Sixteen Spanish films including a number of debut films and works by directors with an extensive career, such as Pedro Almodóvar and David Trueba will be showcased in Made in Spain program at the 2019 San Sebastian Festival.
With the title Si me borrara el viento lo que yo canto, David Trueba reconstructs the process of recording Canciones de la resistencia española, released in the mid-60s by Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio and considered to be Spain’s first album of protest songs. San Sebastian will host the world premiere of this film conceived as a portrait of the character of the liberal artist who was Sánchez Ferlosio. Other releases are Zubiak (Bridges), a documentary about the need to rebuild bridges in the Basque Country directed by the journalist Jon Sistiaga and the filmmaker Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas, and Historias de nuestro cine (Stories of Our Cinema), the directorial debut from Antonio Resines and Ana Pérez-Lorente, who have compiled the testimonies of myriad Spanish film directors, actors and producers.
The Festival will also offer the chance to take another look at Dolor y gloria (Pain and Glory), in which Pedro Almodóvar follows the profile of a moviemaker in the twilight of his career. The film competed in the Official Selection at the Cannes Festival, where its lead character, Antonio Banderas, won the best actor award. For his part, Jonás Trueba, who competed for the Golden Shell with La reconquista (The Reconquest, 2016), will present La virgen de agosto (The August Virgin), special jury mention at the Karlovy Vary Festival), narrating the adventures of a girl in her 30s who makes an act of faith out of her decision to stay in Madrid during the month of August. In addition, Javier Ruiz Caldera will once again show Superlópez, premiered at the Sitges Festival, starring Dani Rovira and written by Borja Cobeaga and Diego San José, who took their inspiration from the famous comic superhero created by Jan.
In his third feature-length film, Los días que vendrán (The Days to Come) Carlos Marques-Marcet narrates the joys and fears of a couple expecting a child. The recipient of the best new director Goya for 10.000 KM (10,000 km, 2014) premiered his latest film at the Rotterdam Festival, which went on to become the big winner at Malaga, where it carried off the Golden and Silver Biznagas for the actress María Rodríguez Soto and for the maker of the film himself. On the other hand, Víctor Moreno will participate in the section with his latest feature film, La ciudad oculta (The Hidden City), a journey with a science-fiction atmosphere into an underground network of galleries, tunnels and sewers previously screened at festivals such as Amsterdam, Seville and San Francisco. Also programmed is El viatge de la Marta (Staff Only), the second work from Neus Ballús following La plaga (The Plague, 2013), which screened in the Panorama section of the Berlin Festival and also competed in Malaga with a cast headed by Sergi López, Elena Andrada and Ian Samsó as a family on holiday in an African resort.
With long experience in the field of animation, Salvador Simó will present Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas(Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles) an adaptation of the comic of the same name by Fermín Solís about the filming of Las Hurdes, tierra sin pan (Las Hurdes, Land Without Bread,1933), while Adán Aliaga and Álex Lora have taken one of their earlier works, the short film The Fourth Kingdom (2018), to develop a reflection on everyday life in a marginal community in a New York neighbourhood in El cuarto reino. El reino de los plásticos (The Fourth Kingdom), winner of awards at festivals including Guadalajara (Mexico), DocumentaMadrid and Amsterdam. The feature film also participated in Malaga, as did Me llamo violeta (My Name is Violeta), a work by David Fernández de Castro and Marc Parramon about the difficulties faced by young transgender people and their families, and Ojos negros, the debut film for which Marta Lallana and Ivet Castelo earned the Silver Biznaga in the Zonazine section.
Also screened in the different sections of the Andalusian festival were the following debuts: 7 raons per fugir (7 Reasons to Run Away), in which Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto and David Torras tell seven stories combining horror and comedy; La banda (Love Beats), in which Roberto Bueso follows a young musician who comes home to his native Valencia from London, and La filla d’algú, an omnibus film directed by eleven students from the ESCAC, the Cinema and Audiovisual School of Catalonia (ESCAC), about a lawyer who has to deal with a trial by the press.
In its 67th edition, the Festival will feature the three films chosen by the Film Academy as finalists to represent Spain at the Hollywood Academy Awards: Pain and Glory and Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles will screen in Made in Spain, and Mientra dure la guerra (While at War), by Alejandro Amenábar, will compete in the Official Selection.
7 RAONS PER FUGIR / 7 REASONS TO RUN AWAY (FROM SOCIETY)
ESTEVE SOLER, GERARD QUINTO, DAVID TORRAS (SPAIN)
Cast: Emma Suárez, Lola Dueñas, Sergi López, Alain Hernández, Francesc Orella, Aina Clotet, Alex Brendemühl, David Verdaguer, Núria Gago, Manolo Solo, Jordi Sánchez, Pepe Viyuela, Vicky Peña, Pol López, Àgata Roca, Borja Espinosa, Ramón Fonteserè, Albert Ribalta, Rosa Cadafalch, Oleguer Noguer
Seven stories combining horror and comedy. Seven moments of black humor as strange as they are familiar. Seven surreal takes on a society that never advances: the family, the poor kid, the neighbors, the tenant, the entrepreneur, the guy hit by a car and the wedding. Seven tales of black humor about a dysfunctional society.
