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The special presentations of “Dolor y Gloria” (Pain and Glory), by Pedro Almodóvar, and “Mientras Dure la Guerra” (While at War), by Alejandro Amenábar, head the Spanish delegation

Mientras Dure la Guerra

Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from 5 to 15 September has become the main gateway for international independent cinema in North America.

“Dolor y gloria” (Pain and Glory), sold by FilmNation, comes after a successful run, which includes taking over US$24 million in cinemas around the world and recognition for its star, Antonio Banderas, with the award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, which is produced by El Deseo, has its Canadian premiere on Friday, 6 September in the Special Presentations section. Distributed by the independent company Mongrel Media, the film will hit cinemas in Canada on 18 October, after its release by Sony Pictures Classics in the United States on 4 October. “Dolor y gloria” has been chosen by the Spanish Film Academy to represent Spain at the Academy Awards.

World Premiere of “Mientras dure la guerra”

“Mientras Dure la Guerra” (While at War), by Alejandro Amenábar has also been selected for screening in Special Presentations, which will be its world premiere. The first original film production by Movistar+, in alliance with MOD Producciones and Himenóptero, from Spain, Argentina's K&S Films and the sales agent Film Factory Entertainment, the new film by Amenábar will be competing a few weeks later in the Official Section of the San Sebastián Festival, in what will be its European début.

Special Presentations
will also be hosting the international premiere of “La Odisea de los Giles” (Heroic Losers), another Spanish-Argentinian co-production between MOD and K&S, which is also marketed by Film Factory. The film, a dramedy starring and co-produced by Ricardo and Chino Darín, and directed by Sebastián Borensztein (“Un Cuento Chino”/Chinese Take-Out), was released in Argentina in mid-August, where it has already taken US$2.7 million at the box office.

“Red Avispa”, filmed in the Canary Islands

The political thriller “Red Avispa" (Wasp Network), with a cast led by Penelope Cruz, is another Spanish co-production that participates in Special Presentations, which will be its premiere in North America. Olivier Assayas’ film, which was shot this spring in the Canary Islands, is a France-Brazil-Spain-Belgium co-production led by Orange Studios in which the Spanish production company Nostromo Pictures is also involved.

In addition, the Canadian festival hosts the world premiere of “Sanctuary” in the Special Events category, an environmental documentary starring Javier Bardem. This is a new incursion into directing by Álvaro Longoria, who also co-produced it through Morena Films together with Pinguin Films by Javier and Carlos Bardem. Endeavor Content is its sales agent for the United States.

After recently winning the Boccalino D’Oro for Best Director awarded by the Independent Film Critics Association at Locarno international Film Festival, Galician filmmaker Eloy Enciso presents his third feature, “Longa Noite” (Endless Night), within the Wavelengths section. It will be the North American début of this production by Filmika Galaika, a company that also co-produced Jessica Sarah Rinland’s experimental feature film “Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another”, which is participating in the same section.

Wavelengths will also show “O que Arde” (Fire Will Come), by Oliver Laxe, a co-production of the Spanish companies Miramemira and Kowalski Films with 4A4 Productions from France and Tarantula from Luxembourg, which won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the last of Cannes Festival.

The Spanish presence at Wavelengths is completed by “Liberté” (Freedom), by Albert Serra, a co-production by Andergraun Films with France and Portugal that won a Special Prize from the Un Certain Regard Jury at the last Cannes Film Festival and is sold by Films Boutique.

“La Larga Caminata” (The Long Walk), by Mattie Do, a co-production by the Catalan company Screen Division with Laos and Singapore, will travel to Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema after its world premiere in Venice Film Fest.

Two Spanish titles marketed internationally by Latido Films will be screened at the festival. The co-production from Oberón “El Diablo entre las piernas” (Devil Between the Legs), by Arturo Ripstein, will participate in the Masters section while “El Hoyo” (The Platform), a production by Basque Films and Mr Miyagi Films, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, makes its world début at Midnight Madness.

In Toronto, the Barcelona-based agency Filmax will show international buyers for the first time the full length version of its greatest pre-order success of the year to date, the Spanish-Argentine animation co-production “La Gallina Turuleca” (Turu, the Wacky Hen). Filmax’s go inal Toronto is to close its sale in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Finally, the Short Cuts section has selected two titles with Spanish participation: “Suc de Sindria” (Watermelon Juice), by Irene Moray, a short film produced by Distinto Films, and the animation “Carne”(Flesh), by Camila Kater, a co-production with Brazil by Abano Producións, which was selected in Locarno.