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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Interview with Juan Antonio Bayona - The Orphanage

"The Orphanage"/"El Orfanato"
Guillermo Del Toro, the Oscar award winning director for "El Laberinto del Fauno" or "Pan's Labyrinth", produced this new spine-chilling dramatic thriller, "El Orfanato", or "The Orphanage", directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. Belen Rueda, who plays the leading female role, Laura, and Fernando Cayo, in the role of Carlos, her counterpart, return to the house Laura grew up in, to raise their chronically ill, orphaned son, Simon, played by Roger Princep. Disturbed by her son's constant playing with imaginary friends, it isn't until he turns up missing that Laura learns their dream home by the sea is haunted, and that the ghosts of five other sick children are present in the house. Laura continues to follow clues and instructions in the hopes she will be lead to her missing child. CHILLING!!! My entire body had the chills for about 15 minutes at various parts throughout the film. GO WITH A DATE!!! :)

Questions for the director Juan Antonio Bayona:

Q #1-"Tell us a little bit about the casting process:"

A-"Balen Rueda was the first person I thought of for the role of Laura. She comes from a Spanish television/comedy background, and I decided to put someone unusual in the role, someone that has never been seen before."

Q #2- What is your favorite scene in the film?

A-"The grieving group therapy scene."

Q-#3-"What can you recommend to the viewer that they may not know?"

A- "DON'T GO to the theater ALONE, as the movie provokes debate."

Question directed to Arthur from "Picturehouse":

Q #1- "What is your favorite scene in the film?"

A- "When the truck hits the old woman."

Question directed to Balen Rueda: (actress who portrays Laura)

Q #1:"What challenges did you face in the role?"

A- "I realized I could do a scary movie, it was my childhood dream. The script is amazing."

Question to Bob, distributor from "Picture House":

Q #1: "What was your favorite scene?"

A- "When the truck hits the woman and her arm raises up."

Guillermo Del Toro, director/producer stated to the audience, "this film was extremely important for me, this is the first movie I presented at. I believe in Juan Antonio. He is a very small man with a huge talent. When I first met him in 1993, he said he was a journalist, and I don't know if he really was, or if he was lying, but we went out to lunch, and spoke for a few hours, (I always paid the bill/by the way). I was moved by the screenplay. I had a few ideas, and four were accepted and 6 were rejected.

Guillermo continued to share that "this movie will scare the hell out of you, and then you're going to cry. The film opened in Spain a few weeks ago and is the #1 film and highest grossing film in Spain. It is seriously scary."

Finally, Juan Antonio Bayona greeted the audience stating, "I apologize for my English, Guillermo tells me I speak English like an Egyptian prostitute." Juan thanked Guillermo, Belen, Sergio Sanchez, and the cast as for most of them it was their first movie role. Juan mentioned that Guillermo's film "Pan's Labyrinth" was one of the first foreign films to break down the barriers and it is a beautiful story."

The after party was held at "The Gramercy Park National Arts Club". Guillermo Del Toro, Belen Rueda, Juan Antonio Bayona, Bob Berney, the President of "Picturehouse", John Cameron, Cameron Mitchell, Sergio Sanchez, (screenwriter), Michael Lynn, the "Newline" co-chairman, Sylvia Myles, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and fabulous others in attendance.
by Sharon Abella

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