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‘Bear’ roars at Malaga

Fest is main showcase for new Spanish talent

MADRID — Tom Fernandez’s ecologist drama “What’s a Bear For?” will open the 14th Malaga Spanish Film Festival. Closer is Maxi Valero’s directorial debut “El hombre de las mariposas,” turning on an old Soviet general living in Spain.

Running March 26-April 2, Malaga’s upcoming edition consolidates its status as a key showcase for new Spanish talent.

Seven of the 11 competition films are first or second pics. All titles are world premieres.

Produced by Mediapro and Alta Produccion, “Bear” is Fernandez’s soph feature after scoring with his 2007 homecoming comedy “Suso’s Tower.”

Enrique Otero competes with surreal road movie “Crebinsky,” produced by Control Z and Zircozine.

Competish also includes Borja Manso and Marcos Cabota’s “Amigos,” a comedy about three old friends’ passion for betting, backed by Telecinco Cinema and Dark Light Prods.

Spanish TV actor Frank Spano turns director with “Hora menos,” telling the story of two victims of a flash-flood that devastated part of Venezuela in 1999.

Ramon Termens (“Negro Buenos Aires”) directs his soph film “Catalunya Uber Alles!,” an immigration drama produced by Segarra Films.

A fable set in rural Basque country, Alberto Gorritiberea’s “Arrilla” is produced by Jose Maria Lara’s Alokatu.

More established filmmakers include Max Lemcke, who presents a real estate parable “Cinco metros cuadrados.” Catalan helmer Carles Torras (“Trash”) competes with his awaited third feature, arthouse drama “Open 24H.”

Soccer world fable “En fuera de juego,” a co-production between Nadie Es Perfecto and Rizoma, marks David Marques’ fifth feature. It toplines Ricardo Darin (“The Secret in Their Eyes”).

Galician companies Filmanova Invest and Zircozine produce Gustavo Balza’s drama “Doentes,” based on Roberto Vidal Bolano’s same-titled novel.

This year’s Malaga fest pays tribute to Spanish photographer Jose Luis Alcaine (“El Sur,” “Volver”), who will pick up the Ricardo Franco Award for career achievement.

Event will also pay homage to director-producer Jose Luis Borau and thesp Luis Tosar (“Miami Vice,” “Even the Rain”).

Left-of-field director Isaki Lacuesta will receive the Eloy de la Iglesia award, which recognizes filmmakers who work outside established formulas.

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