“AFRODITA, THE TASTE OF LOVE” (Astrolabio/Leo et Compagnie/Thelma/Cinesur/FilmTre)Starring Almodovar girls Cecilia Roth and Marisa Paredes, plus Neil Jordan boy Stephen Rea. Magical sensualism as Roth rocks Rea with recipes. Fest play could decide sales. “ARO TOLBUKHIN” (Oberon/Altavista) Agustin Villaronga’s morally complex, darkly atmospheric fable about a condemned man, shot in black-and-white. No-frills arthouse. “BEYOND REANIMATOR”/”DAGON” (Filmax) Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon, the talent behind cult gorefest “Reanimator,” promise more splatstick as the respective helmers of this hot-selling duo, which Lions Gate has for the U.S. “BOX 507” (Sogecine) Contempo — and reportedly tough — corruption thriller featuring “Amores Perros” beauty Goya Toledo. “CAFE CORTADO” (Amaranta/Mate/Fado) Mexico’s celebrated Arturo Ripstein’s next, and bigger budgeted, pic. If it works, strong art sales beckon. “CANICULA” A sophisticated character-driven comedy — say sources — from frosh helmer Alvaro Ruiz-Capillas. “THE CARPENTER’S PENCIL” (Morena Films/Portozas Vision/Sogecine) Elegantly crafted and sumptuous historical tale of troubled love across the Spanish civil war’s political divide. “THE DANCER UPSTAIRS” (Lolafilms) Oscar nominee Javier Bardem capturing Peruvian guerrilla Abimael Guzman. John Malkovich’s directorial debut, long in post-production. Classic arthouse. Fest reactions will be important. “DARKNESS” (Filmax) Sophomore chillmeister Jaume Balaguero returns with a big-budget, English-language evil house horror pic starring Anna Paquin and Lena Olin. U.S. buyer Dimension will be hoping for another “The Others.” “DESEO” (Lolafilms) Toplining Leonor Watling, after Almodovar’s “Talk,” which could hike overseas interest for this tragic 1940s love story. “DIRTY VIVANCOS — THE SEQUEL” (Rodar 2/Estudios Picasso/42nd Street) Barcelona cop caper with niche potential abroad. “800 BULLETS” (Panico) Alex de la Iglesia directs Carmen Maura, who faces off with spaghetti Western vets. A classic genre-spoofing, eye-boggling project, say witnesses. Should be huge. “THE ENDLESS CITY” (Zebra /Iconica) A strong cast including Fernando Fernan-Gomez and Leonardo Sbaraglia plays out a low-fun, hi-intensity skeleton-and-closet family drama. “FOOD OF LOVE” (Els Films de la Rambla/42nd Street/FFP) Catalan Ventura Pons’ first English-lingo foray, from David Leavitt novel of impossible (gay) love. Should broaden Pons’ international appeal. “IBIZA DREAMS” (Maestranza) Three friends seek plenitude in Ibiza. Youth pic from new helmer Igor Fioravanti. “THE IMPATIENT ALCHEMIST” (Continental/Tornasol/Cartel/Patagonik) After art pic sleeper “I Know Who You Are,” Patricia Ferreira opens another can of worms with a grimy crime drama. More niche ducats await. “IMPULSE” (Filmax) Serial killer attracts cowardly would-be suicide, from newcomer Miguel Alcantud. Already selling abroad. “INTACT” (Sogecine) Bank robber Leonardo Sbaraglia survives a plane crash and finds several weirdoes on his trail, including Max von Sydow. Shyamalan-like much-awaited debut from Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. “KEEP CLEAR” (Alquimia) Industrial wasteland thriller from Goya-winning short film helmer Jacobo Rispa. “LISISTRATA” (Lauren) Distrib Antonio Llorens much awaited re-entry into production, a mincing sandals-and-bawds romp. The mind boggles at the (unseen) results. “EL LUGAR DONDE ESTUVO EL PARAISO” (Tornasol/Cartel/Morena, Brazil/El Puente) Graham Greene-ish skullduggery and quiet, ethical heroism in an Amazonian backwater from hot/cold director Gerardo Hererro. “MONDAYS IN THE SUN” Fernando Leon (who rewrote “Esquivel” for Fox Searchlight) directs Javier Bardem in a social drama produced by Elias Querejeta. Arthouses beckon abroad. “MY MOTHER LIKES WOMEN” (Fernando Colomo) Daughters discover their ma’s gone sapphic. Classic screwball from comedy stalwart Colomo, here also producing. “NO NEWS FROM GOD” (Flamenco/Cartel/Tornasol/DMVB/EyesScreen/Road Movies) Long-awaited second pic from Agustin Diaz Yanes and Cruz’s return to Spanish filmmaking — to fight for the soul of a boxer. In-principle overseas interest guaranteed. “NOS MIRAN” (BocaBoca/Hera) Creepfare: Carmelo Gomez takes on otherworldly watchers. Local hit and niche foreign likely. “OFF KEY” (Lolafilms) Danny Aiello, Joe Mantegna and George Hamilton as three feuding tenors. On paper, the most commercial of Lola’s first English-lingo pics. “RANCOR” (Iconica/Zebra/Alta Produccion/Trivision) Miguel Albaladejo deserves more offshore interest. Toplining singer Lolita Flores, Jorge Perugorria and a script that deftly straddles real life and romance. “REFLEJOS” (Ensueno/Calle Cruzada) Dark thriller debut of Miguel Angel Vivas, who won Antena 3’s Opera Prima 2000 script award. One to track. “SEMANA SANTA” (Schlemmer/La Fiera Corrupia/Septieme) Debut from German Pepe Danquart with Mira Sorvino and Olivier Martinez investigating crime in Seville. A cut above most homegrown thriller product. “THE SHANGHAI CURSE” (Lolafilms) From 1993 Oscar winner Fernando Trueba (“Belle Epoque”), this love story set in 1940s Barcelona features a gold-plated Spanish cast and a wonderfully offbeat storyline. Should go international. “SHE’S MINE” (Star Line) First pic from Javier Balaguer, on abuse in the family. A tough sell, but a high-profile tandem — Sergi Lopez and Paz Vega. Should make rewarding, disturbing viewing. “STONES” (Alquimia) Femme ensemble comedy with name thesps — Najwa Nimri, Angela Molina — from hot short pic helmer Ramon Salazar. “THE STORY OF A KISS” (Nickelodeon) Romantic drama from Oscar winner Jose Luis Garci (“To Begin Again”). “TALK TO HER” (El Deseo) Almodovar’s gender-bending tale featuring a female bullfighter, dance and a hip young cast including recent Bigas Luna muse Leonora Watling. Good Machine Intl. and Pathe have global rights. After “Mother,” huge pressures of expectation. “TORREMOLINOS 73” (Telespan 2000/Nimbus) The ’70s-set bow of Alex de la Iglesia disciple Pablo Berger, in which a Spaniard becomes a Scandi porn king. Promises Iglesia-like out-there pop ironies. “UTOPIA” (Alquimia) Maria Ripoll directs a millennium sect thriller. Given Ripoll’s cachet from the zestful U.S. “Tortilla Soup,” one to keep tabs on. “VIVA ZAPATO” (Euroficcion/Total) Havana-Rio screwball caper with a strong Latino and Spanish cast. A colorful romp. “VOLVERAS” (Oberon/Altavista) Chavarrias’ 90s immigrant-junkie drama “Susana” was a gem. If he hits his stride with this brother-from-hell drama, expect kudos and niche sales abroad. “WARRIORS” (Sogecine) Helmer Daniel Calparsoro’s aggressive style finds the perfect vehicle in Eduardo Noriega starrer about a humanitarian mission to Kosovo. “WE ARE NOBODY” (Lolafilms) Thesp Jordi Molla (Hoover-nose in “Blow”) stars in his own helming debut, a comic satire about a tramp-turned-savior of souls. At least a curio. “THE WRONG SIDE OF BED” (Impala/Telespan/Estudios Picasso) Joyous infidelity musical from reliable vet Emilio Martinez-Lazaro. For Spain, a novelty.
2016-2017 Oscar Predictions
- Triptyk Studios, New York, New York
- Petrol Advertising, Burbank, California
- Bridgewater Associates, Westport, Connecticut
- Company Confidential, Aspen, Colorado
- Save the Children, Fairfield, Connecticut