MADRID – In the run-up to Spain’s 62nd San Sebastian Festival, which kicks off Friday, Adolfo Blanco’s A Contracorriente Films has taken off the table for Spain one of its biggest draws at this year’s event: Antonio Banderas’ starrer “Automata.”
A Contracorriente Films has also acquired rights to Spain on another main competition contender, Jose Mari Goenaga and Jon Garano’s “Flowers,” an intimist drama with suspense elements.
Also having bought San Sebastian closer “Samba,” A Contracorriente no packs with Golem thebiggest punch of any Spanish distributor at the Festival: Six picks in all, including two of Spain’s four competition entries.
World premiering Sunday in competition at San Sebastian, “Automata” will boast Banderas’ presence, the biggest budget of any new bow at the Festival. “Automata” also marks Banderas bow in the sci-fi genre, and his highest-profile production to date at his Spain-based Green Moon shingle, founded in part to bring on up-and-coming talent such as “Automata” director Gabe Ibanez, who made his feature debut at Cannes Critics’ Week with “Hierro.”
Co-financing and selling international rights and setting the shoot up at its Nu Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria, which also co-produces, Millennium Films was essential for getting the project of the ground.
A futuristic thriller/Western set on an earth on the verge of collapse “Automata” stars Banderas as an insurance agent for robotics corp ROC, who investigates a – seemingly- routine case of robot manipulation.
Also a world premiere, and the first Basque-language shot movie competing at San Sebastian, “Flowers” is also a sophomore outing for its directors at a festival that places a large emphasis on new talent.
Surprising – the film seems to set out as an intimist drama but a suspense element kicks in after only four minutes, “Flowers” turns on three women whose lives are changed by the receipt or appearance of flowers.
Produced by Basque Country-based Irusoin and Moriarti, “Flowers” is sold by Film Factory Entertainment.
Starring Omar Sy, and Olivier Nakashe and Eric Toledano’s follow-up to “The Intouchables,” the Quad and Gaumont produced and Gaumont-sold “Samba” plays out of competition.
Also at San Sebastian for A Contracorriente, which distributed “The Intouchables” in Spain: Paco Leon’s “Carmen,” and the the Oscar-nominated “Kon-Tiki,” and San Sebastian 2013 closer, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet,” the latter two playing dubbed into Basque into fest’s Movies For Kids section.