MALAGA — Emilio Martinez-Lazaro’s zany comedy-musical “El otro lado de la cama” (The Wrong Side of Bed) scooped film, director and the audience award at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival on Saturday.
The nods can be read as career achievement awards for Martinez-Lazaro, one of Spain’s most consistent directors.
“Otro lado” faced stiff competition from Julio Wallovits and Roger Gual’s “Smoking Room,” a study of office politics which won the special jury prize and actor nod for its male cast.
The official competition at the nine-day fest, which wrapped Saturday, boasted a clutch of further standouts: Miguel Albaladejo’s sardonically comic take on a romantic vendetta, “Rencor;” Patricia Ferreira’s contempo film noir “El alquimista impaciente;” Alvaro Garcia-Capelo’s choral comedy “Canicula;” and Fernando Merinero’s immigrant drama, “La novia de Lazaro,” which won Cuban Claudia Rojas the actress plaudit.
Amply covered by the Spanish press and bolstered by a parallel Spanish Screenings showcase, the Malaga meet is now a firm calendar fixture.
The fifth edition took place as pic production levels continue to tumble because of slowing purchases from pay TV operators.
Carlos Taboada, the new director of contents and programming at debt-laden satcaster Via Digital , one of the fest sponsors, confirmed that Via would buy less local pics this year, some 35 to 40.