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‘Cannibal’ Builds Buzz Before Toronto Bow

Producers issue clip from singular Spanish love story

VENICE — Spain’s Mod Producciones, the producer of Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora” and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful,” has given Variety in exclusivity a clip from Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “Cannibal,” one of the most awaited Spanish films of 2013.

World premiering at Toronto this week as a special presentation, the Film Factory-sold “Cannibal” was included mid-August by Toronto’s artistic director Cameron Bailey in his Mission List of 15 films at Toronto without U.S. distribution which can transform the way people see the world.

Bailey calls “Cannibal,” among other compliments, “one of the year’s most unsettling love stories.”

Little wonder: Martin Cuenca’s follow-up to “The Half of Oscar,” which screened at Toronto in 2010, “Cannibal” is a love story, thriller with a difference and a touch of genre gristle (literally).

It turns on Carlos (Antonio de la Torre), a respected tailor in the Spanish country town of Granada, who dedicates his life to his work and eating, especially women.

Then he begins to fall in love with Nina (Olimpia Melinte), the twin-sister of a woman he has eaten.

There can be few films where audiences fear the hero, or anti-hero, will eat the heroine, but the singular film is building buzz in Spain.

“Bizarre” but “intoxicating,” according to Toronto programmer Diana Sanchez, “Bunuel meets Hitchcock,” in the words of Mod partner Simon de Santiago, “Cannibal” segues from Toronto to San Sebastian, where it plays in competition.

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