‘Buried’ wins Europe’s Melies d’Or

'Robots from Nebulosa 5' walk away with best short

SITGES, Spain — Rodrigo Cortes’ Ryan Reynolds starrer “Buried” has added to its building kudos count winning the 2010 Melies d’Or Award for best European fantasy film.

Spanish director Cortes picked up the prize in person at the Sitges Festival Thursday night.

Europe’s top plaudit for horror pictures, the Melies d’Or is awarded annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, choosing from titles awarded a best pic Melies d’Argent at nine fantasy film fests around Europe.

“Buried” won this kudos as September’s Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival.

Over the last month, “Buried” took the International Critics’ Award at the Deauville Festival and best film at Paris’ Festival de L’Etrange.

“Buried” was produced by Barcelona-based Versus Ent. in association with the U.S.-based Safran Co. and Dark Trick Films.

It was financed by Versus, sales agent Kinology and Orange-owned Studio 37 in France, the Spanish ICAA and Catalan ICIC subsidy boards, and high-net Spanish investors and backends.

Released Stateside Sept. 24 by Lionsgate, “Buried” will expand Friday to a 103 print run, having grossed $610,000 through Tuesday.

The thriller — which has Reynolds playing a U.S. constructor trapped in a coffin under the ground in Iraq — bows in Italy and Russia this weekend with France and Germany set to open Nov. 3.

Through Sunday, “Buried” grossed a first 10-day $2.5 million in U.K. and $2.2 million through Tuesday in Spain, again off 10 days, opening No. 3 on middling print runs in both territories.

Worldwide gross currently stands at $8.7 million, with 30-plus territories left to open.

Underscoring the vibrancy of genre talent in Spain, Spaniard Chema Garcia Ibarra won the Short Film 2010 Melies d’Or Award for “Attack from the Robots From Nebulosa 5.”

A black-and-white film with V.O. narration, “Nebulosa 5” turns on a lonely mentally-challenged young man, who explains how alien robots will soon destroy the human race, and expresses his hope that the destruction happens soon.