals from the VFX industry? Want to know how to set up a VFX department? Then this talk – in which we will share experiences with internationally-renowned professionals – is for you.

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15 October, ESCAC alumni Alberto de Toro in conversation From the editing to direction of Malnazidos.

Film editor Alberto de Toro will talk us through his editing work and filmography before finishing by explaining the thinking behind the decision to change the shooting schedule of Malnazidos. Session organised by the Catalan Audiovisual Editors Association (AMMAC), allowing the audience to learn about the importance and beauty of audiovisual editing.

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Producers Meet Producers (PMP)

Rubén Sánchez, student on the ESCAC Master’s Degree in Directing, will be in attendance at Producers Meet Producers (PMP), an event for emerging and established production companies, bringing together entrepreneurs who are just starting out in the audiovisual industry with professionals with extensive experience in creation.

Categories: Escac Talent