×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Neto Villalobos’ ‘Love is the Monster’ Heads to San Sebastian Co-Pro Forum (EXCLUSIVE)

Costa Rican director Ernesto “Neto” Villalobos’ third feature, “Love is the Monster,” will participate in September’s San Sebastian Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum.

Having found festival success with his first two features, “All About the Feathers” and “Helmet Heads,” both drama-comedies, Villalobos will head in a different direction with “Love is the Monster,” a psychological thriller co-written with author Diego van der Laat, a Costa Rican storyteller working in cinema the first time.

Villalobos explained that while working on this project, “I was interested in exploring the personal relationships between Grandmother, Mother and Granddaughter in a Latin American environment where violence is daily bread and where we live with a latent paranoia about insecurity and evil.”

To that end, the film explores how far a grandmother is willing to go in order to rescue her granddaughter from imminent danger. Villalobos describes it as “The story of a grandmother who must deal, in a particular way, with being treated as someone irrelevant.”

“The project is not only a personal challenge to make a genre film, but it also implies a change in my character construction and the way I approach them,” he explained. “I am interested in constructing a protagonist who undergoes major personal transformations that the viewer and myself can connect with, despite the ‘wrongness’ of their actions.”

Villalobos’ La Sucia Centroamericana producer is producing out of Costa Rica, and Alejo Crisostomo’s Ceibita is co-producing in Chile. In San Sebastian they will be presenting the project for the first time, looking for feedback and future partners who can help the project grow.

“We think San Sebastian is the ideal place to start development on this new collaboration,” Crisostomo told Variety.

He added: “We are particularly interested in finding a European co-producer who wants to work with us towards the realization of the film, and we are excited about the possibility of sharing our project with industry professionals and receiving feedback that they can provide on the writing process.”

Having known Villalobos for fifteen years, Crisostomo was always likely to be involved, but he explained that in this particular case, “I admire Neto’s ability to create small worlds that reflect, often with humor, universal aspects of humanity. When he shared the treatment of this new project, I was excited to accompany him across new territory.”

He went on: “While the comedy that characterizes his voice will emerge, I am sure it will lead us elegantly through the anguish and suspense of this thriller.”

San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum will take place over Sept. 22-25.

Neto-Villalobos-and-Alejo-Crisostomo

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Great Outdoor documentary series about

    Farm to Picture: Documentary Series 'The Great Outdoor' Chronicles a Life Gone to Pot

    Cannabis cultivation in the Emerald Triangle, the area in Northern California that has long been a go-to for growers, has a starring role in a new documentary series called “The Great Outdoor.” Funded by Flow Kana, one of the state’s leading cannabis flower brands, filmed by David Zlutnick, and executive-produced by Flow Kana co-founder Flavia [...]

  • 1982 El Gouna Festival

    Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival Puts Arab Helmers at Center Stage

    The upbeat state of Arab cinema will be on the screen and in the balmy air at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (Sept. 19-27), which is steadily gaining traction in its stated ambition to become a key platform and solid driver for Middle-East producers. “This year was one the best for Arab cinema,” says Intishal [...]

  • Star Skipper Paramount Animation

    Meet Star Skipper, Paramount Animation's Magical New Trademark Logo Character

    Studio logos are powerful signals to audiences.  Multiple generations of moviegoers flipping through channels or scanning streaming titles have frozen at the sight of a desk lamp hopping across the screen, because it means a Pixar movie is about to play. Likewise, when a young boy lounging inside a crescent moon casts his fishing line into [...]

  • Sybil

    Cannes Competition Movie 'Sibyl' Finds North American Home With Music Box (EXCLUSIVE)

    Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to Justine Triet’s darkly comic drama “Sibyl,” which competed at Cannes and had its North American premiere at Toronto in the Special Presentation section. Represented in international markets by mk2, the film follows the ambiguous relationship between Sibyl, a jaded psychotherapist (Virginie Efira, “An Impossible [...]

  • Kent Jones Directs 'Diane'

    Kent Jones to Exit New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a surprise move, New York Film Festival’s director and selection committee chair of seven years Kent Jones will step down following this year’s 57th edition, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. The departure comes as Jones’ feature filmmaking career is taking off. Issues of potential conflicts of interest have arisen as his work has moved [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content