Armendariz to film Basque drama

Atxaga adaptation stars Lopez de Ayala

MADRID — Spanish auteur Montxo Armendariz (“Secrets of the Heart,” “Broken Silence”) will begin shooting his next feature, “Obaba,” in September.

The rural drama stars Pilar Lopez de Ayala (“Mad Love,” “The Bridge of San Luis Rey”).

Scripted by Armendariz and co-starring Juan Diego Botto, pic is an adaptation of Basque novelist Bernardo Atxaga’s “Obabakoak.”

Set in the mythical region of Obaba in the northern Spanish countryside, pic kicks off with a young filmmaker arriving in Obaba.

“Obaba” will knit a magical-realist style with the director’s concern for the relationship between an individual and his social context, Armendariz told Daily Variety.

“The film depicts the protagonist’s attempt to capture the reality of Obaba, which allows him to discover his own identity,” he added.

Pic is produced by Armendariz wife Puy Oria’s Oria Films and has pulled down financing from pubcaster TVE and pay TV operator Sogecable.

Armendariz’s last three films — “Stories From the Kronen,” “Heart” and “Silence” — have averaged E2.8 million ($3.6 million) at the Spanish B.O.

Oria Films has two docu-features in production: the Armendariz-directed “Escenario movil,” a road movie musical set in rural Spain, now in post; and Nicaraguan Mercedes Moncada’s Sundance Fest-backed “Historia de dos hermanos,” turning on two brothers separated by Nicaragua’s civil war.

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