San Sebastian: Tornasol, Salado Team for Brechner’s ‘Memorias’

Solitary confinement drama unveiled at San Sebastian’s 4th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum

SAN SEBASTIAN – Two of the Spanish-speaking world’s most energetic distaff producers, Mariela Besuievsky at Madrid Tornasol Films and Mariana Secco, based out of Salado in Uruguay’s Montevideo, are linking to produce “Memorias del calabozo,” an extraordinary true-life story of physical and above-all psychological resistance.

Alvaro Brechner, whose “Bad Day to Go Fishing” and “Mr. Kaplan” were both Uruguay’s Academy Award entries and the latter a Platino Award finalist, will direct. Latido Films, headed by Antonio Saura, will handle international sales.

Written by Brechner, and a majority Spanish co-production, “Memorias” was one of the standout projects presented at San Sebastian’s4th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, which runs Sept. 21-23.

A humanist survival drama, the true-fact based “Memorias” begins in September 1973 as Uruguay’s falls under military dictatorship and nine captured Tupamaro guerrilla members are subjected to a solitary confinement which will last 12 years. How they survived is ˝Memorias’” story.

“’Memorias del calabozo’” is inspired by biographical facts of men who were subjected to a diabolical experiment via which the military dictatorship aimed to drive them mad, imprisoning them for 12 years in a state where they couldn’t talk, and could hardly see, eat or sleep,” Brechner, who has finished a first-version screenplay, told Variety.

He added: “What I’m interested in is how, with their minds and bodies pushed to the limit, they managed to survive, maintain their will and strength, recreate their world, vision, fantasy. However important it is to remember the past, I’m more interested in what we can learn today from it.”

Based on the same-titled memoirs of Mauricio Rosencof and Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro, the story “impacted both Alvaro and me a lot. We wanted Mariana on board because she has worked with Alvaro before and I’ve known her for now a very long time,” Besiuevsky said. “This is a story of resistance, about how you can bend somebody’s body but not their spirit and mind.”

Per Secco, “Memorias” represents a step-up in scale for Brechner, incorporating scenes of popular protests in the run-up to the dictatorship. Exteriors will be shot in Uruguay, interiors in Spain. “Memorias” has won an Ibermedia Development award.

Besiuevsky’s credits at Tornasol include Academy Award winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” Alex de la Iglesia’s Venice Silver Lion and screenplay winner, and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro.”

Producing crossover (“Mr Kaplan”) and youth targeting movies (“High Five”), Salado is one of Uruguay’s most prominent film production houses. Its current slate also includes Carlos Ameglio’s Uruguay-set romzomcom “Kiken,” which Ameglio and Secco unveiled at San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum. They will now segue with the project to the Austin Fantastic Market.

Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report

More Film

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content