Malaga’s Spanish Screenings: A Drill Down on Titles

Courtesy of San Sebastian Festival

Many, if not most, of Spain’s Malaga Festival’s main section lineup, from Berlin Golden Bear winner “Alcarrás” to Panorama player “Lullaby,” will screen for buyers during the Spanish Screenings. Festival titles are detailed in a separate article. Following, a breakdown of further titles swelling the Screenings to a record 63-title cut.

“Ainarak,” (“Swallows,” Maluta Films, 601 Prods.Audiovisuales)

Directed by Juan San Martín and starring singer-songwriter Anne Etchegoyen, the documentary follows the annual diaspora from 1870 to 1940 of hundreds of women from Navarre and Aragon to Mauléon in the French Pyrenees, where they worked from fall to spring making canvas shoes. First presented at Conecta Fiction in 2021.

“Beach House,” (Zabriskie Films, Spain)

Hector H. Vicens, co-director of the genre-twisting “The Corpse of Anna Fritz,” which caught some heat at 2016’s SXSW, is back with a reportedly acerbic beach-set young adult comedy which lifts off as a thriller. Carles Torras, director of Malaga winner “Callback,” produces.

“The Buried World,” (“La palabra maldita,” Javier Solís, Troppomedia)

A doc feature turning on suicide, its stigma, stereotypes and prevention.

“Cosmic Chant, Niño de Elche,” (“Canto cósmico, niño de Elche,” Señor y Señora)

A feature-length documentary from directors Leire Apellaniz y Marc Sempere-Moya about revolutionary flamenco dancer Niño de Elche. Produced by award-winning firm Señor y Señora.

“The Empty Walls,” (“Los muros vacíos,” Albella Audiovisual)

Documentary duo Isabel Soria and José Manuel Herraiz’s follow-up to their RTVE-aired “The Spanish Skies” taking on the preservation of historical medieval artwork across Spain. TV documentary company Albella Audiovisual produces.

“Extremadura Natural Paradise,” (“Extremadura, paraíso natural,” 1080 Wildlife)

Badajoz-based director Carlos Pérez brings to light the biodiversity and natural beauty of the oft-overlooked Extremadura region of Spain in conjunction with his own 1080 Wildlife Pictures, winning Best Film On Nature at the World Film Carnival – Singapore 2022 and Best Film Wildlife at Virgin Spring Cinefest INDIA 2021.

“Furrows,” (“Surcos,” Escorzo)

Short-film producer Julio Mazarico directs this feature film, telling five short stories about the generation which has suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic. Produced by Escorzo Films and distributed by Phoenix Entertainment.

“Fury,” (“Furia,” Toni Bestard, CEF Producions, IB3 Televisio)

After “Pullman,” a cliché-busting portrait of Majorca, three-time Goya nominee Bestard returns with a cop drama  starring Nacho Fresneda (“Riot Police”) and Colm Meaney (“Gangs of London”).

“Fusilados,” (“Afusellats,” Manuel Rossell, Lucas Moro, Vídeo al Cuadrado)

A potentially devastating doc-feature on the executions of 2,237 men and women carried out over 1939-1956 at the Paterna military barracks in Valencia, mixing recreation and testimonies of surviving family members, who now battle to exhume their corpses from common graves.

Lazy loaded image
Los Gentiles Credit: Grupo Tranquilo

“The Gentiles,” (“Las gentiles,” Grupo Tranquilo, Sacromonte Films)

World premiered at last year’s Seville European Film Festival, Santi Amodeo (“Doghead”) trains his idiosyncratic lens on teens once more with his latest pic. It follows Ana whose average state of teen angst is disrupted by her charismatic friend Corrales who fantasizes on killing herself. Shot in 16mm.

“If Thalia Were Blind,” (“Si Talía fuera ciega,” Emblema Films)

Consisting of more than 100 blind actors, Antonio Gil Aparicio, president of the Inclusive and Disability Film Festival, directs this film consisting of eleven short stories centered around two characters, which won Best Narrative Medium-Length Film at the All That Moves Film Festival. Produced by Emblema Films and Once.

“Josefina,” (White Leaf Prods., Featurent, One Two Films)

Starring Emma Suarez, drama snagged by Geraldine Gonard’s Inside Content, was developed at ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator program. The feature debut of Goya-winner Javier Marco, which impressed at San Sebastian, turns on a timid prison officer who pretends to be another parent visitor in order to get closer to the mother of one of the inmates, whom he fancies.

