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FESTIVALS Spain

The Orphanage leads local fantasy contingent at Sitges

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The 40th Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia kicks off tonight with the screening of Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the film recently submitted by Spain’s Academy of Arts and Sciences for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar shortlist (see news).

This marks the film’s local premiere, after screening at Cannes and the New York Film Festival last week, which set off a promotional campaign in the US expected to lead to an Oscar nomination.

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Bayona is not, however, the only emerging filmmaker to present his work at Spain's most prestigious showcase of thrillers and fantasy films. Also highly anticipated are Nacho Vigalondo's Los cronocrímenes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alejandro Miranda
interview: Nacho Vigalondo
film profile
]
, recently awarded best film at the Fantastic Film Festival of Austin (Texas, USA), Rec [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
interview: Julio Fernández
film profile
]
by Jaume Balagueró and Francisco Plaza, La habitación de Fermat [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña and Gonzalo López-Gallego’s El rey de la montaña.

All are part of the official section and hope to follow the footsteps of Hans-Christian Schmid's Requiem [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Sandra Hueller
film profile
]
, last year’s top winner.

Sitges Artistic Director Angel Sala has stated that the festival team is witnessing the return of fantasy productions to local industry, for the first time since a boom in the genre in the 1990s.

Other local titles in the sidebar section include Paco Cabezas' road movie Aparecidos and Ricardo Ribelles' El barón contra los demonios.

The festival will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, while the list of Honorary Award winners includes Spanish director Jesús Franco, actor Robert Englund (remembered as Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series), Australian director Alex Proyas, special effects expert Syd Mead and US director William Friedkin (The Exorcist).

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