Spain’s ‘20,000 Species of Bees,’ Panamanian Drama ‘Sister & Sister’ Win Malaga Film Festival’s Golden Biznagas

Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren’s celebrated Spanish feature “20,000 Species of Bees” and Kattia G. Zúñiga’s Panamanian drama “Sister & Sister” took the top prizes at the Malaga Film Festival, garnering the Golden Biznagas for Spanish and Latin American pictures respectively.  

“20,000 Species of Bees” also won best supporting actress for Patricia López Arnaiz and picked up the Spanish Cinematographic Informers Association’s Feroz Puerta Oscura award. The film’s success follows two awards in Berlin, including a Silver Bear for Sofía Otero for her portrayal of a young girl going through a gender crisis.

For Zúñiga, the Golden Biznaga is sure to help further propel “Sister & Sister,” an autobiographical story about two teenage sisters who travel from Costa Rica to Panama in search of their absent father.

Also making waves at the Malaga Festival, which runs March 10-19, was Gerardo Herrero’s Spanish drama “Under Therapy,” an adaptation of Matías Del Federico’s stage play that follows three disparate couples as they attend an unconventional group therapy session. The film’s ensemble cast won the Silver Biznaga Special Jury Prize.

Matías Bize, meanwhile, won best director for his Chilean-Argentine drama “The Punishment,” about a lost child and the frantic search his parent’s undertake to find him.  

María Vázquez took the best actress prize for Álvaro Gago’s “Matria,” in which she plays a hard-working woman and mother in a Galician fishing village who begins to question her life.

Winning best actor was Alberto Ammann for “Upon Entry” (“La llegada”), Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez’s story about the challenges immigrants face in the U.S. The film follows a Venezuelan-Spanish couple who, having acquired the necessary visas, move to the U.S. to start a new life only to be subjected to a psychologically grueling screening and interrogation process by two border agents at the Newark airport.

Jorge Marrale nabbed best supporting actor for Marina Seresesky’s Argentine-Spanish drama “Empieza el Baile,” about a once world famous tango couple who recapture their lost passion while on an eventful road trip.

Cuban filmmaker Fernando Fraguela Fosado won the Silber Biznaga for Best Documentary for “El Matadero.” The work examines life in a community in the heavily sanctioned socialist country where people are forced to raise pigs to survive, transforming their neighborhood into a slaughterhouse.  

The best director award for documentary went to Sofía Paoli Thorne for “Guapo’y,” about an aging woman in Paraguay who remains haunted by the torture she suffered under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner and who uses natural remedies to alleviate the pain that continues to afflict her.

Taking the top prizes in the ZonaZine sidebar were Omar Al Abdul Razzak’s Spanish title “Matar Cangrejos” and Leonardo Barbuy La Torre’s Peruvian drama “Diógenes” as the Latin American entry.

Barbuy also won best direction for “Diógenes,” a which follows two siblings who are raised by their father in isolation in the Peruvian Andes and whose lives are transformed by unexpected events.

“Matar Cangrejos” likewise won best actress for Paula Campos, who stars as a 14-year-old girl living in 1990s Tenerifa. As she and her little borther anxiously await the arrival of Michael Jackson on the island, she is also coming to terms with the fact that life might soon change as her mother has become pregnant by a foreigner.

Saturnino García took the best actor prize in ZonaZine for his role in Liz Lobato’s Spanish drama “Tierra de Nuestras Madres,” about an old woman living with her disabled son in a poor town in La Mancha. When the decision is made to sell the dilapidated town, however, the woman and her home in the center of town become obstacles to the plan. The film also nabbed the audience award.


Golden Biznaga, Spanish Picture

“20,000 Species of Bees” (Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren)

Golden Biznaga, Latin American Picture

“Sister & Sister” (Kattia G. Zúñiga)

Silver Biznaga, Special Jury Prize

“Under Therapy” (Gerardo Herrero)

Silver Biznaga, Director

Matías Bize (“The Punishment”)

Silver Biznaga ‘Hotel AC Palace,’ Best Actress

María Vázquez (“Matria”)

Silver Biznaga, Best Actor

Alberto Ammann (“Upon Entry”)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Actress

Patricia López Arnaiz (“20,000 Species of Bees)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Actor

Jorge Marrale (“Empieza el Baile”)

Original Screenplay

Miguel Ibáñez and Elena Trapé (“Els Encantats”)

Silver Biznaga, Original Score

Pablo Mondragón (“Rebelión”)

Silver Biznaga, Cinematography

Serguei Saldívar Tanaka (“Zapatos Rojos”)

Silver Biznaga, Post Production

Haroldo Borges and Juliano Castro (“Saudade Fez Morada Aqui Dentro”)

Silver Biznaga, Critics Award

Pablo Solarz (“Desperté con un Sueño”)

Silver Biznaga, Audience Award

“Empieza el Baile” (Marina Seresesky)


Silver Biznaga, Best Spanish Picture

“Matar Cangrejos” (Omar Al Abdul Razzak)

Silver Biznaga, Best Ibero-American Picture

“Diógenes” (Leonardo Barbuy La Torre)

Silver Biznaga, Best Director

“Diógenes” (Leonardo Barbuy La Torre)

Silver Biznaga, Best Actress

Paula Campos (“Matar Cangrejos”)

Silver Biznaga, Best Actor

Saturnino García (“Tierra de Nuestras Madres”)

Silver Biznaga, Audience Award

“Tierra de Nuestras Madres” (Liz Lobato)


Silver Biznaga, Documental Feature

“El Matadero” (Fernando Fraguela Fosado)

woman in Paraguay who remains haunted by the torture she suffered under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner and who uses natural remedies to alleviate the pain that continues to afflict her.

Silver Biznaga, Best Documentary Direction

“Guapo’y” (Sofía Paoli Thorne)


Silver Biznaga, Audience Award

“En corps” (Cédric Klapisch)


Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights

“Por Magda” (Carla Larrea)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Jury Award

“Mujeres sin censura” (Eva Vizcarra Chamero)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Documentary

“Women in the Studio” (Marina Espinach)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Documentary Audience Award

“Insisten” (Elías Federico Domínguez)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Fiction Feature

“La Butaca de la Puta” (Mar Navarro)

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Women on Scene,

Silver Biznaga, Supporting Women’s Rights Costume Design

Susana Guerrero Núñez, (“Los elegidos”)

Special Jury Mention“Nunca te dejaré sola,” (Mireia Noguera)

Silver Biznaga, Women on Scene, For Best Performance

Laura Ortiz (“La autoestima”)

Silver Biznaga, Women on Scene, For Best Documentary

“A las mujeres de España. María Lejárraga” (Laura Hojman)

Silver Biznaga, Women on Scene, Audience Award

“Pico Reja. La verdad que la tierra esconde” (Remedios Malvárez and Arturo Andújar)

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