Berlin/Vitoria (EFE).- The film “20,000 species of bees”, the first opera by Estibaliz Urresola from Alava, will compete for the Golden Bear at the 73rd edition of the Berlinale, which will start on February 16, as announced on Monday by the artistic director of the festival, Carlo Chatrian.

We started this selection exactly where the festival ended last year: with a film made by a young filmmaker from Spain”, he said when recalling the Golden Bear from the last Berlinale for “Alcarràs”, by Carla Simón, and also with children among Their protagonists.

He recalled that the Urresola project was part of the Berlinale’s co-production program, which is why, he added, it is a pleasure to be able to show the film at the festival.

“But we are even happier, because it is a very moving film,” and it is, he explained, “because it tells how difficult it can be for some to find the name we would like to be called by.”

The protagonist: a transsexual girl

The film deals with the story of a transsexual girl (Sofía Otero) who her classmates continue to call by her old name: Aitor. Wanting to escape from that environment, she only wants the arrival of summer to leave behind the hell she suffers at school.

But her mother (Patricia López Arnaiz, Goya for Best Female Performance for “Ane”) will travel to town to disconnect and be able to be calm. Thus, she takes advantage of the summer holidays to go to her mother’s house, where her aunt Lourdes (Ane Gabarain) also lives, closely linked to beekeeping and honey production.

In this way, the world premiere of the film will take place in the Official Section of the Berlin International Film Festival. To be able to see it in theaters in Spain, we will have to wait until April 21.

Filmed in Spanish, Basque and French, with the screening of this film in Berlin, Basque will be heard for the first time at this festival, where also for the first time a Basque filmmaker will premiere a film in the Official Section, the film’s producers, Gariza, have reported. Films and Inicia Films.

The actress Ane Gabarain during the filming of the poem in Llodio (Álava). EFE/L. Rich

Urresola’s first feature film

With «20,000 species of bees» Urresola makes the leap to feature film after the success of his short film «Cuerdas». With it, he has won the Les Rails dor award at the Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival and the Forqué Award for the best short film. “Cuerdas” is also nominated for a Goya in this same category.

«Premiering in Berlin is wonderful, a dream that I did not expect at all. I hope this helps the film reach a greater number of people”, the director from Llodio, a town that hosted part of the filming, congratulated herself.

For Urresola, bees are “guarantors of biodiversity in nature” and the film, which lasts 125 minutes, is also conceived as “a hymn to diversity” by telling “many things at once through, above all , from the image of the family beehive».

Lara Izagirre, from the production company Gariza Films, has valued the premiere of the film in Berlin as “an important milestone” for Basque cinema, for Euskera and for Urresola herself, who is “one of the most interesting new directors of the moment ».

For her part, Valérie Delpierre, from Inicia Films, highlighted that the feature film is “a story with many layers in the form of a family hive” in which “a mother and daughter fight for their identity from different places.” “It made me think that it’s never too early to be who you are and never too late to be who you want to be,” she added.

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