10 Talents To Watch In Spanish Cinema

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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