'Lola' to open Malaga festival


MADRID -- Miguel Hermoso's film "Lola, the Movie," about Spanish Gypsy flamenco star Lola Flores, will open the official section of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, organizers announced Friday(Feb. 23) as they unveiled the festival lineup.

"Lola" will screen out of competition in the official section, which comprises 14 features. Francesca Joseph's "Four Last Songs" will close the section that includes five directorial debuts.

The festival, which runs March 9-17 in the Mediterranean resort town on Spain's southern coast, is the country's most important festival entirely dedicated to Spanish film and has attracted a following of industry heavyweights and enthusiasts.

Antonio Hernandez's much-anticipated "El menor de los Males"; Anton Reixa's first part of a two-picture co-production agreement with Lars Von Trier's Zentropa, "Hotel Tivoli"; and Rodrigo Cortes' game-show comedy "Concursante" will compete for the €60,000 ($79,000) Golden Biznaga award and the Special Jury prize. So will Azucena Rodriguez's "Atlas de geografia humana," Vicente Penarrocha's "Arritmia," Ricardo Macian's "Los ojos de Ariana" and Santiago Lorenzo's "Un buen dia lo tiene cualquiera."

Other titles in the official competition are Miguel Alcantud's "Anastezsi," Alvaro Diaz Lorenzo's "Cafe Solo o Con Ellas," Miguel Lombardero's "Tuya Siempre," Felix Viscarret's "Bajo las Estrellas," Jaime Marques' "Ladrones" and David and Tristan Ulloa's "Pudor."

Spanish director Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi will chair the official jury, accompanied by distributor George Ayoub, writer Jose Infante, actor Oscar Jaenada, producer-director Hector Olivera, actress Rosa Maria Sarda and Chicago Latino Film Festival director Pepe Vargas.

The ZonaZine section will include seven features competing for the Silver Biznaga -- 25 shorts, 11 so-called video creations and 25 video clips in competition, along with eight Spanish production highlights from the past season.

Some titles that will compete in the Territorio Latinoamericano section are Mexico's "Noticias Lejanas," directed by Ricardo Benet; Spanish-Peruvian co-production "Mariposas Negras," directed by Francisco Lombardi, and French-Argentine feature "Agua," directed by Veronica Chen.

The seventh edition of the Malaga Screenings will present 70 titles to more than 70 buyers from 30 countries, primarily from Latin America and Europe.

Tributes have been announced for Bigas Luna, Sara Montiel, Carmen Maura, Alfredo Landa and Emiliano Otegui.

Other sections, running later in the year, such as the TV Market, Mercadoc documentary market, and ART TV -- focused on new trends and emerging multimedia -- are scheduled for May 3-5.