‘The Enchanted,’ ‘Good Manners, ‘Co-Husbands’ Head Malaga Festival’s Spanish Screenings Content
Two titles from leading lights of the New Catalan Cinema, Elena Trapé’s “The Enchanted,” starring Goya winning actress Laila Costa, and Lucía Alemany’s “Co-Husbands,” with “House of Flowers’” Paco León, figure as Market Premiers at the Málaga Film Festivals Spanning Screenings Content, a massive 195 Spanish title spread continuing Spain’s muscular outreach to overseas buyers and markets.
84 features will screen in Málaga, as well as 10 works in progress and 81 library titles. Part of Mafiz, the industry area of the Málaga Film Festival, the Spanish Screenings Content unspool March 13-16 in the Andalusian coastal city.
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The Market Premieres also feature “The Good Manners,” by the Barcelona-based Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz. Key sections – such as Perspectives and Spanish Screamings – largely pick up on titles introduced at Ventana Sur. The Spanish CoProForum features four projects selected in October 2022 for a Málaga Festival development program.
First details of productions at the Spanish Screenings Content 2023:
“Co-Husbands.” (“Co-Marid(dos,” Lucia Alemany, Spain)
A move towards the mainstream by Alemany, who made a splash with her San Sebastian 2019 premiere “Innocence,” “Co-Husbands” turns on turns on Emilio and Tono who discover their wives are the same person. A gender flip set-up tapping into the zeitgeist, produced by Madrid’s movie powerhouse Telecinco Cinema, part of Mediaset España, and Ciudadano Ciskul (“Three Many Weddings”), and the Basque Country’s Think Studio (“The Invisible Guest”). Filmax handles sales.
“The Enchanted,” (“Els Encantats,” Elena Trapé, Spain)
The third feature from Trapé whose second, “The Distances,” walked off with Málaga’s top Golden Biznaga in 2018. Costa (“Victoria”), fresh off her Spanish Academy best actress Goya for “Lullaby,” which also swept Málaga last year, returns as Irene, out of sorts after her recent separation who retreats to her family cottage in the Catalan Pyrenees. Coming Soon Films and A Contracorriente Films produce. Latido Films sells.
“The Good Manners,” (”Los Buenos Modales,” Spain)
From Díaz de Lope Díaz, who studied at Barcelona’s Escac film school, a family reconciliation comedy from a new feminist comedic voice in Spain, director of “Hopelessly Devout,” an Audience Award winner at 2018’s Malaga Festival. Film Factory sells.
“Amira’s Land,” (“La tierra de Amira, Pablo Barce Orellana, Spain)
Written by up-and-coming scribes Pedro Ríos (“Mis adorables vecinos,” “Fuera de control”) and Rodrigo Martín (“Manos de Seda,” “Lex”) whose series, “The Executioners” has just been selected for Series Mania, a social issue tale turning on the relationship between a Spanish widower and young woman, an immigrant from Morocco.
“Camino de la memoria,” (Manuel Jiménez Núñez, Spain)
A first person narrative about Alzheimer’s disease and its impact, via testimonies from the diagnosed, their families, therapists and assistants, linked by a 1,000 kilometer bike trip taken by Alejandro Hurtado B. and Antonio Ortín along the St. James Way from Málaga to Santiago de Compostela. From Andalusia’s Jiménez Núñez, co-creator of the notable “Las sinsombrero,” about the women in the Federico García Lorca generation of 1927 poets.
“Carousel,” (“Carrusel,” Lucía Vassallo, Spain, Argentina)
Produced by Málaga’s Curuxa Cinema, behind SXSW Virtual Fest title “Gunpowder Heart,” and Argentina’s Crudo Films (“Kryptonite,” “Welcome to Hell”), a “thriller-laced coming of age tale,” says producer Inés Nofuente (“Ixcanul”). Macarena 16, daughter of a drug addict but staying at a prestigious religious school, hesitates between motherhood or graduation, her mother wish. Targeting 15+ auds, “Carousel” asks “what currently builds us as women: about identity when it is crossed by immigration and femininity,” says Nofuente. Vassallo’s follow-up to “Cadáver exquisito.”
“Diary of an Infiltrator,” (“Diario de un infiltrado,” Samuel León, Saúl Valverde, Spain, Chile)
A Mafiz Award winner at Tenerife’s CIIF Market last November, and potential Forum standout, a doc feature or four-part series detailing the stranger than fiction story of Miguel Herberg, an assistant of Roberto Rossellini who infiltrated Augusto Pinochet’s circle to film preparations for his coup and, later, exposing the dictatorships concentration camps, whose existence the regime denied. Spain’s energetic Vértice 360 y la Chile’s Bioesférica Filmes produce. “A historical documentery, covering unknown events, of large value,” says producer Alberto Rull at Vertice 360.
“The Night of the Judas,” (“La Noche de los Júas,” Javier Gómez Bello, Spain)
1994: el Canío, a kid from the outer-radius district of Malaga’s Huelín, spends St. John’s Eve, hanging out with friends he’s known all his young life, on a night whose bonfires will burn the old, passage to the uncertainty of adulthood. “At 17 I left my neighbourhood for ever. With this film I want to reencounter my roots.” says multi-prized doc short filmmaker Gómez Bello (“Malakooti”). Pic is produced by Ezequiel Comesaña, director of “La vid(a).”