BUÑUEL EN EL LABERINTO DE LAS TORTUGAS / BUÑUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES
SALVADOR SIMÓ (SPAIN – NETHERLANDS)
Paris, 1930. Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel are now the leading figures of the surrealist movement. Unexpectedly, Buñuel is left penniless following the scandal around his film L’âge d’or (The Golden Age). This difficult situation means that he can’t even start his next project, a documentary about one of Spain’s poorest regions, Las Hurdes. However, his good friend, the sculptor Ramón Acín, buys a lottery ticket, promising that, if he wins, he’ll pay for the film. Incredibly, luck is on his side.
DOLOR Y GLORIA / PAIN AND GLORY
PEDRO ALMODÓVAR (SPAIN)
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Exteandia, Nora Navas, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Julieta Serrano
Dolor y Gloria narrates a series of reunions between Salvador Mallo, a film director in the twilight of his life. Some of them are physical, others are memories: his childhood in the 60s, when he moved with his parents to Paterna, a Valencian town, in search of prosperity, his first desire, his first adult love later in the Madrid of the 80s, the pain of that love falling apart when he was still alive and throbbing, writing as the only therapy for forgetting the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema and the emptiness, the tremendous emptiness of the impossibility to continue filming. Pain and Glory talks about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from life, and about the passions that give it meaning and hope. In the recovery of his past, Salvador will feel the urgent need to narrate it, and in that need he will also find his salvation.
EL CUARTO REINO. EL REINO DE LOS PLÁSTICOS / THE FOURTH KINGDOM
ADÁN ALIAGA, ÀLEX LORA (SPAIN)
El Cuarto Reino is a documentary about the daily life of a marginal community in a New York neighborhood. A very particular Kingdom in which both illegal immigrants and US citizens in difficulties share the same disappointment: a reality very different from the one promised in the land of opportunity. In spite of everything, they still have hope.
EL VIATGE DE LA MARTA / STAFF ONLY
NEUS BALLÚS (SPAIN – FRANCE)
Cast: Sergi López, Elena Andrada, Ian Samsó
Marta, 17 years old, is on holiday in an African resort with her father and young brother. Marta is bored and prefers to spend more time with the young people working at the hotel than with her family. These new friendships will cause tension in the relationship with her father and will oblige the family to talk and to try and understand one another. The trip will become a much more enriching experience for all of them than they could ever have imagined.
HISTORIAS DE NUESTRO CINE / STORIES OF OUR CINEMA
ANTONIO RESINES, ANA PÉREZ-LORENTE (SPAIN)
On 11 May 1896, in the Price circus, owned by Englishman William Parish, the Hungarian Edwin Rousby, using an animatograph, screened the first moving images ever shown in Spain. Based on that event, our narrator, Antonio Resines, compiles a series of anecdotes until giving shape to an astonishing history, that of our cinema. The narration is combined with testimonies by directors, actors and producers, all illustrated with images from the films to which they refer.
LA BANDA / LOVE BEATS
ROBERTO BUESO (SPAIN)
Cast: Gonzalo Fernández, Charlotte Vega
Edu is a young musician who lives a solitary and monotonous life in cold, wet London. For two years he has remained distant from his family and friends, but his brother’s imminent wedding means that he has to return to his native Valencia. His homecoming will bring him a sense of strangeness and nostalgia. There, he’ll reunite with his parents and the brother with whom he’s never had much in common, but who now seems determined to create a closer bond with him and to retrieve their brotherly relationship. He will also meet his friends, Juanma, Farinós and Cabolo, while rediscovering the desire to what they used to do. But things have changed. Now life’s not so simple… particularly for Juanma, whose mother is seriously ill. However, nothing represents his return to the past quite like Alicia. Juanma’s girlfriend seems to be at a complicated moment in the relationship, and the reunion with Edu reawakens very special feelings and memories.
LA CIUDAD OCULTA / THE HIDDEN CITY
VÍCTOR MORENO (SPAIN – GERMANY – FRANCE)
The technical dream, deployed towards the exploration of space, has also motivated an inverse movement: the opening of a subterranean world. Beneath the modern city lies an immense spider’s web that sits beneath the visible city dependent on it; a functional and essential space that also serves as a symbolic, hidden sphere: the unconscious of the city.
