You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eurimages Winning Project ‘Almamula’ Stands Out at Ventana Sur’s Proyecta

Juan Sebastian Torales arrived at this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta showcase for Latin American projects as one of the event’s most buzzed up debutants with his upcoming semi-autobiographical feature “Almamula.”

In September, Torales and producer Pilar Peredo, from France’s Tu Vas Voir, pitched the project at San Sebastian’s Co-production Forum, where it won the Eurimages award, opening up the opportunity to present at Ventana Sur. It has since participated in the BrLab writing laboratory in Sao Paulo, which Peredo says went a long way towards refining the script.

Tu Vas Voir’s Edgard Tenembaum and Argentina’s Lorena Quevedo of Twins Latin Films also produce.

“Almamula” starts in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, where 12-year-old Nino is assaulted for being homosexual. In an effort to protect the boy, his parents move the family to a small rural village. Overwhelmed by guilt and shame and facing the scorn of a conservative community, he will do everything he can think of to attract the Almamula: a legendary creature which captures those who commit an impure sexual act.

Torales short film “Sacha” was an initial approach to the story he is developing with his first feature. His initial interest in tracking the 12-year-old protagonist, the atmosphere of rural Northern Argentina, the climate of tension and wilderness signal his search to find the tone that will define “Almamula.”

Popular on Variety

Torales explained how the story will play in the realms of reality and fantasy to Variety while in Buenos Aires.

“’Almamula’ is both a real and fantastic drama,” he said. “It’s real and palpable because it addresses a universal issue, one of the greatest fears any human can face, which is to be alone. And it’s fantastic because in reality we all need our own fantasies to survive. For me, ‘Almamula’ is proof that we are all part reality and part fantasy, confused all the time. I like to say that ‘Almamula’ is a film with horror aspects as well, which give it a completely original dimension.”

It’s been years since Juan’s childhood in rural Argentina, looking for the Almamula himself, but Peredo explained that his experiences are still as current as ever in the conservative territories.

“The film is born from a personal experience, and everything that happens is directly inspired by Juan’s real-life experience. But of course, it’s also a fictional story in which Juan takes liberties. He still frequently goes back to his home province, Santiago del Estero, and the Almamula is as well-known as ever,” she said.

“Its legend is still alive and hasn’t changed in the years since Juan has grown up,” she continued. “Everyone, both in the city and in the countryside, knows about her and fears her. It doesn’t matter what age, social class or environment people move in.”

According to Peredo, they hope to start filming in the first quarter of 2021. To that end, the producer was in Ventana Sur “to promote the project, continue conversations initiated at San Sebastian with distributors and interested sellers, and evaluate new possibilities of collaboration with other co-producers and partners.

More Film

  • Oprah Russell Simmons Documentary

    Oprah Defends Decision to Exit #MeToo Doc: 'This Is Not a Victory for Russell' Simmons

    Oprah Winfrey explained her decision to step away from “On the Record,” an expose about sexual harassment in the music industry, including women who have accused mogul Russell Simmons of misconduct. The documentary, from filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, will premiere at Sundance on Jan. 25. Winfrey, who served as an executive producer and [...]

  • 'A Quiet Place 2' Still Emily

    Paramount Pictures Intl. Strikes Landmark Distribution Deal with Italy's Eagle Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paramount Pictures International has signed a landmark distribution partnership with Italy’s leading independent distribution company Eagle Pictures. Under the deal, Eagle Pictures will release Paramount titles in the country starting in March with John Krasinski’s anticipated horror film “A Quiet Place 2.” Since 2017, Paramount Pictures has had its films released by Fox in Italy, [...]

  • Some Kind of Heaven Documentary NYTimes

    Why the New York Times Is Getting Into the Documentary Films Business (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lance Oppenheim didn’t set out to make an 83-minute documentary when he started chronicling a group of senior citizens living in a retirement community in central Florida. But after 18 months and hundreds of hours of footage, he began to see the outline of his first feature-length film, “Some Kind of Heaven,” which premieres this [...]

  • - New York, NY - 10/9/19

    #GoldOpen Launches Advisory Council, 'Golden Rider' to Promote Multicultural Films

    Diversity-focused nonprofit Gold House is launching an entertainment advisory council made up of industry leaders and a Golden Rider initiative to incentivize diverse representation in film, starting with the Asian diaspora. Both the council and rider are through the organization’s #GoldOpen venture, which supports the opening weekends of multicultural films.  The council — whose members [...]

  • Taylor Swift Variety Cover Story Sundance

    Taylor Swift: No Longer 'Polite at All Costs'

    “Not a shot. Not a single chance. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.” Taylor Swift — who, at 30, has reached a Zen state of cheerful realism — laughs as she leans into a pillow she’s placed over her crossed legs inside her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, leaning further still into her infinitesimal odds of winning [...]

  • The Island

    ‘The Island,’ ‘Calamity,’ 'Piano Player' Highlight Cartoon Movie 2020 Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    BARCELONA – Rémi Chayé’s “Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” Anca Damian’s “The Island,” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s “They Shot the Piano Player,” and Enrique Gato’s “Tad the Lost Explorer and the Curse of the Mummy” are among the sixty-six projects from twenty countries to be pitched at the 22nd Cartoon Movie, Europe’s [...]

  • Kirby Dick Amy Ziering

    'On The Record,' Russell Simmons #MeToo Doc, Charts Course to Sundance After Oprah Exit

    UPDATED: A spokesperson for Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering says the filmmaking team behind “Off the Record” will participate in print and broadcast interviews at the Sundance film festival. The accusers featured in the film are weighing press options at this time. Earlier, a spokesperson for the Russell Simmons documentary confirmed to Variety that only [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content