“My Parents’ Great Bazar,” (“El Gran Bazar de Mis Padres,” Rakesh Narwani, Spain)
A documentary in which Nawani, director of 2019 short “Black Bass” with Antonio de la Torre,” interviews his Indian parents, as they close their family shop in Málaga, on why they chose to settle in Spain in the 1970s.
“La española,” (Susan Béjar, Spain)
A self-discovery comedy about an ambitious director forced to take time out – or so they see it – working in the Dominican Republic. Béjar’s “Distances” scored a best short Goya nomination and was shortlisted in the 2022 Oscars race. Capitán Araña producer Nacho La Casa’s credits include the hit 3D toon film “Ozzy” and Disney series “La gira.”
“I Won’t Die For Love,” (“Yo no moriré por amor,” Marta Matute, Spain)
Set up at Solita Films, the Madrid-based production company run by César and José Esteban Alenda, co-producers of Sundance player “The Fishbowl.” Scheduled to roll next year, the project follows a young woman who confronts caring for her mother, struck down by Alzheimer. Marta Matute’s first feature won the SGAE Julio Alejandro Best Feature Screenplay Award and a Spanish Academy residency. Chosen as a 2023 Madrid Film School (ECAM) Incubator project.
“Mapá” (Afioco Gnecco, Spain)
Inspired by the personal experience of Italian-Chilean trans filmmaker Gnecco who won the Netflix-backed Desde Otra Prisma pro-diversity prize, the social drama follows Rafi who is initiating gender transition, but suddenly is forced to care for his mother, suffering a rapidly advancing degenerative illness. “Paquita Salas’” Clara Nieto produces at Powehi. Film toplines Cuban Maria Isabel Diaz (“Locked Up”), Dominga Bofill (“Valeria”), Abril Zamora (“Locked Up”) and Goya-winner Carolina Yuste (“Carmen y Lola”).
“Welcome Mr. Hollywood,” (“Bienvenido Mr. Hollywood,” Mar Coll, Aina Calleja; Spain, Peru)
Barcelona’s Funicular (“This is Not Sweden”) teams with Peru’s El Árbol Azul and Maretazo. Set in the Amazon, the lives of two aspiring actress friends are turned upside down by the news that a sequel of Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo” will shoot there. Coll (“Three Days With the Family”) and Calleja, editor on Coll’s series “Killing the Father,” co-write alongside Diego Vega, who with brother Daniel broke out with “October,” 2010 Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner.
“Bloody Mary,” (Joseph Díaz, Spain)
Winner of the Sitges FanPitch Blood Window Award, a tale of female empowerment building on Díaz’s short, ”The 6 Relics of Helena Mason.” An abused woman runs away from her home but she will end up being beaten to death by a cult leader. Mary returns possessed by ancestor Helena, burnt at the stake as a witch. Produced by Carles Isern at Barcelona’s Producciones DosMentes. Díaz’s long-term career takes in VFX supervision for “Game of Thrones” and “The Witcher” from his Hypnotic VFX studio.
“Celestine,” (“Celestina,” Tina Olivares, Spain)
Produced by Coque Serrano at La Charito Films, the coming of age thriller is inspired by classic Spanish novel “La Celestina.” Pic project follows Bea, who discovers that the deaths of her friends follow the plot of the medieval book she’s reading for a high school assignment. If she does nothing, her death will be next. Olivares co-wrote the milestone Spanish series “Grand Hotel” and the hot-selling format “The Mysteries of Laura.” “Celestine” is now backed by Spanish public broadcaster RTVE.
“Echo,” (“Eco,” Nacho Solana, Spain)
The feature debut of Solana, whose short “Namnala” was shortlisted for the Goya Awards. When teen Andrea’s twin sister dies, she thinks it’s murder, given she can hear echoes from her last day. A horror thriller and “ghost film without ghosts, exploring an adolescent’s trauma at facing for the first time the certainty of death,” says producer Alberto Díaz López at Mordisco Films. A distinguished development history taking in SGAE, Escac, Abycine Lanza labs and Málaga Mafiz.
“The Mantise,” (“Las Mantis,” Didac Moreno, Spain)
An ECAM alum, Moreno’s short, “The Sleep of the Dogs,” played in competition at Sitges. After her mother’s death, Aitana spends the summer at her uncle and aunt’s farmhouse, where she meets Lope, an introvert obsessed by ghosts. Produced at El Médano Producciones by Rafael Gimeno (“Canción sin nombre,” “El Arbol Magnético”).
“Zombie Meteor: The Movie,” (Alfonso Fulgencio, José Luis Farías, Spain)
An animated feature splatter fest comes disaster movie as a meteor packed by living dead hits the International Space Station. The prequel bowed at September’s Austin Fantastic Fest. Directed by Farias and Fulgencio, founders of animation producer-event organizer Paramotion Films, behind the Quirino Awards and Weird Market, and also involved in the creation of shows such as “Lunnis y Acción!” and “Agus y Lui” for RTVE’s Clan.
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