Cannes: FilmNation Sells Almodovar’s ‘Silencio’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Woman’s drama marks third Almodovar-FilmNation collaboration

Pedro Almodovar
David M. Benett/Getty

Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has reupped with Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, handling international sales on “Silencio,” his latest film.

FilmNation will launch “Silencio” at the upcoming 2015 Cannes Marché du Film.  A hard-hitting woman’s drama, “Silencio” marks the third Almodovar title in a row that FilmNation will represent, after identity melodrama “The Skin I Live In” and air-flight ensemble comedy “I’m So Excited!” Echo Lake is financing the acquisition of rights for FilmNation Entertainment.

Charting one woman’s life from 1985 to the present day, “Silencio” is set up at Madrid’s El Deseo, the production label founded by Pedro and brother Agustin Almodovar, who produces.

“We are so thrilled to be working again with our friends at El Deseo. As always, Pedro has crafted a story full of complex and original characters that will showcase amazing actors and touch the hearts of audiences around the world,” Glen Basner, CEO of FilmNation Entertainment, commented.

Almodovar’s 20th feature, “Silencio” stars Adriana Ugarte, who broke through with 2013 period TV series “The Time In Between,” and Emma Suarez, a Goya-winning film actress (“El perro del hortelano”) first seen in Julio Medem’s 1992 debut “Cows” and prized for 2010 Karlovy Vary winner “The Mosquita Net,” as respectively a younger and older Julieta, a woman “struggling to survive on the verge of madness.” Julieta’s life is marked by a series of journeys, and these by acts of abandonment on Julieta’s part.

Though a return to a woman’s drama, a film mode that has given Almodovar some of his greatest successes — from 1995’s “The Flower of My Secret” through 1999’s “All About My Mother,” a foreign-language film Academy Award winner, to 2006’s “Volver,” with Penelope Cruz, reckoned one of the best films Almodóvar has ever directed – “the tone of ‘Silencio’ will be very different to that of ‘The Flower of My Secret’ and ‘Volver,’ other dramas with women, mothers, daughters, neighbors and absent fathers,” Almodovar has said.

It also marks several novelties. Though featuring one of the largest ensemble casts in Almodovar’s career — 35 speaking parts – very few of the players are “chicas Almodovar,” or even “chicos,” save Rossy de Palma, who broke through with “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and Argentine Dario Grandinetti, a memorable co-male lead in Almodovar’s “Talk to Her,” who limns Julieta’s adult lover. The supporting cast features Dario Grao (“Palm Trees in the Snow,” “The Mule”) as the father of Julieta’s daughter; Inma Cuesta (“Three Many Weddings), who plays a faithful, and unfaithful, friend; and Michelle Jenner (“Isabel,” “Open Windows”) as a former childhood friend.

Also, the film opens up from Almodovar’s traditional locations of Madrid and the dusty La Mancha villages to take in spectacular locations, such as the fjords of North-West Galicia, the Pyrenees and Aragon.

“Silencio” is the third title to join FilmNation’s 2015 Cannes slate. Underscoring the range of its films, one is “Nocturnal Animals,” a relationship mystery drama starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, helmed by Tom Ford (“A Single Man”) and produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

The other: “HHHH,” a World War II thriller, about the assassination of Final Solution architect Reinhard Heydrich. Cedric Jimenez (“The Connection”) directs. Jason Clarke, who plays John Connor in summer tentpole “Terminator: Genisys,” and Rosamund Pike, who scored an Academy Award nomination for “Gone Girl,” star as Heydrich and his wife. Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Jack Reynor (“Macbeth”) and Mia Wasikowska “Alice in Wonderland”) also star.