LA FILLA D’ALGÚ
MARCEL ALCÁNTARA, JULIA DE PAZ, SARA FANTOVA, GUILLEM GALLEGO, CELIA GIRALDO, ALEJANDRO MARÍN, VALENTÍN MOULIAS, GERARD VIDAL, POL VIDAL, ENRIC VILAGELIU, CARLOS VILLAFAINA(SPAIN)
Cast: Aina Clotet
Eli, 30 years old, a lawyer, pregnant, upper class. On the same day as she is about to proceed with the oral proceedings of a trial by the press she has been preparing for some time with her father, a well-known Barcelona lawyer, he disappears. His search will lead her to discover a reality that will completely turn her family and emotional stability upside down.
LA VIRGEN DE AGOSTO / THE AUGUST VIRGIN
JONÁS TRUEBA (SPAIN)
Cast: Itsaso Arana, Vito Sanz
Eva’s about to turn 33 and has made an act of faith out of her decision to stay in Madrid during the month of August. The days and nights present themselves as a time of opportunities, and while others celebrate the summer festivities, Eva meets people she tries to help, not realizing that in fact what she’s doing is helping herself. La virgen de agosto is a film-diary: the intimate voyage of a woman in search of revelations; a summer tale that’s somewhat philosophical and rather mystical, joyful and festive from start to finish.
LOS DÍAS QUE VENDRÁN / THE DAYS TO COME
CARLOS MARQUÉS-MARCET (SPAIN)
Cast: María Rodriguez, David Verdaguer
Vir and Lluís have only been dating for a year when they discover they’re pregnant. For 9 months, we’ll follow the adventure of this young couple from Barcelona, the radical change in their lives, their fears, joys, their expectations and the realities that grow before them as the pregnancy advances.
ME LLAMO VIOLETA / MY NAME IS VIOLETA
DAVID FERNÁNDEZ DE CASTRO, MARC PARRAMON (SPAIN)
Two very different families with something in common: a transgender child. Violeta, who just turned 11, decided five years ago that she wanted to be called and dress as a girl. It took a while for her baffled parents to accept her demand, but now Violeta leads a mostly happy life. Alan’s story is quite the opposite: he suffered at school and his family’s support wasn’t enough to prevent an outcome that mobilized his entire hometown.
MARTA LALLANA, IVET CASTELO (SPAIN)
Cast: Julia Lallana, Alba Alcaine, Anna Sabaté
Fourteen-year-old Paula has to spend the summer in the village of Ojos Negros with the aunt and grandmother she barely knows. There she will discover the family tensions uncovered by her grandmother’s illness. Attempting to escape from the asphyxiating atmosphere, she meets Alicia, a girl her same age with whom she strikes up an intense friendship. By the end of summer, Paula will have an idea of what it means to grow up.
SI ME BORRARA EL VIENTO LO QUE YO CANTO
DAVID TRUEBA (SPAIN)
In 1963, under Franco’s dictatorship, two Swedish students travelled to Spain to spread news of the movements in favor of democracy. They contacted a young university troubadour, Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio, and on return to Stockholm set about making an album with the recording of his songs. They called it Canciones de la Resistencia española and kept the singer-songwriter’s identity anonymous. The album was an instant hit all over Scandinavia.
JAVIER RUIZ CALDERA (SPAIN)
Cast: Dani Rovira, Alexandra Jiménez, Julián López, Pedro Casablanc, Gracia Olayo, Maribel Verdú, Gonzalo De Castro, Mireia Portas, Ferrán Rañé, Alejandro Serrano
It’s hard not to be noticed when you have superpowers. Being able to fly, having super-vision or bringing an underground train to a halt to prevent it from derailing… and then going back to the office, pretending to be a normal guy, hasn’t been easy for Juan López… or maybe it has, because all Juan needs to be happy is his morning croissant… and also because Juan doesn’t know he’s the carrier of a vital secret that will save his planet, Chitón, from the evil Skorba and his sibylline daughter, Ágata. A secret that’s in danger of being revealed when López’s orderly life is interrupted by the appearance of Luisa, a love from his youth. He can’t go unnoticed any longer. Juan must attract her attention, not knowing that by doing so Skorba and Ágata will finally be able to find him, hunt him down and destroy Chitón. It’s time to become… SUPERLÓPEZ!
ZUBIAK / BRIDGES
JON SISTIAGA, ALFONSO CORTÉS-CAVANILLAS (SPAIN)
The story of one of ETA’s victims, Juan Mari Jauregi, told by the two most important people in his life, his widow and the person who took that life from him, his killer. In 2000, ETA broke its ceasefire and started to attack all those who, like Juan Mari, remained firm in their commitment to building build bridges towards peace. His widow, Maixabel Lasa, and his murderer, Ibon Etxezarreta, meet, talk and level with one another about those years, looking into each other’s eyes. Zubiak is a tale of memory and dignity, of dialogue and forgiveness, of repentance and reconciliation in a Basque Country that is starting to build its bridges and which has lost the fear of speaking.