SAN SEBASTIAN — ECAM’s Incubator program is open to feature films of all genres and form. Eligible producers need only a finished script and emerging director already attached to the project, but otherwise the program is open to diverse filmmakers from all over Spain.
It just so happens that one of the projects selected this year comes courtesy of an alumnus of the ECAM film school. Director Alauda Ruiz de Azúa graduated from the school in 2005, and since then has been on a seemingly never-ending festival tour, with her shorts “Clases Particulares,” “Dicen (They Say),” and “Nena” playing more than 200 hundred festivals and collecting over 40 awards.
The director will now make her feature debut with “Five Little Wolves,” which she developed through the Incubator. Produced by Manuel Calvo of Encanta Films and currently in pre-production, the film follows new mother Paula, who tackles the challenges of parenthood by moving back with her own ailing mother, and finds herself living a similar experience to her own mother at a similar age.
After many successful shorts, you’re making your feature debut with this project. What is it about this project that merited a jump to feature-length?
My story talks about the perception of time and family, [and about that] different step into adulthood, so I felt I needed more time to tell this story. I wanted to develop the process by which you begin to see your own parents in a different light in a very naturalistic and intimate way.
How would you describe the film’s tone and style?
The film is a dramatic comedy that mixes existentialism, daily life, poetry and humorous contradictions. I like to think about it as an emotional journey where you can cry and laugh at the same time. As in real life, joy gets mixed with conflict and drama.
Many young people in Spain still live with their parents, although often for economic reasons. Is this a theme you’re seeking to explore?
Not in a direct way, but yes, there is some sort of reflection about what it means to live with your parents when you are not a youngster anymore. This is a specific feature of my generation. Our parents left their homes and had their kids earlier. For most of my generation, it took longe
Did your perspective on the current film production marketplace change during your time with The Incubator?
I definitely achieved a more complete perspective. I got to better understand how the marketplace functions, and as a consequence, we’ve been able to develop a specific production and commercial plan for our film.