10 Talents To Watch In Spanish Cinema

10 to watch in Spanish Cinema
Montesinos: Arnau Colomer

EDUARDO CASANOVA
A provocative actor-shorts-director, and now writer, Casanova’s “Eat My Shit” — about a girl who has a hyper-realistic anus for a mouth — was selected for this year’s SXSW Fest and competed at online Notodofilmfest, beating viewing records. His feature debut “Skins” — a “Shit” spin-off about “malformed people looking for a place in society” — is produced by auteur Alex de la Iglesia and rumored to be a Netflix global acquisition.

ARITZ CIRBIÁN
Cirbián’s label Niu d’Indi produced “The Long Way Home,” which won best film at Catalunya’s Gaudi Awards. The savvy young producer with a knack for crowdfunding is developing helmer Sergi Pérez’s follow-up “The Ungifted Man,” about an intersexual’s homecoming, and also produced Hammudi Al-Rahmoun’s admired feature “Otel.lo.” Cirbián channels pioneering investment from the Fiare Banca Ética Popular and Group Gicoop into Spain’s entertainment sector.

MAYI GUTIÉRREZ COBO
A standout member of Spain’s youngest producer generation, Gutierrez Cobo co-launched Tourmalet Films in 2011 and produced Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s noteworthy debut “Stockholm,” a Malaga director winner. Romantic comedy “Raymond,” the second film from Rafa Cortés, is in development, and whose “Me” played Cannes’ 2007 Directors’ Fortnight Samuel Alarcón’s “Oscuro y Lucientes,” about the search for painter Goya’s head, is about to shoot.

LAIA COSTA
An actress who cut her teeth on TV series such as “The Red Band Society,” Costa was the star of Match Factory-sold “Victoria.” The English-language German thriller was filmed in a single shot and scored rave reviews, an actress nom at 2015’s European Film Awards and a win at the German Film Awards. She’s shooting Ricardo Darin Martin Hodara’s thriller “Black Snow.”

LETICIA DOLERA
After directing two shorts, the high-profile actress (“[REC]3: Genesis,” “The Bride”) surprised with her feature debut, the offbeat, faux-naif Sundance-style romcom “Requirements to Be a Normal Person,” which was sold by Latido and co-produced by Telefonica Studios. She plans to topline a follow-up, which she says “will be a comedy, but more irreverent.”

IRENE ESCOLAR
Escolar won a Goya breakthrough performance honor for her first starring role in Lara Izagirre’s romantic drama “An Autumn Without Berlin,” and went on to play Queen Joanna the Mad in Jordi Frades’ breakout “The Broken Crown” and Antonio Banderas’ daughter in Hugh Hudson’s “Altamira.” A scion of Spain’s great Caba/Alba acting families, the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alum has long legit experience. Upcoming is a film of the Calderon de la Barca play “Life Is a Dream.”

BELÉN FUNES
Her feature debut “The Brother,” is being developed by Valérie Delpierre at Inicia Films. Isabel Coixet (“Nobody Wants the Night”) at her label Miss Wasabi Films is producing her next short, “The Useless.”  A Escac Barcelona film school alum, Funes took Malaga 2015 short and director plaudits with “Sara’s Runaway” (which inspired “Brother”). “Belén has a very special sensibility, and brings freshness and empathy to drama,” Coixet says.

JUANJO GIMÉNEZ
His latest short, “Timecode” a love story narrated via carpark security cameras, is in competition. The vocational-short filmmaker (“Nitbus,” “Rodilla”), produced and directed the feature “Tilt” and co-directed “Dodge and Hit,” founded prodcos Salto de Eje and Nadir Films, is about to shoot short “Delay” and has two features in the works: “A black comedy about soccer, a black comedy entitled ‘Wingback,’ a second and a fantasy about telepaths ‘Pinkala.’”

JOSE LUIS MONTESINOS
After topping San Sebastian’s 2003 Film Students Meeting awards with his first short “Final,” Montesinos’ won this year’s Spanish Academy short Goya for “The Runner” — about an exec who fires 300 workers, then runs into one of them five years later. He’s now developing his Bastian Films-produced feature debut “Strings,” which he describes as a “survival thriller” about a tetraplegic woman “cloistered in a house and her own body.”

