Berlin 2022: Spain’s flagship projects | Characteristics


Spanish productions are making a strong comeback at the Berlinale this year, with two films in Main Competition: AlcarrasCarla Simon’s second feature film which garnered international attention at Berlin 2017 for its acclaimed debut Summer 1993which won the first feature award, and One year, one nighta Franco-Spanish co-production directed by Isaki Lacuesta. lullabyfrom first-time director Alauda Ruiz de Azua, is screened in Panorama, and there’s a diverse list of up-and-coming and veteran filmmakers with new productions at the EFM to tempt buyers and the festival circuit.

20,000 species of bees

Real. Estibaliz Urresola
Selected for the Berlinale Co-Production Market this year, this project by Basque director Urresola explores the story of a six-year-old boy, born a boy, who wants to be a girl. The director’s fictional feature debut is inspired by the true story of a trans teenager who committed suicide and the heartbreaking letter his father published weeks later. The film is produced by Gariza Films (Akelarre) in co-production with Inicia Films (Summer 1993). Contact: Gariza Movies

Incredible Elisa

Real. Sadrac Gonzalez-Perellon
This thriller centers on Elisa, a 12-year-old girl who tries to convince her father that she has been given the same superpowers as the heroine of his favorite comic book. She thinks she can use them to get revenge on whoever was responsible for the fatal accident that ended her mother’s life. Written and directed by Gonzalez-Perellon (Black hollow cage), it stars Asier Etxeandia (pain and glory), Ivan Massague (The platform) and Silvia Abascal. Contact: Filmax

The communion girl

Real. Victor Garcia
In the long tradition of Spanish horror films, Film Factory Entertainment is handling the international sales of this ghost story of a girl dressed in her first communion outfit, ready to shed the blood of anyone who crosses her path. Atresmedia Cinema (The non-wedding planner), Ikiru Films (Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas) and Warner Bros Entertainment Spain are backing the film, which is in post-production. New promotional material is available at the EFM. Contact: Movie Factory Entertainment

The crooked lines of God

Real. Oriol Paulo
Paul (The invisible guest, The occupant) adapted the novel of the same name by Spanish author Torcuato Luca de Tena, which takes place in a psychiatric ward in the 1970s. In the same spirit as that of Martin Scorsese shutter island, the main character (played by Barbara Lennie) voluntarily enters a psychiatric ward, thinking she is a private detective investigating a murder. The film is currently in post-production. Contact: Nostromo Pictures


Real. Alauda Ruiz de Azua
Panoramic entrance lullaby (Five Lobitos) is from debut director Ruiz de Azua and tells the story of a new mother who realizes she is not properly prepared to be one. When her companion is absent to work for several weeks, she returns to live with her parents, struggling to play both the roles of mother and daughter. Laia Costa (Victoria) and Susi Sanchez (pain and glory, Sunday sickness) Star. Contact: Latido Movies

On the fringe

Real. Juan Diego Botto
Penelope Cruz (who also acts as a producer with Alvaro Longoria of Morena Films) stars with Luis Tosar (Maixabel) in this social drama, which is the feature directorial debut of actor Botto (white lines). The screenplay, written by Botto and Olga Rodriguez, focuses on 24 hours in the life of three characters: a mother trying to prevent her being evicted from her home; a lawyer and activist fighting for the rights of victims of the economic crisis; and a grandmother searching for her long-lost son. Contact: Bankside Movies

jail 77

Real. Alberto Rodriguez
With this prison thriller, director Rodriguez (Swamp, Smoke and mirrors) delves into the years of Spain’s transition to democracy after decades of Franco’s dictatorship. Set in 1977, it follows a group of prisoners determined to fight for their rights while isolated from the rapid changes taking place outside the prison walls. Miguel Herran (Money theft) and Javier Gutierrez (below zero) star in this Atipica Films and Movistar + production. Contact: Movie Factory Entertainment

Robot dreams

Real. Pablo Berger
Berger’s first venture into animation is an adaptation of the titular graphic novel by Sara Varon. Set in New York in the 1980s, it’s the story of the friendship between a dog and a robot. Barcelona-based Arcadia Motion Pictures, behind Berger’s previous films such as Blancanieves and Abracadabraproduced alongside Spain’s Lokiz Films and France’s Noodles Production and Les Films du Worso. Contact: She Driver

What Lucia saw

Real. Imanol Uribe
Veteran Spanish director Uribe (To not have enough time) is at the origin of this thriller inspired by true events: the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two women (a cook and her teenage daughter), shot dead in their accommodation at the University of Central America in El Salvador in 1989 One of the priests murdered was Ignacio Ellacuria (played by Karra Elejalde), rector of the university and advocate for the cause of liberation theology. The film focuses on Lucia (Juana Acosta), a key witness to the murders who knows who is responsible for the deaths: the Salvadoran army, despite official attempts to pass it off as the work of guerrillas. Her testimony reveals the truth, but also changes her life. Contact: Latido Movies


Real. Avelina Prat
The feature debut from experienced screenwriter and short film director Prat, this intimate drama uses chess to bring together two characters who have little in common. Ivan Barnev plays Vasil, a homeless Bulgarian immigrant trying to build a new life in Spain, opposite Karra Elejalde (Spanish affair, In times of war) as a retiree who agrees to host him. The story is inspired by the director’s father, who announced out of the blue that he had invited a Bulgarian immigrant to his home. Distinto Films (The odd jobs) product. Contact: Filmax

The water

Real. Elena Lopez Riera
Lopez Riera was one of International Screen’s inaugural Spain Stars of Tomorrow in 2021. Its feature debut is set in a village ruled by a legend that claims women are destined to disappear with every flood; the main character Ana’s mother was lost in the last such event. Barbara Lennie (Sundays Sickness) features in a cast mixing professional and amateur actors. Lopez Riera — whose inspiration for The water came from stories told by the women of his family – has short film credits including Pueblowho played in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at Cannes in 2015, and Those who wishwhich won the Locarno Golden Leopard for best Swiss short film in 2018. Suicafilms (Spain), Alina Film (Switzerland) and Les Films du Worso (France) are producing. Contact: She Driver

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