Malaga fest unveils lineup

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The official competition at the Malaga Film Festival — traditionally one of the top showcases for Spanish talent — will feature a hefty dose of directorial debuts alongside offerings from veteran helmers.

Manuel Gutierrez Aragon's controversial "Todos estamos invitados," about an ETA terrorist suffering from amnesia, will open the competition, organizers said Tuesday as they revealed the 15 films in the official lineup.

Other hot titles in competition include Javier Gutierrez's sci-fi thriller "Before the Fall," produced by Antonio Banderas' Green Moon Prods., and the directorial debut of 81-year-old literary and theatrical veteran Jaime de Arminan, "14, Fabian Road," which focuses on a complex relationship between a writer and one of her admirers.

Belen Rueda ("The Orphanage") stars in Rodrigo Sorogoyen's "8 Dates," chronicling a relationship's different stages, while Xavier Bermudez's "Rafael" traces the emptiness of a womanizer.

Headline-inspired plots include Ana Diez's "Paisito," about immigrants' lives and loves upon reunion; Xavi Puebla's "Bienvenido a Farewell-Gutmann," which uses a multinational pharmaceutical company as a backdrop; and Juan Cruz and Jose Corbacho's high school bullying tale, "Cowards."

A string of comedies reaching the ranks includes Juan Luis Iborra's "Crazy," Juan Cavestany's "Low Quality People," Guillermo and Jorge Sempere's "Dead Birds" and Nacho Garcia Velilla's "Chef's Special."

Rounding out the section are the feature debuts of Silvia Munt ("Pretext"), Guillermo Groizard ("Project Two") and Aitzol Aramaio ("A Bit of Chocolate").

The Festival de Cannes' Guy Braucourt will head an official jury comprised of musician Bernardo Bonezzi, magazine editor Charo Izquierdo, New York Film Festival director Richard Pena, Spanish producer Mate Cantero, actor Juan Diego and director Eliseo Subiela.

The ZonaZine section — a platform for more alternative and risky films — will encompass six feature films, 25 shorts and 27 videos, while the documentary section hosts 18 titles in competition for a €12,000 ($18,661) prize.

The festival runs April 4-12 in the southern Spanish resort town of Malaga.
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