Malaga crowns ‘Princesa’

Fest dedicated to telepics

MADRID — Rafa Montesinos’ “La Princesa del poligono” took the top plaudit — the critics’ prize — at the first TV Malaga, a competition for Spanish TV movies and docu specials launched by the Malaga Spanish Film Festival.

Telepic fest ran in Malaga, Andalusia, April 30-May 4.

Toplining two admired Spanish character actresses, Rosana Pastor (“Land and Freedom”) and singer-thesp Lolita Flores (“Fort Apache”), “La Princesa del poligono” turns on a gypsy woman (Flores) who attempts to start a new life far from her family and its traditions.

Manuel Estudillo’s 1931 Cuban-set romancer, “El Eden perdido,” took the audience award. Best documentary went to “Superdotados (Al este de la campana de Gauss),” about the problems of a highly gifted 8-year-old girl.

The launch of TV Malaga, Spain’s second dedicated telepic showcase after the ZoomIgualada European TV Movies Festival, underscores the importance of the TV movie format in Spain.

Budgets are considerable: around Euros 1.1 million ($1.5 million). TV movies are pushed by Spanish broadcasters, especially regional pubcaster such as Catalonia’s TVC, Andalusia’s Canal Sur and Valencia’s Canal 9, as a testing ground for new talent.

The major problem facing the format is ratings, TV execs and producers lamented at TV Malaga.

This appears to be a question of audience perception: Spanish viewers regard TV movies as movies, which normally notch up below channel averages on TV in Spain.

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