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8th Mar 2024 - By John Hopewell (Variety)

A Malaga Market Wrap: Spain’s Bull Market, The Move to Upscale Mainstream, Regional Power and a ‘Masterpiece’

MALAGA, Spain — “The Chapel,” from “Piggy” director Carlota Pereda, Celia Rico’s competition title “Little Loves,” loved by a lot of critics, and “Free Falling,” produced by “Society of the Snow’s” J.A. Bayona and that film’s producer Belén Atienza, looked like three of the hottest tickets at this week’s Malaga market and Spanish Screenings which rated as the most upbeat in years.

Boffo Buyer Presence 

Over the past two decades, a major narrative at the Malaga Festival, a dedicated meet for movies from Spain and Latin America, has been the growth of its industry arm. Energized and given a deeper pocket to invite buyers thanks to its Spanish Screenings Content showcase, its distributor presence is bigger and better, at least for Spanish and Latin American festivals, than most “A” grade festivals. That tells.

This year’s festival boasted titles which just a few years ago would have been held back for a major section at a big fall fest. No more. 200 buyers returned to Málaga, moreover, after an upbeat sales market at Berlin. “It wasn’t just a case of one or two films sparking buyers enthusiasm. There was large interest across a broad section of titles. Malaga, like Berlin, has seen the market reactivation we needed,” said Ivan Díaz, Filmax head of international. 

A Winning Sense of Genre

“So why does the content from Spain travel so well?,” James Farrell, Prime Video VP of international originals, asked when interviewed with Variety just before Malaga. Partly “it’s because of the beats of Spanish content, the rhythm to it, the fact that it’s universal. It’s not hyper localized. You see that people are familiar with American content, so they’re used to those beats.” Spanish cinema is sluiced by a winning sense of genre, movies hitting or very often subverting genre tropes. “Nina,” in Malaga competition, for example, is part Western. “Saturn Return,” makes mockery of biopic cliché, such as the romantic subplot: It doesn’t end with a kiss, but begins with a breakup, pictured in a scene which its narrator freely admits never happened.  

Emerging Female Directors 

But a lot more is also going on with Spanish film. “The great thing about Spanish cinema is that it has an enormous diversity of genres, and doesn’t fear to play with certain things,” said Saura of its genre bending. Three of the most popular titles at Málaga main competition were first or second features from women lead by the Latido-sold “Little Loves,” but also Basque production “Nina,” from Andrea Jaurrieta (“Ana by Day”) and Filmax, about a woman, played by Patricia López Arnaiz, who returns to her northern coast hometown to kill a writer she knew when 16; and Sonia Méndez “As Neves,” a suspense drama that adds another talent to the illustrious ranks of new films from Galicia, alongside Lois Patiño and Oliver Laxe. Valencia-based Rosa Bosch is handling world sales for “As Neves.”

And the Deals and News Announcements 

Málaga’s Spanish Screenings content and Market came so soon on the heals of Berlin, that sales agents have only just begun to sign contracts off the German event, let alone clear announcements of Malaga business. So the following is more and deals-in-progress summary with accords likely to balloon over the next few months: 

*Handled by Filmax, horror thriller “The Chapel,” Carlota Pereda’s second film, has sold to Latin America (Impacto Cine), Germany (Lighthouse) and India and subcontinent (BookMyShow), announced Filmax’s Díaz, noting he has also sold “The Sleeping Woman” and seen “a lot of movement” on “Ellipsis.” 

 *In a second pick-up, Filmax announced world sales rights on “Nina,” inspired in part by Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” but also channelling classic Westerns and Douglas Sirk-style melodrama. 

By Variety - See full article here


A Malaga Market Wrap: Spain’s Bull Market, The Move to Upscale Mainstream, Regional Power and a ‘Masterpiece’ A Malaga Market Wrap: Spain’s Bull Market, The Move to Upscale Mainstream, Regional Power and a ‘Masterpiece’

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