While Hollywood has foundinspiration in recent years culling its own archives for remake possibilities,Spanish cinema has been doing another kind of navel-gazing: bringing real-lifestories to the silver screen. There are currently a slew of reality-based filmsin the works in Spain and all the major production houses have at least onesuch project in some stage of production.

One motivating factorinspiring future productions may be Alejandro Amenabar's success with The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro), the top-grossingfilm in Spain so far this year. Also the country's nomination to theforeign-language Oscar, the film stars Javier Bardem as Ramon Sampedro, a manwho fought for decades for his right to die after a diving accident left himtotally paralyzed.

"We initially consideredtransplanting the story to Ireland and making it a fictitious person," saysAmenabar. "What happened was that we got to a point where we realized that thisis a story based on real facts which deserved to be told. So we had to set it inSpain and specifically in Galicia [where Sampedro was from] because [the story]is very tied to the land."

Another story deserving tobe told was that of Mikel Lejarza, a secret agent who infiltrated the Basqueterrorist group ETA in the 1970s and now has to live with an assumed identityand surgically-altered face. Filmax brought his story to film in Lobo (The Wolf), which premiered earlierthis month to rousing success (Euros 900,000 in its first weekend).

The Sea Inside's producer, Sogecine,is already shooting another film based on the true story of a young man savedfrom a life of crime through a program known as the City of Young Boys (LaCiudad de los Muchachos). Miguel Albaladejo (Cachorro) is directing the film,titled Volando Voy, which finished shootingon November 18, with co-production from MediaPro. MediaPro is meanwhiledeveloping an ambitious action-drama based on the life of 1970's Catalanpolitical martyr Salvador Puig Antich. Provisionally titled Salvador, the script is being written byLluis Arcarazo.

Also with a political bentand a glittery cast, Lolafilms is currently shooting director Luis Llosa's The Feast Of The Goat based on the novelby Mario Vargas Llosa, with stars Tomas Milian, Isabella Rossellini, PaulFreeman and Juan Diego Botto. Although the story is fiction, it is expected tofaithfully recreate the tense atmosphere of the Trujillo dictatorship in theDominican Republic. Feast began shooting earlier this month in co-productionwith the UK's Future Films.

Two other films currentlyin post-production were also inspired by real stories: Gerardo Herrero's Heroin (Heroina), about a woman whotakes on a drug trafficking cartel, and Eduard Cortes' Other Days Will Come (Otros Dias Vendran), about a schoolteacherwho falls in love with a 15 year-old boy.

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