San Seb boosts Spanish lineup

Fest adds 14 local pix to selection

Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival, the biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, has announced its strongest slate of local pics in years.

Three films have been added to the 11 Competition titles already announced: Enrique Urbizu’s crime drama “No Rest for the Wicked,” Isaki Lacuesta’s Africa-set “Double Steps” (described by the helmer as part vampire pic, part spaghetti Western) and Benito Zambrano’s “The Sleeping Voice,” which adapts Dulce Chacon’s novel about women on the losing side of the Spanish Civil War.Screenings for “Wicked,” which is repped in international markets by Filmax, were the most popular of any pic at June’s Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screening.

The fest also announced 11 Spanish titles playing out of competition or in the Zabaltegi sidebar. These run the gamut from genre pics to dramas, docus and animation, and tap productions from key up-and-coming local shingles, highlight rising Basque talent, and include some of Spain’s most eagerly awaited first and second films of 2011.

One potential standout of the three Spanish films competing for the Zabaltegi-New Directors award is Ignacio Ferreras’ debut toon “Wrinkles,” a senior citizen buddy movie that was a standout at March’s Cartoon Movie; 6 Sales handles international markets.

There’s also buzz on David Trueba’s “Madrid 1987,” a two-hander starring Jose Sacristan as an over-the-hill writer and Maria Valverde as a student sent to interview him.

“Bertsolari,” Asier Altuna’s docu-feature about Basque poets, plays out of competition.

New fest director Jose Luis Rebordinos was expected to boost the genre pic presence, and he has delivered with two movies from Madrid-based Apaches Entertainment: Eduardo Chapero Jackson’s fantasy pic “Verbo,” and sci-fi laffer “Extraterrestrial,” helmed by Nacho Vigalondo (“Timecrimes”) and sold by Wild Bunch.

Zabaltegi New Directors will also include Sandra Sanchez’s docu “Behind the Lights,” following an itinerant fair worker; Telmo Esnal’s “Urte berri on, amona!,” a dark comedy about a mother-in-law; and “Puzzled Love,” a 13-part love story helmed by students at Barcelona’s Escac film school.

Also flying the Spanish flag, Zabaltegi Specials will screen Manuel Huerga’s historical documentary “14 d’Abril: Macia contra companys”; Lacuesta’s “The Clay Diaries,” a portrait of painter Miquel Barcelo; and Eterio Ortega’s docu “At the End of the Tunnel in the Basque Country,” from an idea by producer Elias Querejeta.

As previously announced, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s “Intruders” opens San Sebastian, which runs Sept. 16-24.

(Emiliano de Pablos in Madrid contributed to this article.)

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