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.”
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.”