SAN SEBASTIAN – Latido Films has taken world sales rights outside Spain on Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s “Baby,” a drama with a psychological thriller narrative thrust starring Rosie Day (“Down a Dark Hall”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Phantom Thread”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”), Charo López (“All Night Long”) and young actress Mafalda Carbonell (“To Live Twice”).
Vitoria-based Frágil Zinema produces.
A San Sebastian Golden Shell winner for “Butterflies Wings” in 1991, “Baby” signals the director’s feature return following “Fragile” (2004) and “Gipsy King” (2014).
“We think ‘Baby’ is the movie in which Juanma is going to extract once again all the cinema he has inside. It’s an open genre film with a very powerful concept and he has managed to work with extraordinary artistic and technical teams,” Latido Films CEO Antonio Saura told Variety.
“Baby” is a movie about second opportunities. Set in the Basque country, it depicts a depressed and drug-addicted pregnant young woman who delivers alone in the middle of one of her narcotic crises. Unable to raise the baby, she decides to sell him before remorsefully trying to get him back.
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According to the director, “It’s a fiction inspired by a practice— child trafficking— common in Spain and the rest of the so-called civilized world.”
A nearly dialogue-free feature, “Baby” offers “images with a visually and narratively distinctive weight,” according to executive producer Ferran Tomàs— formerly Catalan Institute ICEC audiovisual department director.
“’Baby’ will offer an auteur genre approach aimed at wide audiences. A non-dialogue feature is an interesting bet for international and a challenge in artistic terms. In fact, it’s a return to cinema’s sheerest roots.” added Tomàs.
“Baby” is lensed by Josep María Civit, the regular d.p. of prominent Spanish auteur Agustín Villaronga (“Black Bread,” “The King of Havana”). Basque musicians Koldo Uriarte y Bingen Mendizábal oversaw the soundtrack.
Producers will show excerpts from the two first shooting weeks at the 67th San Sebastian Festival on Wednesday Sept. 25.
A singular director welcomed as a hot talent in the ‘90s, Bajo Ulloa’s career has allied poetic, uncanny genre and baroque comedies in a particular, recognizable universe with technically precise images.
‘Baby’ participated at the first-ever edition of Fantastic 7 at this year Cannes Film Market, an initiative in which the world’s seven foremost international genre festivals selected one project each to be pitched. “Baby” was chosen and backed by Sitges Intl. Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, which will be holding its 52nd edition this October.
At this year ’s San Sebastian Festival, Latido also handles sales of Belén Funes’ “A Thief’s Daughter,” a main competition contender.