Meeting of European Female Filmmakers
Specializing in the Fantastic Genre.

I Meeting of European Female Filmmakers
Specializing in the Fantastic Genre

This meeting is part of the strategic program WomanInFan of the Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. For this first edition, the meeting is made up of six activities.

Meeting activities:
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    #1 - Cultural and social references in the history of cinema

    Friday, October 6th, 2023 / 10:30h - 11:30h

    What are we talking about when we refer to fantastic films created by women? What benchmarks have attained genuine importance in the history of cinema? What difficulties and what facilities have women creators encountered in genre? These and other questions are the ones that two of today’s most important film critics and experts in genre film, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Alexandra West, will try to reveal. They will both explore the fundamental role of women in fantastic filmmaking, and they will do it together with historian, critic and festival director Alan Jones.


    • Alexandra Heller-Nicholasmulti-award winning film critic, author and editor who has published numerous books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema.
    • Alexandra Westwriter and genre film critic. Her works have been published in generalist media as well as specialized horror films media; her new book Gore/geous: Personal Essays about Beauty and Horror will be available in Spring 2024. 


    • Alan Jonesinternational film critic, broadcaster and best-selling author. He is co-director of FrightFest, the UK’s biggest fantasy festival, and Artistic Director of the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival.

    #2 - Education: the Gaze Bias

    Friday, October 6th, 2023 / 11:45h - 12:30h

    One of the debates behind the different roles in the film industry points to the social and educational environment as the first source of prejudice. Which film professions are traditionally reserved for women and what influence schools and universities have had in shaping them is the starting point for this roundtable, moderated by the screenwriter and president of the audiovisual rights management entity DAMA, Virginia Yagüe. With the presence also of representatives of the audiovisual sector and who will talk about their responsibility as “agents of change” in these perceptions.


    • Sergi CasamitjanaDirector of ESCAC, a film trainig center with former students such as J.A. Bayona or Kike Maíllo.
    • Céline Rouzet, director of En attendant la nuit.


    • Virginia Yagüescreenwriter, producer and writer. President of DAMA.

    #3 - Leadership and references in the fantastic genre: the creation of a storytelling by female filmmakers

    Friday, October 6th, 2023 / 12:45h - 13:30h

    How female creators working in the fantastic genre have carved out their niche in the industry and how their experience differs from one country to another is the starting point of this roundtable. The genre tradition differs according to the territory and statistics also show a very different number of films directed by women in each country. Cultural and social reasons, industry trends, lack of references… each experience draws a different casuistry, which we will represent with female directors from Italy, France, Poland and Spain. All of their testimonies will serve as proof of how European fantastic films directed by women contribute more and more to the creation of new narratives and monster.


    • Agnieszka SmoczynskaPolish director, responsible for titles such as The Lure. 
    • Milena Cocozzaone of the very few Italian women directors of the fantastic and responsible for the film Letto Numero 6.
    • Ángeles Huertadirector of O Corpo Aberto, an almost poetic approach with supernatural components.


    • Silvia Pérez de PablosInstitutional Director of Audiovisual of the SGAE Foundation.

    #4 - Exploring the Fantasy Legacy

    Friday, October 6th, 2023 / 16:30h - 17:30h

    The memory of the fantastic is filled with great names of men and women who have worked in front of and behind the camera, or who have dedicated their careers to the promotion of this type of art. At this round table, we have exceptional witnesses who have worked on preserving references or who contribute with their own memories to recall the relevance and importance of cult titles.


    • Kyra Elise Gardner: director of Living with Chucky.
    • Katharina Kubrick: actress and art director.


    • Maura Mchugh: writer.

    #5 - Creating amazing worlds: the role of women in fantasy film special effects

    Saturday, October 7th, 2023 / 10:30h - 11:15h

    In this round table, three women who are leaders in the special effects industry will share their professional experiences, addressing topics such as their careers, the sources of inspiration that drove them, the challenges they faced and overcame, as well as their innovative projects and outstanding collaborations.


    • María Luisa Pino, editor and special effects technician and special effects makeup artist.
    • Montse Ribé, special effects makeup artist.
    • Mónica Murguía, special effects technician and special effects makeup artist.


    • Víctor García, director and special makeup effects technician.

    #6 - Encounter with Mary Lambert

    Saturday, October 7th, 2023 / 11:45h - 12:45h

    Sitges Encounters includes talks with great figures of genre cinema, participants in this edition.

    With Mary Lambert, we will review her trajectory as a fundamental piece in the contemporary history of the fantastic genre, on the occasion of the presentation of the official book of the festival, Mistress Of Fan, published this year under the Woman In Fan imprint.

    Lambert, who in this edition will be honored with the Màquina del Temps Award, graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied fine arts. She applied her sensibility to art school in innovative videoclips for Madonna, Janet Jackson, Eurythmics and many more icons of the time, helping to feed MTV revoñution.

    Her visual imprint led to the hallucinogenic, dreamlike landscapes in her first feature film, the cult classic Siesta, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature. Lambert is perhaps best known for directing Stephen King’s first adaptation of his own play, Pet Sematary (1989). PS proved to be a #1 blockbuster, which led to a sequel, Pet Sematary II (1992). A prolific director who doesn’t have to tackle us mediums and genres, she’s directed everything from Horror to Animation; She thus taps into her own inner mindscape to create deeply emotional genre fables and establishing a unique visual tradition throughout her own design. Pet Sematary remains the most successful genre film directed by a woman.


    • Mary Lambert: film director.
    • Mònica Garcia: General Manager of SITGES – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia.
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