Spanish directors fake it in Sitges

Faux trailers compete for Teaserland prize

SITGES — Helmer Isabel Coixet presented a trailer for “Don’t Talk to Me About Life When I’m Dying” at the Sitges fest Saturday. Pic is a follow-up to her Ben Kingsley-Penelope Cruz starrer “Elegy.”

The film, shot in color-drained HD with dialogue in English and Russian, is a comedy turning on the last few days of a terminally-ill suicide-contemplating cancer victim. Washing machines figure a lot in the trailer.

Unfortunately, “Don’t Talk” will never be made.

Neither will Jaume Balaguero’s “The Exorcist V,” despite the plush, atmospheric trailer he presented at Sitges.

Nor Juan Antonio Bayona’s follow-up to “The Orphanage,” “La Desgracia,” a comedic slice of kitchen-sink realism, or so it seems from its trailer.

All three trailers, carefully kept under wraps, are early entries in the 1st Intl. Festival of Fake Film Trailers, launched online Sept. 15 on website teaserland.com, and presented at Sitges.

Other faux trailer contributors include directors Paco Plaza and Bill Plympton, and Sitges fest director Angel Sala.

A new talent initiative, whose popularity is surprising its creators, fest was launched by Spanish communication companies Vasaver and Accion Media, and directed by Xavi Bru.

It invites competitors to make a mock trailer lasting up to 90 seconds of a non-existing film and post it online. Winner will be announced January 2009. Spain’s Canal Plus will put up facilities — studios, an editing suite — worth Euros30,000 ($42,540) for the winner to make a short film.

Jury members include Balaguero, film critic Mirito Torreiro, journalist Gregorio Belinchon, producer Esther Garcia, Sala and Vicaria.

According to Vasaver’s Manel Vicaria, Teaserland had received about 60 entries and 30,000 website hits, principally from Spain, Italy, the U.S. and Japan.