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‘Rec 2’ to open Sitges film festival

Competition includes 'Dogtooth'

BARCELONA — Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s “Rec 2” will open the 42nd Sitges Intl. Film Festival of Catalonia, Europe’s biggest genre pic devotee confab.

A strong international seller and genre cult item, “Rec” inspired a U.S. remake, the Screen Gems-produced “Quarantine,” helmed by John Erick Dowdle.

Again produced by Barcelona-based mini-major Filmax Ent., the eagerly awaited “Rec 2” picks up “Rec’s” story 15 minutes later.

Other Sitges Competition titles, announced Thursday, include “Dogtooth,” Greek Yorgos Lanthimos’ sophomore pic and the surprise winner of a strong Un Certain Regard section this year at Cannes.

At the festival’s presentation in Barcelona Thursday, fest director Angel Sala paid tribute to the burgeoning creativity to be found in the emerging genre pic producing nations such as Greece, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“Genre films, fantasy films, have always prospered in times of crisis. The movies present an on-screen horror that is more agreeable than reality,” Sala said.

Sitges Competition boasts two Sundance players: sci-fi thriller “Moon,” helmed by Brit first-timer Duncan Jones and toplining Sam Rockwell, which has just won Edinburgh fest’s top Michael Powell prize, and “Grace,” directed by Paul Solet, a satirical tale of a mother caring for a dead baby.

U.S.-based Catalan helmer Jaume Collet-Serra’s will compete with “Orphan,” his follow-up to “House of Wax,” produced by Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Ent. Also in contention, and a world premiere, is Catalan Eduard Cortes’ “Ingrid,” produced by Benece, a cyber fable about the last days and puzzling death of a young performance artist.

Sitges’ competish features the Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci starrer “Don’t Look Back,” directed by French actress-helmer Marina de Van, and “The Countess,” about 16th-century noble woman Erzebet Bathor.

Sitges has added a new digital 3-D showcase. This presents James Wong’s “Final Destination” and Lee Unkrich’s “Toy Story 3-D.” Sitges will also run its usual sections: Midnight X-Treme, Noves Visions, Orient Express and Brigadoon.

Promotion board Catalan Films & TV will host a vidgame and interactive fiction seminar, and a Mexico-Catalonia co-production meeting. Fest runs Oct. 2-12.

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