'Amateurs,' 'Boys' and 'Manco' compete
Three tough takes on social marginalization from young Spanish helmers – Gabriel Velazquez’s “Amateurs,” Daniel Hernandez’s “Chicos normales” (Ordinary Boys) and Santiago Zannou’s “El truco del manco” – will compete for the Zabaltegi-New Directors prize at September’s San Sebastian Festival.First-time helmer Andrea Martinez Crowther’s relationship drama “Cosas significantes,” a co-production between Mexico’s Tequila Gang and Spain’s Media Films, also competes for the e90,000 ($134,100) prize. The cash is split between the winning film’s director and its Spanish distributor. “Amateurs,” Velazquez’s first solo effort after San Sebastian competish player “Sud Express,” is a father-daughter drama set in Madrid’s working class neighborhood of Vallecas. “Manco” comes with good buzz for the lead perf by Juan Manuel Montilla (aka El Langui, leader of Spanish hip-hop group La Excepcion) who plays the cerebral palsy-afflicted El Cuajo, who sets up a hip-hop studio. Based on true events, “Boys” portrays the lives of three Muslim youths from the Jamaa Mezwak slums in the Moroccan city of Tetouan, the district where five of the 2004 Madrid train bombers were born. Screening as a Zabaltegi Special, Juan Vicente Cordoba’s docu feature “Flores de luna” (Night Flowers) chronicles the transformation of Spanish ’50s shanty town Pozo del Tio Raimundo. Revealing new Spanish films screening throughout the fest’s sections, San Sebastian also confirmed Tuesday that tyro Gorka Merchan’s family drama “La casa de mi padre” will preem as a special event during the Basque Cinema Day. Horizontes Latinos will showcase “Titon, de la Habana a Guantanamera,” a docu portrait of Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea, directed by his lifelong companion, actress Mirtha Ibarra. Federico Veiroj’s coming of-ager “Acne,” a hit in Directors Fortnight at Cannes, also plays the Horizontes section.