“A Night With Adela,” (“Una Noche con Adela,” Muertos de Envidia)

Hugo Ruiz, Israel Luengo and Roberto Valentín direct Laura Galán, remarkable in Sundance hit “Piggy,” in a woman’s vengeance tale.

“The Radio Amateur,” (“El radioaficionado,” Pantoma Films, Nanu Films)

After his mother’s death, Nikolas, autistic and obsessed by the radio, moves to the coast, determined to demonstrate his independence. Basque director Iker Elorrieta’s debut. Seen, and liked, at San Sebastián’s 2021 Zinemira. SA: Begin Again Films.

“Robin Bank,” (Gusano Films)

A Colombian-Spanish doc thriller by Barcelona-based director Anna Giralt Gris which won the Marketing Movie Runner and Sonata Awards at the 2018 Guadalajara Co-Prod Meeting, among others. It follows a modern-day Robin Hood, Catalan activist Enric Duran, who took out multiple loans, which he never repaid, to fund social causes.

“Stroking an Animal,” (“Cuando toco a un animal,” Ángel Filgueira, Sétima)

A love relationship caught at six different moments from first time Galician feature director Filgueira.

“Tehran Blues,” (“Un Blues Para Teheran,” Quatre Films, Eddie Saeta)

A Goya-nominated musical docu by Javier Tolentino, produced by Alejandra Mora and Lluis Miñarro at Valencia-based company Quatre Films, presents little known facets of the music and people of a sophisticated and much-maligned country, through guide Erfan, where tradition and contemporary lifestyles co-exist. Distributed in Spain by Surtsey Films.

“The Visit and the Secret Garden,” (“La visita y un jardín secreto,” 59 En Conserva)

Director Irene M. Borrego’s newest Spanish-Portuguese documentary production about Cordoba-born artist Isabel Santaló. 59 en Conserva produces.

“You Keep the Kids,” (“Mamá o Papá,” Dani de al Orden, Film Factory)

Fruit of Spain’s burgeoning production axis between Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. España and Atresmedia Cine, part of Buendia Estudios, a version of French divorce comedy hit “Daddy or Mommy,” from “Elite” director de al Orden starring the always reliable (or better) Paco León (“House of Flowers”).

Next from Spain

“Ainur,” (La Zanfoña)

Andalusian vet helmer Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo directs a love story through the impact that the new Kazakh city of Nur-Sultan has on a foreigner. 16 Goya-winning Gervasio Iglesias (Alberto Rodríguez’s “Marshland”) produces.

Lazy loaded image
Alegría Credit: Julio Vergne

“Alegría,” (Violeta Salama, La Claqueta, Powehi Films)

Starring Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Wild Tales,” “Pain and Glory”) and Cecilia Suárez (“La Casa de las Flores”), a heartfelt family drama set in a Melilla recreated from first-time director Violeta Salama’s childhood memories. SA: Latido Films

Lazy loaded image
The Burning Cold Credit: ALFONSTERUEL/ Filmax

“The Burning Cold,” (“El fred que crema,” Santi Trullenque, Films de l’Orient, Red Nose Productions, Arlong)

On a war-torn border, a young couple is expecting their first child. The priority will only be surviving. S.A. Filmax

“Counting Sheep,” (“Contando ovejas,” José Corral)

Goya-nominated José Corral’s (“El desván”) first feature film, a dark comedy about an unappreciated man’s strive for self-esteem.

“Dog,” (“Perro,” Urban Films, Maxi Velloso)

Director Velloso (“Ouroboros”) directs a thriller on a poker gambler fleeing his debt collectors.

“Elvira de Hidalgo, Donate Divinity,” (“Elvira de Hidalgo, Donare la divinità,” Vicky Calavia, CalaDoc)

This documentary rescues the figure of Elvira de Hidalgo, María Callas’ teacher and Pygmalion, who is hardly recognized for her amazing singing and acting skills.

“Garcia & Garcia,” (Blogmedia, Dare Planet Studios)

The closing film at last year’s Malaga Film Festival, an identity-switching comedy featuring a jobless aircraft mechanic and an international airlines consultant, both named Javier Garcia. SA: Latido Films

“Guilt,” (“Culpa,” No Tan Chalados, Luna 3 and Mundo Cero)

Basque helmer-producer Ibon Cormenzana directs his long-time partner Manuela Velles (“Muse,” “Kidnapped”) who plays a traumatized woman isolating herself in a remote mountain cabin after being raped by an acquaintance. SA: Filmax

“The House Among the Cactuses,” (“La casa entre los cactus,” Carlota Conzález-Adrio, Cine 365, DZ, Ikiru)

Based on Paul Pen’s U.S. novel “Desert Flowers” about an isolated family of five who are visited by a mysterious stranger, unspooling in Gran Canaria in the late 70s. S.A. Filmax

“Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake,” (“Pan de limón con semillas de amapola,” Filmax, Deal Prods.)

