Alex (Eduard Fernández) is approaching forty. An experienced filmmaker, he is trying to complete his latest script, so he leaves Barcelona to stay at the home of his friend Santi (Javier Cámara) in the Catalan Pyrenees. There, he meets violinist Monica (Montse Germán), who is there visiting another friend, Judith (Carme Pla). Over dinner, the four reflect on their lives, the decisions they've made and who they have become. Alex derives artistic sustenance from the experience. While at first he's completely alienated and nervous in this natural setting, he is soon riding horses, walking in the mountains and forgetting - bit by bit - about his script. It is the connection he forges with Monica that affects him most, but he is married with two children and she will soon adopt a child with her partner. Cesc Gay's Krampack and In the City enthralled Festival audiences. Adorned with sumptuous, bittersweet moments, Fiction is the director's first love story. The physical distance that separates Alex and Monica may be minuscule, but they are kept worlds apart by the weight of reality. Gay's ability to establish mood is exquisitely refined here. Minimal music is used effectively, underscoring the events and creating a feeling of romantic nostalgia. Each line of dialogue is loaded with meaning, while what is not said often hangs tensely in the air. Best of all, the script is deliciously self-referential: it often seems we are witnessing the recreation of the very story that inspired the film. Gay has a rare knack for relaying truths about life and transmits the harshness and pain we all experience, even when surrounded by those we love. Fiction is about an artist's fear of failure after tasting success - his need to grapple with whether to make the film he believes in or to succumb to commercial demands. At root, it's about facing and accepting the decisions we make. Life may seem to have more to do with choices and concessions, with giving up our youthful wonder and the naive belief we can have it all, but Gay knows it's important to leave room for surprises, for falling in love once in awhile. Otherwise, really, what's the point?