MADRID — In the run-up to this week’s San Sebastian Festival, German world sales company Media Luna New Films has acquired international rights outside Spain to “I Hate New York,” a labor-of-love doc-feature from Spain’s Gustavo Sánchez telling the story of four New York trans-gender artists. Amanda Lepore, Chloe Dzubilo, Sophia Lamar and T De Long.
Warner Bros. will distribute the title in Spain.
Playing San Sebastian’s Made in Spain, “I Hate New York” is exec produced by J.A. Bayona, director of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” along with musician twin Carlos Bayona, who boarded the film to help it through post-production to a release.
Sandra Hermida, an executive producer on Bayona titles such as “The Impossible,” produces with Javier Soto and Ricard Robles.
Glamorous, a fixture of the underground’s nightlife scene, Lepore won fame photographed nude by David LaChapelle; An untiring transgender activist, Chloe Dzubilo wrote plays for and performed with the Blacklips Performance Cult at the Pyramid Club and was the lead singer and songwriter for the punk-rock band the Transisters, and an artist, T De Long her artistic collaborator and now archivist; Sophia Lamar is a club and party host, Off-Broadway and independent film actress. Following – often literally – these four figures over ten years, from 2007 to 2017 through the clubs, back alleys and dives of New York’s underground scene, “I Hate New York” builds as an intimate portrait of their life stories, and battle to construct stereotype-bucking individual identities. “Their words, fears and hopes take the audience from an outsider’s point of view to becoming emotionally invested in their destiny,” Media Luna said in a statement.
“What interested me was how they felt, thought, have battled and still battle against everything,” Sánchez told Spain’s Fotogramas at the 2018 Malaga Spanish-Language Film Festival. “Nobody’s free, but they are an example of how to live, because they’ve done what they wanted, transformed into who they wanted to be, and not set themselves limitations,” he added.
“I Hate New York” is a production of Silent Soundsystem, Colosé Producciones and Gustavo Sánchez, with the collaboration of Películas La Trini.
“We are looking forward for this joint adventure, hopefully traveling the world together in order to expand and reinstate further the legacy and voice of New York’s icons such as Amanda Lepore, Chloe Dzubilo, Sophia Lamar and T De Long,” said producer Robles.
“New York City is always a tremendous character,” Media Luna’s CEO Ida Martins stated. She went on: “When it is accompanied by an extraordinary leading cast like the one in this documentary, and by a talented eye (and ear) like Sánchez, the potential of enchanting a wide audience all over the world is pretty high.”
The choicely curated soundtrack features original music by Arca, a long time friend of the director’s, as well as Oscar winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, the experimental Alva Noto, drag performer Sharon Needles and the Transisters themselves.
For its international premiere, “I Hate New York” will segue from San Sebastian to London’s Raindance Film Festival, where Media Luna will also present the international premiere of a second Spanish film: Andrea Jaurrieta’s “Ana by Day.”