Sitges to feature new films from Paulo, Aibar, Calparsoro and Carax.

The 45th International Fantastic Cinema Festival of Catalonia begins today with the world premiere of The Body, the first feature from Julia’s Eyes scriptwriter Oriol Paulo.

The thriller, which centres on the disappearance of a woman’s body from a morgue, stars José Coronado (No Rest for the Wicked), Belén Rueda (The Orphanage) and Hugo Silva.

The film reunites the team behind the international success of Julia’s Eyes with Rodar y Rodar, Antena 3, Televisió de Catalunya and Canal Plus. The film will be released in Spain by Sony Pictures.

This year’s Sitges festival – described by director Angel Sala as the most important in the world for fantastical cinema – will see Spain feature heavily in its line-up.

El bosc (The Forest), by Oscar Aibar, is an adaptation of Albert Sánchez Piñol international bestseller and focusses on a village during the Spanish Civil War that is terrorised by a monster.

Insensibles (Painless), directed and co-written by Juan Carlos Medina, is a story set in the 1930s and present day. Comprising two strands, the first features a Spanish village in which children can feel no pain while the second centres on a doctor seeking the truth about his past.

Invader is the new thriller from Daniel Calparsoro (The Absent) and follows a soldier who returns from war in the Middle East and discovers the lies behind an accident in which he lost his memory. It stars Alberto Amman (Cell 211) and Antonio de la Torre (The Last Circus).

The Official Selection is packed with big names from the world of cinema.

David Cronenberg will introduce Cosmopolis, his adaptation of a Don DeLillo novel. Leo Carax will screen his new film, futurist avant garde Holy Motors. Jennifer Lynch, who won at Sitges in 2008, introduces serial killer film Chained.

The festival’s closing film will be Looper, the futuristic thriller starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt that is topping the box office in the UK.

Another highlights include the new feature from Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) The Tall Man about the bogeyman, starring Jessica Biel.

Don Doscarelli will screen John Dies at the End, starring Paul Giamatti, adapted from the horror/comic  book.

Elijah Wood will visit the festival for a screening of classic slasher remake Maniac, from Franck Khalfoun.

Asian cinema will also command a presence at the festival. Flying Sword of Dragon Gate, by Tsui Hark, is a historical Chinese production with Jet Li.

Korean films lined up for the event include Doomsday Book, an episodic film by Kim Jee-wong and Yim Pil-Sung, and box office sensation Nameless Gangster, by Jong-bin Yu.