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Almodovar's VOLVER To Open Fort Lauderdale Festival

The newest film from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, the hugely anticipated VOLVER, will open the 21st edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on October 20th at Fort Lauderdale's prestigious Parker Playhouse.

VOLVER, which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, was honored on the Croisette with a Best Screenplay award for its writer/director Pedro Almodóvar, and an unprecedented Best Actress award for the film's ensemble cast, including international sensations Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo and Chus Lampreave.

The film was recently chosen as Spain's official entry for the Academy Awards , after the film won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival , Spain's most important film event. Almodóvar and his producing partner (and brother) Agustin have almost single-handedly kept contemporary Spanish cinema in the forefront of international interest and excitement.

The film, which screened to great acclaim at the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festivals and is screening this weekend as the Centerpiece Film of the New York Film Festival, will be released theatrically in early November by Sony Pictures Classics, long time supporters of the director's oeuvre.

In fact, in an impressive build up to drum up interest (and Oscar nominations) for the film and for its director, Sony Pictures Classics has re-released eight classic Almodóvar films in limited release in major cities around the country. Under the umbrella title of Viva Pedro!, the films in the series were released in theaters for one week in spanking brand new film prints. The series includes such celebrated films as MATADOR (1986), FLESH OF DESIRE (1987), WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (1988), FLOWER OF MY SECRET (1995), LIVE FLESH (1996), ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (1999), TALK TO HER (2002) and BAD EDUCATION (2004).

VOLVER brings together two actresses who have served as the director's muses and who launched their own careers in his films, the iconic Carmen Maura and Penélope Cruz. They play mother and daughter, part of a loving if slightly dysfuctional family, living in the heart of Madrid’s lively working-class neighborhoods. Almodovar deftly mixes comedy, tragedy and pathos in telling the story of three generations of women who survive both natural and personal calamities, thanks to their inherent goodness, audacity and limitless vitality.

Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor

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