The Other Side Of The Bed and Julio Wallovits' and Roger Gual's low-budget debut feature Smoking Room shared the top awards at the fifth annual Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April 26-May 4). Inexplicably, however, co-producer Telecinco pulled multiple-award winner The Other Side Of The Bed from the screenings, leaving interested buyers frustrated.
Musical comedy Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama,) directed by Emilio Martinez Lazaro, won best film, best director and the public's prize, while Smoking took home best script, jury's prize and best actor for its entire male cast, a gathering of Spain's leading secondary actors sparring off in a dialogue-heavy drama. Daniel Guzman earned a special mention as best actor in Cesar Martinez's When Everything Is In Order (Cuando Todo Este En Orden).
Cuba's Claudio Rojas won best actress for her work in Fernando Merinero's Lazaro's Girlfriend (La Novia De Lazaro), while Tote Trenas won best photography for Miguel Alcantud's Impulses (Impulsos) and Pablo Cervantes best music for When Everything Is In Order. Miguel Albaladejo's Resentment (Rencor) and Alvaro Garcia Capelo's Dog Days (Canicula), both warmly received at the event, were among the films to walk away empty handed.
As many as 50 international buyers participated in Malaga's sidebar market screenings, where the competition films and other Spanish product were screened over three days. Few deals were closed although the festival's two top winning films both created a buzz among buyers.
Sogepaq sold Berlin Panorama title The City Without Limits (En La Ciudad Sin Limites) to Finland's Kamras.
Earlier in the week, the busy documentary market Mercadoc brought together close to 200 participants from 31 countries negotiating sales on more than 300 documentaries.
Malaga festival director Salomon Castiel and executives from Telefonica-backed broadcasters Via Digital and Antena 3 jointly announced the broadcasters' continued sponsorship of the festival through 2007, bringing in Euros 600,000 of the fest's Euros 3m annual budget.
Antena 3's Teddy Villalba called Malaga, which this year featured seven first-time feature directors in its competition line-up, the "echo chamber of the new Spanish cinema."