by Chris MaGee
While there have been a great batch of genre film festivals that have popped up around the world in the past decade or so -- Fantastic Fest, Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival, and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, to name a few -- there is one genre film festival that is the grandfather of them all: The Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. Recently Sitges announced their 44th annual line-up and, as usual, there is a very healthy representation of Japanese genre films in the bunch.
This year the Sitges programmers have combined a great mix of both Japanese animation and live-action films. On the anime front festival attendees can look forward to Satoshi Nishimura's "Trigun: Badlands Rumble", "Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure" directed by Yasuomi Ishito, Kazuya Murata's "Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos" and Hiroyuki Okiura's "A Letter to Momo". For live-action films Sitges has Katsuhito Ishii's latest "Smuggler", Noburo Iguchi's "Tomie: Unlimited " (above), Tak Sakaguchi's and Yudai Yamaguchi's "Yakuza Weapon", Sion Sono's "Himizu", Shinsuke Sato's "Gantz" and Takashi Miike's "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai". And if you like a little anime and live-action you'll be able to catch another Miike film, his live-action adaptation of the anime series "Ninja Kids!"
The 44th annual Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival kicks off next week on October the 6th and runs until October 16th. To check out all the films that will be screening at the festival head to its official website here. Thanks to Anime News Network for the heads up on this.