Bajo Ulloa preps ‘El Mal’

Psychological thriller set up at 'Operation E' producer Tormenta

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain

Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.”

“El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday.

Set in an unidentified western city, “El Mal” is a “disquieting story plumbing the darkest side of the human soul, making us question our ethical roots,” said Tormenta’s Cristina Zumarraga, who line-produced Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” movies.

“El Mal” is currently casting.

Bajo Ulloa is a leading light of a generation of Spanish directors who broke through in the early 1990s.

“El Mal,” like “Operation E,” which was shot entirely in Colombia, confirms the international slant of Tormenta Films, founded by Zumarraga and Marisa Castelao in late 2008. That overseas bent is hardly surprising. Zumarraga has worked extensively as a line-producer for Morena Films, one of Spain’s most international producers.

“Operation E” is co-produced by Tosar’s Galicia-based Zirkocine and France’s Ajoz Films, owned by Ariel Zeitoun, exec producer on “Colombiana” and producer of “Bandidas”. Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp distributes in France; DeAPlaneta bows “Operation E” in Spain on Dec. 14, and DeAPlaneta Intl. sells international rights. Natixis Coficine cash-flowed the production.

Based on true events, “Operation E” stars Tosar as a small-time Colombian coca cultivator pursued by FARC guerrilla forces and Colombia’s police after he’s falsely accused of kidnapping the baby of a FARC hostage.

“This is the story of how armed conflict, anywhere in the world, can end up destroying the life of many innocent people,” Zumarraga said.

More Scene

  • Doug Davis Power of Law

    Doug Davis Discusses Using Music for a Cause at Variety's Power of Law Event

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • Ken Ziffren and Claudia EllerVariety Power

    Attorney Ken Ziffren Offers Sobering Take on Film Business at Variety's Power of Law Breakfast

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Cast, Creator Talk Season 2 in #MeToo Era, Expanding Gilead

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • Pamela Adlon Better Things

    Pamela Adlon: When 'Better Things' 'Stops Being Relatable Is When I Stop Doing My Show'

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • The Future She Built

    Inventor of the Inclusion Rider Discusses Why the Initiative Is Necessary at Panel

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • Diablo Cody, Charlize Theron and Jason

    'Tully's' Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody on Normalizing the Dark Side of Parenting

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

  • Independent School Alliance Awards

    Charles King, Nina Shaw Toast Tim and Vicky Mara Story at Independent School Gala

    SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain Helmer-scribe Juanma Bajo Ulloa, a San Sebastian Golden Shell winner with “Butterfly Wings,” is prepping his English-language debut, psychological thriller “El Mal.” “El Mal” is set up at Madrid-based Tormenta Films, whose first production, Miguel Courtois Paternina’s “Operation E,” with Luis Tosar, world preems at San Sebastian on Tuesday. Set in an […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content