Grand Piano

47th edition frames movies from big-name genre auteurs

Eugenio Mira’s “Grand Piano,” a piano concert-set psychological thriller starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, will open the 46th Sitges Intl. Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, Europe’s biggest genre movie event.

Produced by Nostromo Pictures, headed by Adrian Guerra and Rodrigo Cortes, the producer and director respectively of “Buried” and “Red Lights,” “Grand Piano” continues Sitges’ tried-and-tested strategy of choosing as its curtain raiser the biggest Spanish genre proposition of the year.

Co-produced by Spain’s Atresmedia Cine and sold by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel’s The Solution Entertainment Group, and described by Guerra as a “high-tension, elegant Hitchcockian thriller,” “Piano” has sold most major territories worldwide save the U.S., France, Australia and the U.K., Guerra said.

The Sitges opening slot will rep its European premiere, he added.

“Grand Piano” looks set to bow a 47th edition which will be rich in big auteur genre movies but also a showcase for diverse reactions to economic crisis and evolving financing and distribution models for genre and fantasy movies, with a string of movies at Sitges from the U.S-based MPI Media Group and XYZ Films.

In a sign of the consolidation of genre auteur production worldwide, at least seven films in Sitges Oficial Fantastic main competition played at May’s Cannes Festival: Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “The Dance of Reality,” Chilean Sebastian Silva’s “Magic Magic,” “Johnnie’s To’s “Blind Detective” and Takashi Miike’s “Shield of Straw.”

Miike and To, also with “Drug War” at Sitges, will both attend the 47th edition which will dedicate a tribute to Spain’s great maverick helming legend Jess Franco, who died in April.

The Sitges Festival runs Oct. 11-20.

Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report.

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