BARCELONA — “Hellboy’s” Ron Perlman will feature as the special guest at this year’s 4th Sitges Pitchbox, replacing last year’s star mentor, Guillermo del Toro.
Rapidly emerging as one of the coolest events on Spain’s industry event circuit, organized by online platform Filmarket Hub, the Sitges Pitchbox will take place Oct. 5 during this year’s Sitges Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, a mecca for fanboys and a trendy crowd of cinema-goers from Barcelona.
Perlman, an articulate and cultured actor as likely to quote Shakespeare as a genre movie in interviews, looks set to deliver some advice to the producer-directors pitching genre projects at the event and a packed audience.
Widely known for, if often hardly recognizable in, movies such as “Hellboy’,” Perlman’s works include TV series “Sons of Anarchy,” “Hand of God” – which he starred in and produced for Amazon Studios– and “Beauty and the Beast,” which won him a Golden Globe. He has just finished shooting Michael Caton-Jones’ “Asher,” which he produces out of his label, Wing and a Prayer Pictures.
Filmarket Hub has now officially opened a call for genre projects for the Sitges Pitchbox, which runs through Aug. 29. In all, seven projects will be pitched to an industry audience, bidding for financing, co-production partners and sales agents.
The first prize winner receives a cash award worth €5,000 ($5,853), sponsored by Barcelona’s County Council, for development costs. The Pitchbox also awards two travel grants for filmmakers to attend and present their Sitges project at either South Korea’s Bucheon Festival or Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, Latin America’s premier movie market.
Another Pitchbox prize goes to a project reckoned to have the biggest Asian impact, which will be invited to the Intl. Film Festival & Awards’ Crouching Tigers Project Lab in Macao; titles adjudged the two best Catalan genres projects will be selected to attend Blood Window, joining a foreseeably sizable delegation of Catalan directors and producers orchestrated by promotion board Catalan Films & TV.
Since its first, and mainly Spanish, edition in 2015, the Sitges Pitchbox event has expanded its international reach tapping last year projects from the U.K., Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Chile and Peru.
2017’s winner, ”The Monster Within,” Rodrigo Susarte feature debut produced by Chile’s Forastero, has gone on to announce co-production finance from Lene Børglum and Nicolas Winding Refn’ Space Rocket Nation, ZircoZine, Spanish actor Luis Tosar label, and Nicolas Comeau’s 1976 Productions in Canada.
“Over past editions, we’ve received a large number of horror projects; we try nevertheless to make a selection which is as diverse as possible in terms of genre type and projects’ stages of development,” Filmarket Hub co-founder Bernardo Gómez told Variety adding that, once focused around low-budget formulae, genre is increasingly adding auteurist vision, especially in Spain and Latin America – the case of “The Monster Within” and Víctor Manuel Checa Belaúnde’s “Teo,” produced by Peru’s Pierrot Films, also seen at last year’s Sitges Pitchbox.
Aiming to lend larger visibility to fresh emerging talent and help drive international co-production agreements, Filmarket Hub is an online market offering a potential outlet to film and TV projects with interested production outfits, broadcasters, OTT platforms, international sales agents and distribution companies.
Filmarket Hub also organizes co-production and pitching events for films and TV series in Barcelona in – a Barcelona Film & TV Market – and Madrid – two Madrid Pitchboxes, one for features, another for TV drama series. New Pitchbox events are expected to be unveiled in the U.K. and Mexico.
The 2018 Sitges Intl. Film Festival of Catalonia runs Oct. 4-14. It will grant Perlman an Honorary Award.