The 8th annual editionof the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April 22-30) has unveiled the first five featuresset to compete in its official line-up, which kicks off with opening film AntsIn The Mouth by Mariano Barroso.

The five competitors, representing some of the most anticipated new filmsout of Spain this season, include Filmax's To Die In San Hilario (Morir EnSan Hilario), Laura Mana's noir comedy follow-up to previous Malagaaward-winners Compassionate Sex and Word Chain; and Tapas,the Short Cuts-esque feature debut of TV director Jose Corbacho.

Argentinean actorFederico Luppi will present his directorial debut, Pasos, about threecouples whose lives are transformed during Spain's transition to democracy inthe 1980s. San Sebastian-based Igeldo Komuniakazioa produces.

Also set in the 1980s,Chus Gutierrez's retro El Calentito turns on the members of an all-girlband in the so-called Movida Madrilena. The film is from the partners behindlocal box office hits Football Days and The Other Side Of The Bed,Telespan 2000 and Estudios Picasso.

In director-producerGerardo Herrero's Galicia-set Heroine (Heroina), a mother takes on thedrug trafficking trade when she discovers her son is an addict. Tornasol Filmsand Continental Producciones co-produce.

Barroso's Ants In The Mouth (Hormigas En La Boca) is asumptuous-looking thriller set in 1950s Havana where a Spaniard recentlyreleased from prison for bank robbery searches for his ex-girlfriend, and theloot she escaped with. The film is a co-production of Drive Entertainment,Messidor Films and ICAIC.

Malaga this year willlaunch a new section, Pelicula de Oro (Golden Film), where classic Spanishfilms will be revisited. This year's star title is 1963's Not On Your Life(El Verdugo) by Luis Garcia Berlanga, who will receive a special award atthe festival. Veteran film and theatre actor Manuel Alexandre will be honouredwith Malaga's career achievement award, sponsored by artists' rights foundationAISGE.