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Pena readies ‘From Pedro to Almodovar’

Imagina to showcase portrait of cineaste's beginnings

MADRID

As Pedro Almodovar polishes “I’m So Excited” for a March 8 Warner Bros. release in Spain, his early life will be portrayed in Spanish helmer Chema de la Pena’s bio-doc “From Pedro to Almodovar.”

Based around a near four-hour interview with Almodovar, doc covers his career from 1968 through 1980, when he world preemed his first 35 mm movie, “Pepi, Luci, Bom.” “From Pedro” includes extracts from 1978’s “Salome,” a comic re-cast of the biblical Abraham-Isaac story with God pretending to be Salome.

Interviewees include actress Carmen Maura who helped chivvy Almodovar into making “Pepi, Luci, Bom” as his first commercial feature, designer Javier Mariscal and singer-composers Alaska and Fabio McNamara.

Over 1974-1978, working at Madrid’s Telefonica telephone exchange, Almodovar shot at least 12 Super-8 shorts, which anticipated his hallmark mix of comedy and melodrama and honed his neo-1960s pop style. He also wrote comic strips and articles, acted in indie theater troupe Los Goliardos, and sang in a punk glitter-rock band.

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“What ‘From Pedro to Almodovar’ shows is Almodovar’s large creative drive, irreverent humor, love of melodrama and choral tales, and the importance of friends who were more convinced about his bright future than he was,” De la Pena told Variety.

De la Pena plans a five-city release of “From Pedro” from June; Imagina Intl. Sales will show extracts at Berlin’s European Film Market next month. In a second link-up, Imagina will shop at NATPE and Berlin Felix Cabez’s “The Labeque Way,” a doc on pianist sisters Katia and Marielle Labeque, from Almodovar’s production house El Deseo.

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