With new work from the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Claudia Llosa, Jaume Balaguero and Alex de la Iglesia in 2013, Spanish cinema is hotter than ever. Juan Sarda profiles a selection of upcoming films.

7th Floor (post-production)

Dir Patxi Amezcua

Argentina’s Ricardo Darin and Spain’s Belen Rueda, two of the most popular actors of the Spanish-language star system, lead the cast of this thriller about a divorced couple who have to deal with the kidnapping of their children. Set in Buenos Aires, the film is directed by Amezcua, who scored critical success in Spain with his debut 25 Carat in 2008. 7th Floor is produced by Telecinco Cinema, Ikiru Films and El Toro.

Contact Vicente Canales, Film Factory - v.canales@filmfactory.es

Cry/Fly (in production)

Dir Claudia Llosa

Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2009 and was also nominated for an Oscar. The director returns with her English-language debut, a story about motherhood and art with an international cast led by Jennifer Connelly and Cillian Murphy. In the film, a reporter (Mélanie Laurent) brings together a falconer with his famous healer mother. Spanish companies Wanda Vision (Among Wolves) and Arcadia Motion Pictures (Blancanieves) produce alongside Gran Via in the US, with the backing of public broadcaster RTVE.

Contact Marina Fuentes, Dreamcatchers - marina@6sales.es

El Nino (pre-production)

Dir Daniel Monzon

Director Monzon made a big impact on Spanish cinema in 2009 with Cell 211, which sold more than 2m tickets in Spain and made a splash internationally. His new project is an $8m action thriller about a Moroccan youngster who works as a drug trafficker and has to fight against drug lords and the police in the Strait of Gibraltar. Luis Tosar plays the policeman who hunts him. Monzon has said El Nino is a mix of Gomorrah and Traffic. The film - in Spanish, Arabic, French, Russian and English - is produced by Telecinco Cinema, Vaca Films, El Toro, Ikiru Films and France’s La Ferme Productions.

Contact StudioCanal - www.studiocanal.com

Grand Piano (post-production) [pictured]

Dir Eugenio Mira

Elijah Wood and John Cusack star in this film about a pianist who is threatened by a madman: if he misses one note of his score, his wife and children will be killed. Billed by director Mira (Agnosia) as ‘Speed with a piano’, the film is produced by Rodrigo Cortes (director of Buried and Red Lights) and Adrian Guerra for Nostromo Pictures and Antena 3 Films.

Contact Solution Entertainment - malee@thesolutionent.com

I’m So Excited (completed)

Dir Pedro Almodovar

Spanish master Almodovar returns to his popular brand of frenzied comedy in I’m So Excited, said to be the director’s funniest film since Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. With a star-studded cast that includes Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Javier Camara and young Spanish actors Raul Arevalo and Blanca Suarez, I’m So Excited is set on board an aeroplane that is about to crash. El Deseo produces with the backing of RTVE, while FilmNation handles sales. Warner Bros opens in Spain on March 8.

Contact FilmNation - www.wearefilmnation.com

Mindscape (post-production)

Dir Jorge Dorado

Jaume Collet-Serra, whose credits include international hit Unknown, produces this thriller with a cast led by Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga and Brian Cox. The film tells the story of a man with the ability to enter other people’s memories who tries to determine whether a troubled young girl is a sociopath or a victim of a trauma. Mindscape is the feature debut of Dorado, who has won multiple awards with his short films. It is also the first production from Ombra Films, a Collet-Serra company set up to produce fantasy films and thrillers with Spanish talent. Antena 3 Films also produces.

Contact StudioCanal - www.studiocanal.com

My Family And Other Hooligans (completed)

Dir Daniel Sanchez Arevalo

Sanchez Arevalo impressed with his 2006 debut Dark Blue Almost Black, while Fat People (2009) and Cousinhood (2011) established him as a favourite in Spain and also played widely internationally. Produced by Atipica Films and Antena 3 Films, his new title is a comedy set at a wedding held on the same day Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup. My Family and Other Hooligans sees Sanchez Arevalo working once more with regular actors Quim Gutierrez and Antonio de la Torre. Warner Bros releases in Spain on September 13.

Contact Vicente Canales, Film Factory - v.canales@filmfactory.es

[REC]4: Apocalypse (pre-production)

Dir Jaume Balaguero

The popular [REC] franchise reaches its climax with a fourth instalment directed by Balaguero. A mix of horror and some comedy with a lot of zombies, the film will eschew the live-footage style of the first three films and, according to Balaguero, will give the story a surprise ending. The first entry in the franchise was an international sleeper hit in 2007, grossing more than $40m worldwide from a budget of less than $2m.

Contact Ivan Diaz, Filmax International - i.diaz@filmax.com

Scorpion In Love (completed)

Dir Santiago Zannou

Winner of the Goya award for best new director with The One-Handed Trick in 2008, Zannou returns with this film inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Set in modern day Spain, it follows the fatal romance between an immigrant and a skinhead. Alex Gonzalez and Judith Diakhate lead the cast, which also includes Javier Bardem. The film was written by Bardem’s brother Carlos, who also appears. Scorpion in Love is produced by Morena Films and Antena 3 Films. Alta Films releases in Spain on April 12.

Contact Wild Bunch - www.wildbunch.biz

Three Many Weddings (post-production)

Dir Javier Ruiz Caldera

A surprise hit at the Spanish box office last year, Ruiz Caldera’s debut Ghost Graduation had a remarkable international career and Will Smith will produce a US remake. Ruiz Caldera’s new film is another comedy, about an unmarried woman who is invited to the weddings of three of her ex-boyfriends over the course of a month. The cast includes Quim Gutierrez, Inma Cuesta and Martin Rivas. Apaches Entertainment, Antena 3 Films, Ciudadano Ciskul and ThinkStudio produce.

Contact Vicente Canales, Film Factory - v.canales@filmfactory.es

Witching & Bitching (post-production)

Dir Alex de la Iglesia

One of Spain’s most successful directors, de la Iglesia picked up the best director Silver Lion at Venice in 2010 for The Last Circus and won a Goya for 1995’s The Day of the Beast. His latest film sees him return to the extravagant comedy of such international hits as 2000’s Common Wealth. Mario Casas (I Want You), Hugo Silva and Carmen Maura lead the cast of Witching & Bitching, about a pair of poor criminals who are hunted by a group of crazy witches in a forest. Enrique Cerezo produces, with backing from RTVE.

Contact Vicente Canales, Film Factory - v.canales@filmfactory.es

Zip & Zap And The Marble Gang (post-production)

Dir Oskar Santos

After the huge success of Tad, The Lost Explorer last year, Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang could become the next big family hit in Spain. For the last 60 years, Zip & Zap have been among the most popular comic-book characters for Spanish kids. The twins are beloved for their adventures and their punk attitude. For the Good of Others director Santos directs this $13m 3D production about the twins going to a summer school and stumbling on a hidden secret. The film is a production of Zeta Cinema, Mod Producciones, Antena 3 Films and Kowalski Films.

Contact Vicente Canales, Film Factory - v.canales@filmfactory.es