Where Was the Orphanage Filmed?

El Orfanato is a film that belongs to the suspense genre that was released in 2007, being a success for Hispanic-Mexican cinema. Over the years it has undergone several modifications and has been versioned in Japan and the United States. What many do not know is where El Orfanato was filmed, and that is that this filming took place in Spain, specifically in Llanes (Asturias).

It is a work by director Juan Antonio Bayona that was produced under the umbrella of Rodar in collaboration with Telecinco, with a production headed by Guillermo del Toro and where Belén Rueda is the protagonist.

The film was a success both in the specialized press, through its positive reviews, and at the box office, where it managed to dazzle the public. Worldwide it managed to raise close to 80 million dollars. It was a film that was nominated for 61 international awards, of which it won 31. Among the latter are 7 Goya awards.

The Orphanage, shot in Llanes (Asturias)

The filming of El Orfanato began on May 15, 2006 in Llanes, a council in the east of the Principality of Asturias. Numerous scenes from the world of cinema and television have been shot in this town due to the interesting locations it has.

Among them are many natural locations such as cliffs, forests, mountains…, but the most important part of this strip was the Villa Parres mansion, also called the Partarríu Palace.

This is a mansion that was built in 1898 and that, within its walls, houses numerous film stories and even its own tragedy. The palace belonged to the Indian José Parres Piñera, who at the time was Minister of the Navy, grace and justice, among others.

It is a colonial estate from the 19th century that denotes a clear mysterious aspect, characterized by having four different facades, which gives rise to very interesting effects for film shootings.

Villa Parres is located at the eastern exit of the town of Llanes, towards Santander. A large part of Vicente Aranda’s « The Riders of the Dawn » had already been filmed within its walls in 1990; ” My name is shadow “, by Gonzalo Suárez, in 1996; and” The stone raft “, by George Sluizer, in 2001. However, none of these three came to have the relevance achieved by The Orphanage, a film that continues to be a reference in the cinema of our country within its genre.

Four weeks of filming in Llanes

An important point of the shoot is that the director’s planning, which involved complex camera movements, advised that the interiors of the house be built entirely on set. This meant that many drawings, creative scripts, and conceptual designs had to be done before the film was actually shot.

For this reason, the entire set was reproduced in three dimensions, even mounting animatics to be able to face those sequences that were more complex.

Filming in Llanes took place over four weeks. After this period, the entire team moved to Barcelona, ​​where they continued to complete the ten weeks of total filming. More than 80% of the film was shot on large sets of more than 1,000 square meters. In this way, all the rooms of the orphanage were recreated there.

The history of Villa Parres

Villa Parres was a building that was used as a hospital during the Civil War. As we have mentioned, construction was completed in 1898 after José Parres Piñera ordered it, whose descendants still retain ownership. He was barely able to enjoy the mansion, since he died the following year in the same house, specifically on November 9, 1899.

The person in charge of designing the house was the Cantabrian architect Valentín Ramón Lavín Casalís. This was a professional of highly recognized prestige in his time after having developed a large number of projects among the bourgeoisie of the north of the country.

The Partarríu Palace was built in the second half of the 19th century, a time when there was great prosperity in Llanes, thanks to the arrival of numerous emigrants from American countries.

a film council

The Asturian council of Llanes has a great cinematographic past. The first feature film to be shot in the town took place in 1941, when Juan de Orduña decided to choose it for the filming of “ Porque te vi grimar ”. This was a melodrama that narrates the adventure of a veteran of the Francoist army, who married the daughter of the Marquises of Luanco. He did it to compensate for a rape suffered by a republican soldier.

Gonzalo Suárez, began to shoot his films in 1969 with the region when shooting «Aoom»; and later Angelino Fons, together with Rocío Dúrcal, began shooting “Marianela” in 1972. However, the definitive accolade for the region came in 1998, when José Luis Garci shot ” El Abuelo “.

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