BARCELONA – Agustina Macri’s feature debut “Soledad” (Solitude) won Best Feature award at the 3rd Barcelona Film Festival, which ran April 22-30.
Produced by Italy’s 39Films and Argentina’s Cinema 7 Films, and inspired by true events, the film follows titular Soledad Rosas who moved to Italy in 1997 to a squatters community. There she met a militant anarchist with whom she had a brief and intense love affair. A year later the couple was arrested and accused of terroristic acts meant to halt the construction of a railway.
The screenplay was penned by Paolo Logli and Macri –the daughter of Argentine president Mauricio Macri. “Soledad” world-premiered at the Warsaw Film Festival and will be released in Argentina and Italy through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Company Italia respectively.
The ACEC Critic’s Award went to another debut, this time from actress-turned-director Laura Jou. Produced by longtime Agustí Villaronga producer Isona Passola at Massa d’Or Produccions, “La vida sense la Sara Amat” (Life Without Sara Amat) turns on a 13-year-old kid, who is head over heels for Sara, a girl from his grandparents’ village. After Sara disappears the villagers band together, and find her in the young boy’s closet. He won’t explain, however, as Sara is reliant on him to keep a secret.
“La vida sense la Sara Amat” also took the Audience Award for best Catalan feature. The film was written by well-known on the rise scribe Coral Cruz, based on a novel from Catalan writer Pep Puig.
Mark Cousins’ documentary “The Eyes of Orson Welles” scooped a Critic’s Award special mention; Ken Scott’s “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” snagged best comedy.
Agustí Villaronga’s “Born a King” world-premiered at the fest, sparking a warm response from audiences. Shot between London and Saudi Arabia and budgeted at a reported $22.5 million, “Born a King” is a Spanish-British co-production between Arena Audiovisual and Celtic Films Entertainment, executive produced by Oscar-winner Andrés Vicente Gómez (“Belle Epoque”).
“Born a King” centers on 14-year-old Prince Faisal, who in 1919 was sent to London by his father, the King of Saudi Arabia, on a diplomatic mission to secure the formal establishment of his country.
The BCN Film Festival competitive section hosted 13 features, with more than 60 features screened in six showcases, more than doubling last year’s total. The Festival also hosts TV series in its Open Zone showcase, including a screening of the complete first season of Mariano Barroso’s “What the Future Holds,” one of Movistar+’s best-received Original Series, co-produced with Mod Producciones.
Key figures in attendance at this year’s BCN were director Mike Leigh and actor Jeremy Irons. Cinema journalist and reviewer Conxita Casanova directs the Catalan festival.