The 40th edition of the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia kicks off today with the film recently nominated to represent Spain at the Academy Awards in Hollywood: The Orphanage, by J.A. Bayona. The movie, produced by Guillermo del Toro, seems to be following the wake of the success achieved by the director of Pan's Labyrinth, and confirms the excellent health of, and growing interest in, the fantasy genre, being a ghost story selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to represent Spain at the Academy Awards, in the foreign language film category.
Belén Rueda, the movie's leading lady, plays the role of Laura, a woman who can't shake off a traumatic past and who returns, with her family, to the orphanage where she grew up, with the initiative to open a home for handicapped children. Her sons' strange behavior, when he strikes up a disturbing relationship with an 'imaginary friend', gives way to a maddening spiral where, once again, the past re-emerges from the shadows to tyrannize the protagonists' present.
In addition, today also holds in store for audiences and critics a more than appealing journey through other fantasy genealogies, specifically the new visual offering from Michael Arias, Tekkonkinkreet, a tubular animated film that opens the Anima't section, halfway between top-end 3D digital and the plastic design of manga; the Premieres Dororo by Akihito Shiota, based on the homonymous manga by Osamu Tezuka and Dead Silence, directed by James Wan, the creator of Saw, who attacks again with a very interesting genre movie, where he revisits American Gothic territory, reinterpreted, through the eyes of a young man who investigates the sadistic death of his wife who is murdered by a ventriloquist's doll.