CLARA ROQUET
Roquet-scripted “10,000 KM” was a buzzy title at 2014’s SXSW. She recently co-penned the latest from Cannes regular Jaime Rosales and is adapting Spanish-language international bestseller “This Too Shall Pass” with Daniel Burman (“Lost Embrace”). “Submarine,” from another Roquet script, competes at Cannes’ Cinefoundation. Her directorial debut short “The Goodbye” has been acquired by HBO and won a DGA Student Film Awards jury kudo.

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  1. Alberto says:

    Cine transgénico y cultura de bolleria industrial… Mucho edulcorante y conservante conservador. !¿Estos son los 10 talentos del cine a los que mirar en España?! Me sobran bastantes, o por lo menos hay que hacer una búsqueda concienzuda, porque a mi parecer y al de muchos en este sector hay otros a los que mencionar mucho antes que a la mayoría de los de esta lista hecha sin sentido o sin el debido análisis y búsqueda con conciencia. A saber si Emilio Mayorga tiene algún especial interés en ensalzar a algunos de ellos por proximidad. Un poco de falta de respeto y ofensivo para el sector sabiendo la verdad y la falta de conociemiento de muchos lectores influenciables. Que pena me da leer estos artículos de Cine transgénico y cultura de bolleria industrial… Mucho edulcorante y conservante conservador.

  2. Almudena says:

    I think those kind of list have nonsense, sometimes you can do it right, but there are always personal issues that can mark the decision. And I have to agree with both of you, guys. Let’s analyze this:

    Neus Ballus: European Film Award nominee. Gaudi Award Winner for best director, writer and film. Goya nomination. She’s not on the list.

    Dani de la Torre: “El desconocido” was a huge success in terms of directing. He will direct a Hollywood movie if he wants it. One of the best new directors in Europe in terms of plannification and camera. He is not on the list.

    Mar Coll: Gaudí and Goya award for Best Director and New Director. She’s not on the list.

    Marcel Barrena: IDFA Award, Goya nominee, two times Gaudí Award Winner. “Little world” is considered one of the best docs in spanish history. Nowadays he’s writing and directing an important production for Filmax starring three of the bigger spanish stars. The film “100 meters” will be a hit. He’s not on the list.

    Rodrigo Sorogoyen: feroz winner, Goya nomination, nowadays postproducing a new movie distributed for Warner (or Universal, I dont remember) with two of the best actors in spanish cinema. The film “Que dios nos perdone” will be a hit. He’s not on the list.

    Dani de la Orden: Director of three catalan hits, “Barcelona nit d’estiu” and “Barcelona nit d’hivern” and “El pregón”. He had a Gaudí nomination, he’s not on the list.

    And what about people like, who neither are on the list:

    Enrique Gato: Director of two spanish massive success like “Catch the flag” and “Tadeo Jones”.

    Patricia Font: Goya Award and Gaudí nomination for the Short “Café para llevar”. Nowadays directing episodes for the catalana hit series “Cites”.

    Carlos Vermut: He directed “Magical Girl·, one of the most interesting movies of the last year.

    Hèctor Hernández Vicens: Nowadays directing the remake of the “Diary of the dead”. He directed “The corpse of Anna Fritz”.

    And more, and more, and more…

    Really, I don’t understand this selection, Mr. Mayorga.

    I trully respect the directors who are on the list but what’s the point of listing directors of shorts and not doing the same with the real young ones who are pushing hard in Spain? I really dont get it. And sorry for my english.

  3. Daniel says:

    Neus Ballus, Mar Coll, Dani de la
    torre, Marcel Barrena, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Dani de la Orden… Much better choices as spanish young and prominent filmmakers. Just check their cv’s. No doubt.

    • Ken says:

      @Daniel, I agree on Neus Ballus. I would add José and César Esteban Allenda, and also Cristina Molino.

      • Alberto says:

        I agree on Aritz Moreno, Juan Gautier, Ana Lorenz, Susana Casares, Galder Gaztelu, and very mucho others!

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