Malaga competition lineup unveiled


MADRID -- The 11th Malaga Film Festival's official competition will feature a hefty dose of directorial debuts mixed with veteran directors, true to its vocation as Spanish talent's main showcase.

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

Other hot titles in competition include Javier Gutierrez's sci-fi thriller "Before the Fall," produced by Antonio Banderas' Green Moon Prod. and the directorial debut of the 81-year-old, accomplished literary and theatrical veteran Jaime de Arminan, "14, Fabian Road," focusing 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," using a multinational pharmaceutical company as a backdrop and Juan Cruz and Jose Corbacho's follow-up to the successful "Tapas" -- "Cowards," about high school bullying.

A string of comedies to make 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 will be feature debuts by Silvia Munt with "Pretext" depicting shared loneliness," Guillermo Groizard with identity crisis drama "Project Two" and Aitzol Aramaio with intergenerational exchange "A Bit of Chocolate."

The Festival de Cannes' Guy Braucourt will head the official jury, comprising 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 the more alternative and risky forms of film -- will encompass six feature films, along with 25 shorts and 27 video clips, while the documentary section hosts 18 titles in competition for the 12,000-euro top documentary prize.

The festival, which runs April 4-12 in the southern Spanish resort town of Malaga, boasts its own site on MySpace and a channel on YouTube.