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54th Sitges Film Festival – Asian Presence

We take a look at the Asian films that will be screened at the Sitges Film Festival (Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya) which is running from October 7th – 17th, 2021.

Once again, the Sitges Film Festival will have a hybrid edition with online and on-cinema screenings. Fifteen Asian films will be screened during the festival. Four films will compete at the official competition section, Cliff Walkers (Impasse) by Zhang Yimou, Belle by Mamoru Hosoda, Limbo by Soi Cheang, and The Medium by Banjong Pisanthanakun.

– Asian Films –

Belle by Mamoru Hosoda – Japan | 2021 – 121 minutes
Section: Official Competition

In the small mountain village where she lives with her father, Suzu is a shy teenager; but in the virtual world of U she’s Belle, a music icon with millions of followers. The divide between these two universes will be compromised when Belle meets the Beast, a fascinating but terrifying creature. Once again, Mamoru Hosoda delves into the interstice between fantastic and virtual, in a new animated gem presented at the past Cannes Film Festival (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Beyond the infinite two minutes by Junta Yamaguchi – Japan | 2021 – 70 minutes
Section: Noves Visions

Returning to his apartment at the end of the day, Kato, owner of the Phalam Café, sees himself talking to himself from his computer screen: “I’m the future me. Two minutes in the future.” His home screen and the café’s computer screen are somehow connected. Kato returns to his establishment and, together with his regular customers, begins to explore this phenomenon (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Cliff Walkers (Impasse) by Zhang Yimou – China | 2021 – 120 minutes
Section: Official Competition

Early 1930s; in Harbin, four Chinese Communist Party agents who have been trained by the Soviets must carry out a mission. Zhang Yimou places his taste for the most plastic action at the disposal of an espionage film that takes place in Japanese-controlled Manchuria with the connivance of the Qing dynasty and under an incessant snow, which blankets the screen in whiteness (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Hand Rolled Cigarette by Chan Kin-long – Hong Kong | 2020 – 100 minutes
Section: Fantastic Panorama

Two men from very different cultural backgrounds, an ex-military man from Hong Kong of British descent and a young South Asian, unexpectedly cross paths when they have a conflict with the same Mafia organization boss. Forced to live together to solve their problems, a mutual understanding and a relationship of loyalty is born between them that will eliminate all the racial and social barriers that separate them (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Junk Head by Takahide Hori – Japan | 2021 – 101 minutes Animation
Section: Special Section

Humanity has achieved longevity through genetic manipulation, but is on the verge of extinction after having lost the ability to reproduce. Their clones, who rebelled 1,600 years ago, are known as the Marigans and rule the underworld. Some of them appear to have become fertile and the government sends a mission to investigate. Made single-handedly by Takahide Hori, this stop motion animation film is a genre pinnacle (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Last of the Wolves by Shiraishi Kazuya – Japan | 2021 – 149 minutes
Section: Fantastic Panorama

1991, Hiroshima. Hioka Shuichi is a Yakuza boss who aims to bring peace to the relationship between two rival clans. At first his plan succeeds, but the release from prison of a violent gangster eager to avenge an old death will jeopardize Hioka’s strategy. Sequel to The Blood of Wolves, presented at Sitges 2018, which revisits the finest classic Yakuza cinema (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Limbo by Soi Cheang – Hong Kong | 2021 – 118 minutes
Section: Official Competition

A serial killer is on the loose. Pressure from the public to solve the case forces the police to turn to veteran detective Cham, who will work alongside rookie Will. However, the ghosts of Cham’s past come back to haunt him, until the truth starts to become more and more blurred. Implacable in his handling of thrillers, Soi Cheang returns to Sitges with a film full of fast-paced editing and existential overtones (STIGES 2021).

Trailer:

Pompo: The Cinéphile by Takayuki Hirao – Japan | 2021 – 94 minutes
Section: Animation

The hyperactive and vivacious Pompo, granddaughter of retired producer J.D. Peterzen, is a B-movie mogul. Gene is a production assistant who doesn’t want to become a director, in fact, the idea terrifies him. But Pompo has plans for him, plans that will change his life and bring him ever closer to the secret of cinematic success. Adapted from the manga of the same name by Shogo Sugitani (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

Poupelle of Chimney Town by Yusuke Hirota – Japan | 2020 – 100 minutes
Section: Animation

Teeming with chimneys and smoke, Chimney Town is the home of young chimney sweep Lubicchi, whose father Bruno has disappeared. Bruno was a Kamishibai storyteller (paper street theater) who would speak of the wonders that existed beyond the city. One day, something bright falls from the sky, and a strange being comes to life. Shunned by most, the trash man befriends Lubicchi, and the two embark on an incredible adventure (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

The Deer King by Masayuki Miyaji – Japan | 2021 – 113 minutes
Section: Special Sessions

After defending his land against a powerful empire, soldier Van is taken into slavery and sent to the salt mines. One night, a pack of strange dogs attacks the mine and a mysterious disease begins to spread. Van meets a girl named Yuna, and as the only survivors of the plague, they embark on a journey together as father and daughter but with no blood ties (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

The Great Yokai War: Guardians by Takashi Miike – Japan | 2021 – 117 minutes
Section: Midnight X-Treme

Kei Watanabe, a fifth grader who looks after his younger brother, belongs to an ancient lineage of Yokai monster hunters. When the monsters decide to come back to life, little Kei will confront them with the help of various allies. The great Takashi Miike returns to the world of the Yokai with a children’s movie full of his trademark extravagance (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

The Medium by Banjong Pisanthanakun – Korea, Thailand | 2021 – 131 minutes
Section: Official Competition

It’s never a good idea to dig too deep into the world of shamanism. And that’s exactly what a documentary crew does in Northern Thailand, where it discovers a girl whose strange behaviors apparently stem from the lineage of the shamans. The Medium delves into the legacy of a shaman from the Isan region in an exercise that blends horror and lore, and is produced by Korean thriller king Na Hong-jin (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

The Sadness by Rob Jabbaz – Taiwan | 2021 – 99 minutes
Section: Midnight X-Treme

A young couple finds themselves pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to get together in the midst of the chaos generated by a pandemic outbreak. The disease turns those infected into cruel and depraved creatures, a level of inhumanity where murder, torture and mutilation reign. Rob Jabbaz brings one of the most radical films in the Festival’s history to Sitges, the gore genre’s equivalent of The Raid (SITGES 2021).

Trailer:

The Samejima Incident by Jiro Nagae – Japan | 2020 – 81 minutes
Section: Fantastic Panorama

Nana Sasaki joins an on-line meeting with her former high school classmates, Yuki and Suzu, where they rehash the terrifying Samejima Incident, an urban legend that has been circulating around the Internet for two decades with the following warning: those who find the truth behind it will be cursed and die. Jirô Nagae’s love letter to the J-Horror of the nineties (SITGES 2021).

Wolf Guy by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi – Japan | 1975 – 86 minutes
Section: Seven Chances

Akira Inugami, the last survivor of an age-old clan of werewolves, uses his supernatural powers to work as a detective. Investigating a new case, a series of bloody murders committed by a mysterious force, Inugami discovers that the Japanese secret service wants to steal his lycanthropic blood for study. Sonny Chiba stars in one of Toei’s most brilliant and unclassifiable B movies (SITGES).

For more information, please go to: https://sitgesfilmfestival.com/eng

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