Spain turns to genre, arthouse films: Variety features an article about the Spanish film industry’s attempt to save itself from lagging ticket sales on its home turf. Apaprently, a big part of the answer is to make high-class horror films that sell well abroad, like PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE ORPHANAGE, and [REC].
“Interesting directors are doing genre. They’re not necessarily just shockfests or purely commercial. They’ve got edge,” says Morena’s Juan Gordon, who produced “The Appeared.”
Currently, Spain boasts Europe’s only large G-hub. There’s a sense of a movement and esprit de corps. Many leading helmers studied together at Barcelona’s ESCAC Film School. They cite common influences.
“(“REC” co-director) Jaume Balaguero, Sergio Sanchez, we all grew up watching Lynch, Spielberg, Cronenberg,” says another ESCAC alum, Guillem Morales.
And Spain’s creep wave — and foreign interest — shows no subsiding:
- Rodar’s prepping a shiver quiver: “Orphanage” scribe Sergio Sanchez‘s “Homecoming”; Morales’ “Julia’s Eyes” and remake “Intruder”; plus “The Eighth Sacrament.”
- Spanish genre pioneer Filmax has unveiled a New Fantastic Factory featuring “REC” co-director Paco Plaza‘s “Circus,” and two first-timers: Tinieblas Gonzalez’s “Underground” and Daniel Benmayor’s “Paintball.”
- Post-“Timecrimes,” a Magnolia pickup and Cruise-Wagner remake, Nacho Vigalondo is writing another droll rural fantasy, “The Ramp.”
- Telecinco is co-producing Canary Islands’ psycho-thriller “Hierro,” by Gabe Ibanez.
- After debuting with Kevin Costner starrer “The New Daughter,” Luiso Berdejo has English-language thriller “Jennifer Can” set up at Vertice.
- Paris-based sales company Elle Driver has taken international on psycho-thriller debut “Invisibles,” from Juan Carlos Medina.
“The times are changing, hugely” Vigalondo says. “We’re opening up a new path, and the most exciting thing is that we don’t know where it will lead.”