Nine movies are first fiction features

BARCELONA — The 11th Malaga Film Festival, Spain’s main showcase for homegrown talent, unveiled its 15-pic official competition on Tuesday. Nine movies are first fiction features.

Competish’s biggest hitters are 81-year-old Jaime de Arminan with “14, Fabian Road,” about the strained relationship between a writer and one of her admirers, and Manuel Gutierrez-Aragon’s polemical “Todos estamos invitados,” which turns on an ETA terrorist who suffers from amnesia.

The lineup boasts two modern morality tales: Xavi Puebla’s “Bienvenido a Farewell-Gutmann,” set in a multinational pharmaceutical company, and a rare sci-fi outing for Spanish cinema, Javier Gutierrez’s redemption tale “Before the Fall,” which is co-produced by Antonio Banderas.

Fest also features several laffers. Nacho Garcia Velilla’s “Fuera de carta” is about the family problems of a gay chef. Two hander “Pajaros muertos,” from brothers Guillermo and Jorge Sempere, is a black comedy set in the suburbs. Juan Luis Iborra’s “Enloquecidas” has three women trying to track down their missing lover. Juan Cavestany’s first solo feature, “Gente de mala calidad,” is a gently ironic view of life in a minor city.

Malaga also hosts Guillermo Groizard’s long in gestation identity thriller, “Proyecto dos,” actress Silvia Munt’s marriage crisis dramedy, “Pretextos” and Xavier Bermudez’s “Rafael,” a portrait of a man’s unusual relationships.

“Cobardes,” from Juan Cruz and Jose Corbacho, chronicles high school bullying. Peris Romano and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Ocho citas,” which is drawing good buzz, looks at love in different generations of the same family.

Fest competition is rounded out by Antonio Gonzalez Vigil’s “Naranjo en flor,” about a psychoanalyst who accidentally kills a man, and Ana Diez’s tale of love reborn, “Paisito.”

Playing out-of-competition, the lyrical “A Tram in SP” looks like a touching vision of the dreams of old age from first-timer Aitzol Aramaio.

Potential standouts in an 18-pic documentary sidebar include Gonzalo Arijon’s “Naufragos: Vengo de un avion que cayo en las montanas,” Carlos Carcas’ “Old Man Bebo” and Andres di Tella’s “Fotografias.”

Fest runs April 4-12.

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