22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
20.000 Species of Bees

20.000 Species of Bees (20.000 Especies de Abejas)

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

8 year old Coco is currently on a path of self-discovery, which is not made easy for her: Her family in their Basque hometown still calls her by her birth name Aitor, which she does not identify with anymore. The film skillfully recounts peer pressure and familial tensions that touch us deeply. The 9 year old Sofia Otero won the award for Best Leading Performance at the Berlinale as the youngest winner in its history.

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Direction Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Country Spain
Year 2023
Duration 129 min
Language Spanish, Baskisch with German subtitles
Production Thomas Pibarot, Anne-Laure Labadie, Jean Labadie, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Nacho Lavilla, Eduardo Villanueva, Sandra Tapia Diaz, Ignasi Estapé, Ibon Cormenzana
Cast Sofía Otero, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ane Gabarain, Itziar Lazkano, Sara Cózar, Martxelo Rubio
Camera Gina Ferrer García
Script Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Editing Raúl Barreras
Sound Eva Valiño
Sound Design Koldo Corella

Berlinale 2023: Prize of the AG Kino-Gilde, Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance (Sofía Otero)

Presented by:

About the Director

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren is a Spanish director and author. After her successful short film „Cuerdas“ (2022), she was able to collect 6 nominations for her first long film 20.000 Species of Bees.

Press Reviews

20.000 Species of Bees is beautifully photographed and powerfully acted — but offers only little new, until the last third. When Lucia takes her fate into her own hands and asks the heart wrenching question, why everyone knows who they are but her, the film noticeably gathers pace.“ (Christoph Petersen, FILMSTARTS)

“The filmmaker, whose short film “Cuerdas” was screened at the Cannes Critics' Week, now addresses plurality, exploration and transformation with a stratospheric sensitivity, a narrative rich in subtleties and symbols (albeit with an excessive two-hour running time) and superb work by her actresses. Patricia López Arnaiz and Ane Gabarain are tremendous as in Ane and Patria, respectively, but there are not enough adjectives to commend Sofía Otero (keep an eye on her, it is impossible not to succumb to her talent).” (Alfonso Reivera, Cineuropa)

The Director About the Film

“The issue of point of view has been and continues to be one of the most debated issues on how to approach the film. Lucía’s unique point of view seemed to be what everyone invited me to do, but the truth is that the contact that I had with the reality of transsexual minors came rather through their relationship with their parents and how they had to confront the fact and make the mental transition themselves. Because as has been said many times, it’s the rest of the family that has to change its mentality. For me, the family is clearly a hive of absolute emotional interdependence, protecting and determining the construction of identity.” (Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren in an interview with Variety)

Closing film

International Feature Film Program