Spain has always had a decent tradition of film history, but 2006/2007 are shaping up to be a banner year for high-profile exposure of its artists. In fact, Spain is shaping up to be the new "it" girl of foreign cinema. Volver has obviously earned a boatlaoad of critical acclaim and Spanish horror is on the rise as evidenced by the pickup of The Backwoods late last year and the Barcelona-based Filmax cutting US deals left and right. As if to put an exclamation on the point, enter The Orphanage.
The Orphanage was recently snatched up by Picturehouse (of New Line association) at the EFM, after showing off some snappy promo footage. Assuredly helped by its association with Guillermo Del Toro, who is co- producing, The Orphanage has Picturehouse fawning and ready to sink some dollars into US distribution.
The story feels Del Toro-ey, as it follows a woman who lays down some cash to buy the vacated orphanage where she grew up. The orphanage holds some childhood secrets and invisible friends (and those little assholes are never any good) which begin to manifest themselves through her son as they move back in.
The Orphanage is directed by new-comer J.A. Bayona, who del Toro assures has filmed some “very moody and terrifying footage”. There’s no release date yet, but look for that to change relatively soon.