×

Inside Content Takes Emma Suárez-Starrer ‘Josefina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Starring ‘Julieta’s’ Suárez, ‘Josefina’ one of the five projects developed at the ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator program

SAN SEBASTIAN — Geraldine Gonard’s Inside Content has swooped on “Josefina,” acquiring world sales rights outside Spain and Germany to the Spanish movie project, which has already attached laureled Spanish actress Emma Suárez, star of Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta,” to play the female lead.

One of the five film titles to be put through development at the ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator development program, “Josefina” is co-produced by Madrid’s White Leaf Producciones and Berlin’s One Two Films, whose recent films include Jennifer Fox’s “The Tale” and Isabel Coixet’s “The Bookshop.”

Producer Sergy Moreno is now beginning to reach out to potential actors comparable in stature to Suárez to play the male lead.

Described by Inside Content’s Geraldine Gonard as a romantic drama with lighter touches and a deft but penetrating criticize of contemporary societal ills, “Josefina” will be directed by Spanish short filmmaker Javier Marco (“One,” “The Dress,” “Classmate”). It turns on Juan, a timid dowdy 50-year-old who conceives an attraction for Berta. Trouble is: He is a prison officer and Berta the mother of one of the inmates. So Juan, in a flight of imagination, passes himself off as another parent visiting the prison in order to see his also incarcerated daughter, Josefina.

Josefina’s presence, however fictitious, facilitates a relationship between two people with grave emotional deficiencies, “lending an optimism, and moments of near surrealism and comedy to the film,” according to screenwriter Belén Sánchez-Arévalo.

In a whimsical touch, it is Josefina who narrates the film and even chooses its music.

Suárez, who lends humanity to more or less any role she takes, also confirmed her range starring as a mother from hell in Michel Franco’s “April’s Daughter,” will play Berta. Also attached are two fine Spanish character actors: Manolo Solo (“The Fury of a Patient Man”) and Mabel Ribera (“The Sea Inside”), the latter as one of Berta’s neighbors.

“Josefina” portrays “two people who meet at a singular moment, in a film with a reduced number of location – the jail, a bus, their homes. The film packs a “deep and subtle but critical study of what is happening in contemporary society,” said Inside Content founder Gonard, calling “Josefina” a “mature film, intelligent and strongly written, with a lot of work on its characters.”

The Incubator’s five projects were chosen from 216 applications, from first or second-time directors from anywhere in Spain, nit just ECAM alums. Such a rigorous filter has proved a magnet to players in Spain’s movie industry from Movistar+ and Netflix to Mediaset España and Atremedia and RTVE who have visited the initiative to explain their financing priorities and become acquainted with the program.

Inside Content also co-organizes Conecta Fiction, the highly successful Latin America-Europe TV co-production forum which celebrated its second edition this June in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela, northern Spain.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content