Top Catalan Titles at Cannes 

Five Catalan movies made Cannes Festival’s cut, six were selected for Marché du Film sections. Details and other top Catalan movies on the Croisette:

“20,000 Species of Bees,” (Estibaliz Urresola)

One of the big winners at Berlin, taking Leading Performance, and two other key prizes, and now healthy racking up healthy sales, including a Film Movement U.S. pickup, “Bees” builds from a naturalistic base – a family off for a village summer holiday – to become a moving an ode to women’s freedom. Produced out of Barcelona by Valérie Delpierre’s Inicia Films. Sales: Luxbox

“Blondi,” (Dolores Fonzi)

From La Unión de los Ríos, behind “Argentina, 1985”), the awaited directorial debut of Fonzi, star of Santiago Mitre’s Cannes winner “Paulina,” a double mother-son coming of age dramedy. Sales: Film Factory

“A Bright Sun,” (Monica Cambra, Ariadna Fortuny)

Facing the end of the world, Mila, 11, tries to keep her family together by celebrating a party. “Born from a desire to imagine the unimaginable,” its directors say. Sales: Begin Again Films.

“Ashes in the Sky,” (Miquel Romans)

A WWII resistance drama, inspired by the true life of Spanish Republican Neus Català, head of an anti-Nazi unit at a Czech weapons factory and Ravensbrück survivor. Sales: Filmax

“The Chapel,” (Carlota Pereda)

Selected for Cannes Fantastic Seven, a Marché showcase, Pereda’s awaited follow-up to Sundance 2022 title “Piggy,” one of Spain’s most acclaimed feature debuts of last year. Sales: Filmax

The ChapelCredit: David Herranz

“The Coffee Table,” (Caye Casas)

A pitch-black comedy about the nightmarish consequences of a couple’s purchase of the titular object, which has been gathering fans on the festival circuit. Sales: MPM Premium

“Crack of Dawn,” (Anna Llargués)

Using their grandfather’s Super-8 camera, two adolescents shoot rival family family house they’ll soon be forced to abandon. A graduate short from Barcelona’s  ESCAC Film School, selected for Cannes’ La Cinef. 

“Creature,” (Elena Martín Gimeno)

Second feature from 2021 Málaga best director Martín (“Júlia ist”), a “Veneno” writer and “Perfect Life” director. Written with Clara Roquet (“Libertad”) and developed at Ikusmira Berriak, the drama follows a young woman who looks back at her life of sexual repression. Pic is produced by Catalonia’s Vilaüt Films and Lastor Media, and “Alcarràs” backers Avalon and Elástica Films. Sales: Luxbox

“The Cuckoo’s Curse,” (Mar Targarona)

A vacation house swap goes dramatically awry in the latest from director-producer (“The Orphanage”) Targarona. Sales: Film Factory

“The Enchanted,” (Elena Trapé) 

From Trapé (“The Distances”), a best screenplay winner at March’s Malaga, with 2023 Goya actress winner Laia Costa (“Lullaby ”) as a young mother confronting a new reality after divorce, including a first separation from her four-year-old daughter. Sales: Latido Films

“In the Company of Women,” (Silvia Munt)

Distinguished actor-director Munt (“Butterfly Wings”) directs a drama, set in 1976. As Spain hurtles towards democracy, Bea joins the feminist cause and, to her surprise, falls in love with another girl. Irusoin and Oberón Cinematográfica produce with France’s Manny Films and La Fidèle Production. Sales: Filmax. 

“Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” (Pham Thien An)

A drama of estrangement, stunningly shot by Vietnam’s Pham Thien An (“Stay Awake, Be Ready”), making his feature debut. Vietnam’s JK Film and Singapore’s Potocol produce with France’s Deuxième Ligne Films and Catalonia’s Fasten Films.

“Jumping the Fence,” (Benito Zambrano)

The latest from Zambrano (“The Sleeping Voice”), a social thriller set at the fence separating Morocco and Spain’s Melilla, so Europe. Barcelona’s Castelao Producciones produces with Cine365 and France’s Noodles. At Spanish Screenings Goes to Cannes.

Jumping the FenceCredit: Diego Lopez Calvin

“Not Such an Easy Life,” (Felix Viscarret)

“Patria” director Viscarret’s touching take on the pitfalls of fatherhood and success, which was well received at March’s Malaga Festival. Sales: Latido 

“The Real Truth About the Fight,” (Andrea Slaviček)

A Cannes Critics’ Week short, from Croatia’s Slaviček, an alum of Barcelona’s ESCAC film school, which explores subjective perception. Produced in Catalonia by Fractal 7 (“L’Estrany”), with “Creature” DOP Alana Mejía González serving as cinematographer. 

“Robot Dreams,” (Pablo Berger)

A Cannes Special Screening for the friendship-themed first animated feature from the director of “Blancanieves” and producer of “The Beasts,” Arcadia Motion Pictures, it turns on a dog and robot in ‘80s NYC. Sales: Elle Driver

“Rock Bottom,” (María Trenor)

A rotoscoped animation fiction feature inspired by the early life and acclaimed 1974 art rock album of ex-Soft Machine vocalist-drummer Robert Wyatt. Barcelona-based Alba Sotorra (“The Return: Life After ISIS”) produces with Valencia’s Jaibo Films, behind Locarno hit “Sacred Spirit,” Poland’s GS Animation, and Majorca’s Empatic. 

Rock Bottom

Shortcat Selection

Part of Cannes’ Short Film Corner, featuring a whale-themed poetic allegory. “Blow!” from Locarno winner Neus Ballus (“The Odd-Job Men”); Ivan Morales’ estranged father-son encounter “Sushi”; “Carmen, No Fear of Freedom,” from Irene Baqué, about a feminist Roma woman;” Gerard Oms’ woman-in-crisis portrait “Once You Were Here”; “He Ran Along His Comrade,” Genis Riogol’s comedic animated short: and Mar Pawlowsky’s “Sour Candy,” from Amor y Lujo, about two young teens who meet to lose their virginity.   

“Sica,” (Carla Subirana)

Playing Berlin’s Generation 14plus, the first fiction feature of Carla Subirana (“Kanimambo”), a classic coming off age tale set on the memorably shot treacherous Costa da Morte. Alba Sotorra produces with Galicia’s Miramemira. Sales: Latido 

“Sima’s Song,” (Roya Sadat)

From Afghans female helmer, Roya Sadat, a drama thriller set in 1979 pre-Civil War Kabul and inspired by a real story of two women whose friendship endures despite radically opposed politics. Sadat, Alba Sotorra,  Baldr Films, and Urban Factory produce. A potential Spanish Screenings standout.

“La Singla,” (Paloma Zapata)

An ‘60s international flamenco sensation as a young girl, La Singla suddenly disappeared from the map. Half a century later, Zapata tries to find her. Sales: Rise and Shine.

“The Sleeping Woman,” (Laura Alvea)

A supernatural chiller from Alvea, who helmed episodes of Netflix smash hit “The Snow Girl.” La Claqueta (Sundance entry “Mamacruz”) and Coming Soon Films (“Distances”) produce. Sales: Filmax

“A Tree is a Tree,” (Carlos Marqués-Marcet)

In a Cannes Doc Spain showcase, a semi-experimental establishment challenging doc feature from Marqués-Marcet, a SXSW winner with “10,000 Km.”

A Tree is a Tree

“Unicorns,” (Alex Lora)

The fiction feature debut of Alex Lora, a Variety 2014 Spanish talent to track, produced by Delpierre, co-written by La Maternal’s Pilar Palomero and starring Greta Fernández (“A Thief’s Daughter”) in a sexually-charged drama-thriller. Sales: Filmax

“Upon Entry,” (Alejandro Rojas, Juan Sebastián Vásquez)

A winner at Tallinn, Kolkata, Málaga and Bafici, also playing SXSW, a Newark Airport immigration interrogation drama thriller produced by a pedigreed Spanish alliance of Carles Torras for Zabriskie Films, Carlos Juárez for Basque Films, Xosé Zapata, Sergio Adrià and Alba Sotorra. Sales: Charades

“Werewolf,” (Pau Calpe)

Another Spanish Screenings title, a realistic reinterpretation of the werewolf myth, with the shape shifting protagonist a metaphor for those who are different, says producer Nati Escobar, Set up at Galápagos Media (“Yuli,” “Tros,” “Cançó per a tu”), directed by young vet Calpe.

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