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San Sebastian: Meritxell Colell Readies ‘Duo’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Spain, Argentina, France and Chile involved in the project to be presented at San Sebastian Co-production Forum

SAN SEBASTIAN — Chile’s Manufactura de Películas is teaming with Spain’s Polar Star Films, Argentina’s Pensilvania and France’s Paraiso for Meritxell Colell’s sophomore feature “Duo,” a lyrical, dancing road-movie set in Latin America.

Project will be presented at the Co-production Forum of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, which begins today Sunday.

After 24 years sharing the stage and an emotional link, in “Duo” Mónica (49) and Colate (61), a pair of dancers try to find the meaning or a new direction for their relationship during the artistic tour that they always hoped to take. The van trip through the deserted landscapes bordering Argentina, Chile and Bolivia will test their relationship, while the couple offer contemporary dancing shows at rural schools, forgotten theaters and remote village squares.

“In the Andean culture, everything is explained from the duality –there is no man without woman, there is no moon without sun, no land without sky. Two is always understood as complementary concept,” Colell pointed out, explaining the film’s idea and the selection of the plot locations of Salta and Jujuy (Argentina) and the Atacama Desert (Bolivia, Chile).

Developed at the Cannes Festival’s Cinéfondation Atelier workshop, Colell’s first feature “Facing the Wind” was a Berlin Forum entry this year and took a Silver Biznaga for best film at the Malaga Film Festival’s Zonazine showcase for independent cinema. Where “Facing the Wind” delved into the trans-generational family links, this second feature from the Catalan author will plumb long-lasting love ties. Colell presented “Facing the Wind” at Naomi Kawase’s Nara Film Fest last week.

An emerging talent from a Catalan New Wave of predominantly female auteurs – Carla Simón, Neus Ballús, Clara Roquet, Celia Rico and Elena Martín, among others – Colell also works as an editor and cinema teacher at the Bao A Qu’s association Moving Cinema Project.

“I come from documentaries. I like to work at the borderlines opened up to the real world, to be able to portray it in its most essential way. In my opinion, cinema is observance and poetry,” she said.

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