The second edition of the Spanish Film Screenings of Madrid (June 10-12) closed on Tuesday night with a turnout that was 38 percent larger than last year.

More than 138 buyers from 33 countries travelled to Madrid, where 56 recent Spanish features were screened and more than 100 tiles were available on video.

The films that drew the largest audiences at the festival, according to organizers, were: XXY, the story of a hermaphrodite in Buenos Aires starring Ricardo Darin; Animal Crisis, a sinister, animated romp with herbivores and carnivores; and The Suicide Club, a black comedy about a therapy session for people who can't muster the strength to take that fatal step.

Negotiations continued through the final gala dinner, and a spattering of sales was announced following the event.

Latido's Fados, the new musical by Carlos Saura, sold in Israel to Lev Films&Cinema, and A Ton of Luck (Soñar no cuesta nada) sold in Mexico to Quality Films, according to organisers. Media Films' My Name is Juani starring Bigas Luna sold in Greece.

From Sogecable, Pudor, David and Tristan Ulloa's directorial debut starring Elvira Minguezand Nancho Novo, sold to ABC Distribution for Benelux. It also sold in Turkey to Irsan Films along with Scandalous! (Por que se frotan las patitas') by Alvaro Begines.

Negotiations still are underway for many of the newer titles, including Teresa, The Body of Christ, starring Paz Vega, and The Least of All Evils, starring Almodovar muse Carmen Maura, celebrity patron of the event.

LAPTV, the US-based pay-TV supplier for Latin America, bought four titles from Latido's catalogue: Marcelo Pineyro's The Gronholm Method (El Metodo) with Eduardo Noriega, Gerardo Herrero's Rough Winds (Los Aires Dificiles), the Spain-UK comedy Only Human (Seres Queridos) by Teresa de Peligri and Dominic Harari and Juan Carlos Cremata's Cuban road movie Viva Cuba.

Venevision International purchased US video rights for the adolescent drama Sand in Your Pocket (Arena en los Bolsillos) by Cesar Martinez Herrada, and Castro-censored Sunrise in Havana (Habanece) by Jorge Nebra.

Other films that generated considerable interest - if not immediate sales -- were Felix Viscarret's first feature Under the Stars (Bajo las Estrellas), which swept the awards at the recent Malaga festival; Fernando Perez's Madrigal about a love affair in Cuba, Imanol Uribe's adventure flick The Nautical chart, based on a novel by Arturo Perez Reverte, and Juan Carlos Falcon's black comedy The Wooden Box (La Caja), which won top honours in Ibiza.

'I loved La Caja,' said Selina Willemse, managing director of Columbus Films of Switzerland, leaving the festival with a DVD to show her partner. 'It reminds me a lot of Almodovar.'

Some buyers expressed disappointment with this year's offering because it did not include a big-budget feature such as Agustin Diaz-Yanes' box office hit Alatriste, available last year. Others were pleased for the opportunity to delve deeper into the Spanish market.

'These markets are brilliant because you see all this in context,' said Mark Adams, director of cinema for ICA Films of London. 'In a film festival you cast your net really wide and you never see one type of national cinema.'

In addition to sales, Screenings organisers brought together Spanish directors and actors such as Paz Vega, who stars in Ray Loriga's Teresa, The Body of Christ, for round-table discussions on the controversial new Spanish film law and the costs and benefits of international co-productions.