20.000 especies de abejas

20,000 Species of Bees
An eight-year-old is suffering because people keep addressing the child in ways that cause discomfort. They insist on calling the child by the birth name Aitor. And the nickname, Cocó, even if less obviously wrong, does not feel right either. During a summer in the Basque country, the child confides these worries to relatives and friends. But how can a mother handle her child’s quest for identity when she is herself still dealing with her own ambivalent parental legacy?
Basque director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s debut feature is a sunny drama. This wonderfully sensitive work is carried by heart-wrenching performances from newcomer Sofía Otero as the little girl in search of a name and Patricia López Arnaiz as her conflicted yet loving mother. But, just as a multitude of bees ensure nature’s diversity, supporting roles are no less essential for the film’s heroine, and a largely female environment shows her some of the diverse ways in which it is possible to be a woman. By adopting more than one point of view, Urresola is respecting the incredible complexity that is gender identity, and touching on one perhaps less obvious aspect of transitioning: your mentality.
by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
with Sofía Otero, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ane Gabarain, Itziar Lazkano, Sara Cózar, Martxelo Rubio
Spain 2023 Spanish, Basque 129’ Colour World premiere


  • Sofía Otero (Lucía)
  • Patricia López Arnaiz (Ane)
  • Ane Gabarain (Lourdes)
  • Itziar Lazkano (Lita)
  • Sara Cózar (Leire)
  • Martxelo Rubio (Gorka)


Director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Screenplay Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Cinematography Gina Ferrer García
Editing Raúl Barreras
Sound Design Koldo Corella
Sound Eva Valiño
Production Design Izaskun Urkijo Alijo
Costumes Nerea Torrijos
Make-Up Ainhoa Eskisabel
Assistant Director Silvina Guglielmotti
Production Manager Pablo Vidal
Producers Lara Izagirre Garizurieta, Valérie Delpierre

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

Born in Bilbao, Spain in 1984, she studied audiovisual communication at the University of the Basque Country followed by editing at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV in Cuba and film directing at ESCAC in Barcelona. Her first feature-length documentary, Voces de papel, premiered at San Sebastián. Since 2011, she has made a number of short films which have screened at festivals around the world. Her most recent short, Cuerdas, received the Rails d’Or at Cannes, won Best Short Film at the Forqué Awards and is nominated for the 2023 Goya Awards. 20.000 especies de abejas is her debut feature film.


2012 ADRI; short film 2016 Voces de papel (Paper Voices) 2018 Nor nori nork (The Declensions); short film 2020 Polvo somos (Ashes and Dust); short film 2022 Cuerdas (Chords); short film 2023 20.000 especies de abejas (20,000 Species of Bees)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023