Budget increase to $1.4 million

MALAGA — The third Malaga Spanish Film Festival, held May 28-June 4, saw one major discovery: “Sexo por compasion” (Sex Out of Compassion) the directorial debut of 32-year-old Spanish actress Laura Mana.

Set in a benighted Mexican village, Mana’s fable of a woman who sleeps with all her male villagers as an act of charity swept both the grand prize and audience awards against stiff competition.

Cesc Gay’s Cannes hit “Krampack” took the best director nod. Veteran Jose Luis Borau won the special jury prize for “Leo,” a tightly scripted tale of urban outsiders.

Budget increase

Sponsored by Telefonica Media’s Antena 3 and Via Digital, which threw a spectacular fiesta at Malaga’s moorish hill castle, the Malaga fest marked a step up in budget to 260 million pesetas ($1.4 million). Led by TM VP Juan Jose Nieto, Carlos Saura and Elias Querejeta, the fest saw the presence of industry heavyweights, which inevitably generated news: Germany’s Beta Film has closed worldwide rights outside France and the U.S. on the Laetitia Casta/Joaquin Cortes starrer “Gitano”; and the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group looks set to ink a deal very shortly on Salma Hayek’s first Spanish film “La Gran Vida” for the world outside France, where it will go to M6.

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