20,000 Species of Bees is a 2023 Spanish drama film which follows an 8-year-old who begins to transition and the effect it has on the child's family. Written and directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren in her debut feature and starring Sofía Otero, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ane Gabarain and Itziar Lazkano.
The film turns on Lucía who battles with the fact that people keep addressing her in confusing ways. During a summer in the Basque Country among the beehives, she explores her identity alongside the women of her family, who at the same time reflect on their own lives and desires.
The film’s specific style and setting are evident from the get-go, immersing us in a world that we discover over the course of an unhurried two hours. Using a handheld camera and a documentary-like approach, Urresola Solaguren captures pivotal events as if they were quietly unfolding in real time, never overemphasizing the drama that constantly bubbles beneath the surface.
The film was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere. Nine-year old Sofía Otero won the Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance for the role of Lucía. In March 2023, the film won Golden Biznaga for Best Spanish Film at the 26th Málaga Film Festival.
Watch the trailer below: