×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

San Sebastian: Fermin Muguruza Preps Singular Animation Debut ‘Black Is Beltza’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Summerside Intl. acquires “Nola?” Muguruza’s latest work, which world-premiered at this week’s San Sebastian Fest

SAN SEBASTIAN — Talka Records & Films and Catalonia’s Setmagic Audiovisual are teaming  to produce adult animation feature “Black is Beltza,” which marks the fiction film debut of the Basque multi-hyphenate artist, one of the most individual of Basque talents.

The production announcement comes as Muguruza’s latest work “Nola?,” world preemed Tuesday 20 at San Sebastian in the Zinemira Basque Country sidebar. “Nola?” explores New Orleans -its music, people, death  culture – ten years on from the hurricane Katrina through a singular music fusion of New Orleans rhythms with Muguruza’s Basque funk-rock.

Launched at Berlin’s European Film Market this year,— Summerside International, Amsterdam-based Francesca Manno and Nicola Tassoni’s sales house, has taken all international rights for “Nola?,” closing the deal at the San Sebastian Fest.

Black is Beltza” kicks off in October 1965 when a group of giants and carnival heads, inspired by seventeenth century parades in Pamplona, is  invited to march down New York’s 5th Avenue on Hispanic Day. But the figures of two black giants are not invited to the parade. Debarring from this true-event, which happened  a few months after Malcolm X’s death the story turns on Manex, a young Basque who travels to New Yorkto walk inside one of the carnival giants.

Manex will be an inadvertent witness to some of the most remarkable events and actors from the last decades: Racial riots, the Black Panthers, the Cuban Revolution, Cold War spy games, which all make for a colourful portrait of the ’60s counterculture era.

The New York carnival parade episode “fascinated me, but after an ellipsis, I set all the action in a five-month period crucial for me: From the Six-Day War in June 1967 through to Che Guevara’s murder in Bolivia on Oct. 10,” Muguruza told Variety.

Designs for the 2D animation on “Black is Beltza” will be made by on-the-rise Barcelona-based comic designer Josep Homs, author of  Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy comic adaptation.

Some ‘60s legends appear via their music or directly in the story including Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground, Malcolm X, James Brown, Muhammad Ali, Fidel Castro, Mexican Tin Tan, Algeria’s Cheika Rimitti, James Brown, Otis Redding and Jimmy Hendrix. And of course, the CIA, the Mossad, the ‘60s sexual revolution and psychedelic drugs will be there as well, Muguruza added.

“Beltza” was originally a movie screenplay but then became a graphic novel illustrated by Argentine Jorge Alderete.

One of the Basque Country’s most prolific cultural activists, Muguruza, is also a well-known musician, singer and record producer, has directed 16 documentaries, 11 of them for the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel about Arab countries’ music. A mock-documentary, “Zuloak” (“Holes”), premiered as a Zabaltegi Special Screening at 2012’s San Sebastian.

Production begins this month. “Black is Beltza” will be ready for delivery in 2018.

More Film

  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959, born Eleanora Fagan)

    Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers as Concord Boards Project

    Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the iconic jazz singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has sold the project to several territories. Also joining the project, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of [...]

  • My Extraordinary Summer With Tess review

    Film Review: 'My Extraordinary Summer With Tess'

    Winner of a special mention from the Berlinale Generation KPlus’ adult jury, the family-friendly, light drama “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” is straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. Based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the importance of [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • Ghost Fleet review

    Film Review: 'Ghost Fleet'

    The revelatory documentary “Ghost Fleet” condemns the modern-day slave labor fueling the Thai fishing industry while focusing on the work of Bangkok-based advocacy organization Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), a group dedicated to ending slavery at sea. Combining chilling testimony from formerly enslaved men, some wincingly arty recreations of their ordeals, and on-the-ground footage [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

  • Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The

    Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The Wandering Earth'

    Netflix has bought rights to “The Wandering Earth,“ the smash hit film pitched as China’s first mainstream sci-fi movie. The movie was the sleeper hit of Chinese New Year. It opened in fourth position on Feb. 5 but climbed to the top spot and has not yet relinquished it. After 14 days in theaters, the [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content