Benito Zambrano’s uplifting drama, which had its U.S. premiere at the recent Miami Film Festival, follows two sisters who were separated as teens and meet again to sell a Majorca bakery that they’ve inherited from a mysterious benefactor. Based on Cristina Campos’ bestseller. SA: Filmax

“Living Without a Country,” (“Vivir sin país,” Albert Martos, Pauxa)

Shot in Myanmar, Bangladesh, London, and The Hague and directed by Albert Martos, this RTVE-featured and Pauxa Productions documentary delves into the struggle of Rohingya refugees.

“The Low Season,” (“En temporada baja,” TV On, Admirable Films)

2010 Silver Biznaga winner for “Deshechos,” David Marqués offers in his seventh feature a bittersweet comedy portraying four middle-aged men in a moment of vital and emotional disaster who gather in a caravan parking park in the low season.

“Matryoshkas, Girls of War,” (“Matrioskas, las niñas de la guerra,” Haruru Filmak, Sincro, Pyramide)

Directed by first-timer Helena Bengoetxea, the doc feature portrays four “girls of the war,” who after the Spanish Civil war were led to Russia, and after WWII, sent to Cuba.

Lazy loaded image
Mediterraneo Courtesy of Filmax

“Mediterráneo, the Law of the Sea,” (“Mediterráneo,” Marcel Barrena, Lastor, Fasten, Arcadia, Heretic)

The true origins story of NGO Open Arms, melding a survival adventure and the battle to stop immigrants from dying in the sea. Directed by Marcel Barrena, a Gaudí winner for “Cuatro estaciones” and nominated for four Goya awards. SA: Filmax

 “Tros,” (“A Piece of Land”),” (“Tros,” Pau Calpe Rufat)

Set in the stunning Lleida countryside, a father-son relationship is put to the test after a terrible incident. A drama thriller nominated for a Catalan Gaudi Prize establishing Calpe as a talent to track. SA: Film Factory.

“Save the Tree,” (“Salvar al arbol,” Iker Alvarez, Haizea Pastor)

A Basque animated feature following the adventures of forest pixies and their quest to reconnect children with nature. SA: Filmax

“Oliver’s Universe,” (“El universo de Oliver,” Alexis Morante, La Claqueta, Pecado Films)

Multi-awarded music video director and short filmmaker Morante (“Voltereta”) delivers in his first-feature a coming-of-age tale set in Andalusia, targeting family audiences. SA: Filmax

“Our Perfect (Christmas) Retreat,” (Macarena Astorga, Filmax)

After director Astorga’s horror pic “La casa de caracol,” a sharp turn towards comedy in her latest feature film.

 “Visitor,” (“Visitante,” Alberto Evangelio, Beniwood Chester Media The Otherside Films, Life&Pictures)

Producer and shorts director Evangelio offers in his feature-debut, a psychological thriller on a woman stuck in a marital crisis who is stalked by an unknown entity when returning to her hometown. SA: Filmax

“Welcome to ma maison,” (Gaitafilmes, Mordisco)

The second feature of Andrés Goteira (“Dhogs”), a mockumentary roadtrip depicting an impossible  trip to Los Angeles to meet the director Nicolas Winding Refn

“Water Stories,” (“Historias del agua,” Sarao Films)

Second title from Sarao and director Ortiz who co-directs alongside José Carlos de la Isla a documentary on water crossing the south of Spain.

“Whisper Among Olive Trees,” ( “En la escucha,” Judro Guerrero, Trieb Films, La Fábrica Naranja)

Juan and Bruno, two old-fashioned nonagenarian farmers, live in an ancestral landscape in the southwest of Extremadura. After one passes away, the other explores a deep, spiritual connection with nature.

“Wild Flamenco, Bambino Story,” (“Algo salvaje, la historia de Bambino,” Paco Ortiz, Sarao Films SL, RTVE)

Documentary on Miguel Vargas Jiménez (aka Bambino), a flamenco legend, directed by Paco Ortiz, whose “13. Miguel Poveda” was nominated for documentary at the José María Forqué Awards.

“You Live, You Die,” (“Escape Room,” Arriska, Nakatomi, Focus Audiovisual)

Actor-director Héctor Claramunt offers a black comedy in his debut about two couples whose friendship is unexpectedly challenged in an escape room. Based on the hit play written by Claramunt and actor Joel Joan. SA: Filmax