Telefonica Studios Boards Carlos Saura’s Documentary ‘La Jota’

Spanish master explores the music and dance from his Aragon motherland

Telefonica Studios, the production arm of giant Spanish telco Telefonica, has boarded Carlos Saura’s documentary “La Jota,” about same-name dance and music from the Spanish region of Aragon, the legendary director’s motherland.

Rolling for six weeks from Nov. 13 in a studio at Los Angeles de San Rafael, in Segovia, “La Jota,” in line with previous Saura popular song and dance features, casts a high-profile list of artists such as Miguel Angel Bernal, Sara Baras, Ara Malikian, Carlos Nunez, Juan Manuel Canizares, Giovanni Solima and Enrique Sonilis.

A leading light of the 1960s’ Nuevo Cine Español, Saura has directed memorable movies related with popular music and dance, whether in fiction (“Carmen,” “Tango,” “El amor brujo”) or docu-features (”Blood Wedding,” “Fados,” “Flamenco, Flamenco”).

The exploration of his Aragonese musical roots marks Spanish film master’s follow-up to “Zonda: Folclore Argentino,” which world premiered in September at Venice Days’ Special Events, and was widely sold by Paris-based MK2.

“For a few years now I wanted to do a musical about the Jota,” Carlos Saura said in a Telefonica Studios statement. “I think my experience in musicals let me address this undertaking with respect, dedication and love that this music, originally from Aragon, deserves.”

Popular on Variety

Budgeted at €1.12 million ($1.19 million), “La Jota” is produced by Carlos Saura’s son Carlos Saura Medrano at Madrid-based outfit Tresmonstruos, and backed by Spain’s Ministry of Culture and Aragon’s regional government and pubcaster Aragon TV.

Spain’s leading paybox Movistar Plus, owned by Telefonica, has also entered the project.

Carlos Saura’s documentary forms part of the first movie slate emerging from a world film sales alliance inked in September by Adolfo Blanco’s production-distribution company A Contracorriente Films and Madrid-based sales agent Latido Films.

Following that deal, A Contracorriente will distribute “La Jota” in Spain; Latido Films will handle international rights, Latido CEO Antonio Saura, another of Carlos Saura’s sons, confirmed at the 9th edition Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings which run Monday through Wednesday.

Telefonica Studios has rapidly emerged as a driving force for film and TV financing in Spain and Argentina. Highlights on company’ strong 2015 Spanish movie production slate include Nacho Garcia Velilla’s “Off Course,” Alejandro Amenabar’s “Regression,” Javier Ruiz Caldera’s “Spy Time,” Fernando Gonzalez Molina’s “Palm Trees in the Snow,” Enrique Gato’s ”Capture the Flag,” Alex de la Iglesia’s “My Big Night” and Kike Maillo’s “Toro.”

More Film

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents’ Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68-70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable [...]

  • Shaun the sheep

    How '80s Sci-Fi Films Inspired 'Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon'

    Shaun, everyone’s favorite sheep, is back, and this time he’s facing aliens and robots in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” Directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan teamed together on this film for their first full-length collaboration. While the two have been working at Aardman Studios, Phelan’s background was as a story artist and Becher’s [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Speeding to $65 Million Opening Weekend

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” is speeding to a $65 million opening at the North American box office this President’s Day weekend, according to estimates. Paramount’s action-adventure, based on the Sega video game character, had been pegged to generate $40-45 million prior to its launch. Should estimates hold, it could break the $54 million record set last [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content