'The Days to Come,' 'The Good Girls' and 'This Is Not Berlin' Split Top Malaga Film Festival Prizes

Courtesy of TIFF
'The Good Girls'

The fest made good on its pan-regional scope with the distribution of its top awards and bustling "Industry Zone."

The Spanish film The Days to Come and two 1980s-set Mexican dramas, This Is Not Berlin and The Good Girls, shared the bulk of the top prizes at the 22nd annual Malaga Film Festival, which ran from March 15-24 in the Spanish city.

The festival’s two best film honors — known as the Golden Biznagas — go to one Spanish film and one Ibero-American film. Taking home this year's awards were the Catalan-language Days to Come by Carlos Marques-Marcet and Mexican director Alejandra Marquez Abella’s Good Girls.

Days to Come, a documentary-style drama about a young couple’s nine-month journey to parenthood, also won for best direction, best actress for Maria Rodriguez Soto (her actual pregnancy was documented in the film) and the Youth Jury Prize.

Good Girls, a tale of Mexico’s crumbling upper classes in the early 1980s, also won for best script and editing. The pic is being sold internationally by Luxbox.

Hari Sama’s This Is Not Berlin, a coming-of-age tale set against the punk scene of 1980s Mexico City and co-starring Oscar-nominated Roma actress Marina de Tavira, took home the Special Jury Prize, the Critics’ Prize, the award for best cinematography and best supporting actor honors for Mauro Sanchez Navarro.

Netflix’s first film competing in Malaga, Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?, failed to win any awards but was well received and dodged the kind of industry backlash seen with the streaming service's titles in Berlin or Cannes. Desert Island producer Beatriz Bodegas of La Canica Films said Netflix’s presence in Malaga "generated interest among people in the business." The festival premiere came just weeks before the film’s April 12 release on the platform. It will open on one screen theatrically in Malaga on Monday.

The festival’s "Industry Zone" sidebar of activities was bustling with more than 600 professionals accredited from nearly 40 countries. The Zone, known as MAFIZ, provides a place for international buyers to discover new films from Spain and Latin America and to create a nexus for co-productions between Europe and Latin America. 

Days to Come producers Tono Folguera and Sergi Moreno said the Malaga prizes and the MAFIZ market would likely help the film’s distribution as it did on their previous feature from the same director, 10,000 KM, which won several top prizes in Malaga in 2014 including best film and new director. Film Factory is handling international sales on Lastor Media-Avalon P.C. co-production Days to Come.

This Is Not Berlin's international sales handler Latido Films sold Spanish rights on the title to Syldavia Cinema during the festival. Latido, which co-sponsored the MAFIZ section Malaga Work in Progress, also closed a deal at the fest on the animated competition feature Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles, which won a prize for best music as well as best film nods from two local organizations, with Arsenal for Germany and Austria.

Emilio Oliete’s Madrid-based Syldavia Cinema also picked up rights to Venezuelan director Miguel Ferrari's The Night of the Two Moons, which participated in the MAFIZ sidebar Focus Latino. Ferrari applauded the Malaga event's expansion two years ago from a Spanish film festival to one for films "in Spanish." "The festival has grown a lot and it’s opened up to Latin America, which is very interesting because the language that unites us is important," he said. 

"I have achieved more in Malaga in the last 48 hours than I would have at other festivals in several days," said director Patricia Chica, whose Canadian-Egyptian co-production Montreal Girls was selected by the Arab Cinema Center to participate in the Malaga Festival Fund and Co-Production Event. "Since it’s in Spain, it’s not Cannes, people take time to really speak with you in one-on-one meetings."

A full list of festival award winners follows. 

Spanish Film
The Days to Come

Iber-American Film
The Good Girls

Special Jury Prize
This Is Not Berlin

Critics’ Prize
This Is Not Berlin

Director
Carlos Marques-Marcet for The Days to Come

Actress
Maria Rodriguez Soto for The Days to Come

Actor
Oscar Martinez for Yo, mi mujer y mi mujer muerta (Me, My Wife and My Dead Wife)

Supporting Actress
Ex-aequeo to Carolina Ramirez for Wandering Girl and Maggie Civantos for Antes de la Quema (Before the Burn)

Supporting Actor
Ex-aequeo to Quim Gutierrez for Litus and Mauro Sanchez Navarro for This Is Not Berlin

Script
Alejandra Marquez Abella for The Good Girls

Music
Arturo Cardelus for Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Cinematography
Alfredo Altamirano for This Is Not Berlin

Editing
Miguel Schverdfinger for The Good Girls

Youth Jury Prize
The Days to Come

FEROZ Prize
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

ASECAN New Directors Prize
Salvador Simo for Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

SIGNIS Prize
The Days to Come