BUENOS AIRES — Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has acquired distribution rights to North America on “The August Virgin,” from Jonas Trueba, one of Spain’s most prominent young writer-directors who has broken through to big festival selection – “The Reconquest,” his fourth feature, played San Sebastian competition — and now prizes.
Luis Renart, at new Canary-Island-based sales agency Bendita Film Sales, has also closed France on “The August Virgin” with production-distribution house Arizona.
Produced by Trueba’s longtime producer Javier Lafuente at Madrid based Los Ilusos Films, written by lead Itsaso Arana and Trueba and directed by Trueba, “The August Virgin” world premiered in competition at Karlovy Vary this Summer where it won the Fipresci Intl Federation of Film Critics’ prize and a Jury Special Mention.
Marking Trueba’s fifth feature – and first with a female protagonist – “The August Virgin” returns to one of his central themes: The not-so-young looking to gain (2013’s “The Wishful Thinkers”), retain (2015’s “The Romantic Exiles”) or regain (“Every Song Is About Me”) a sense of fulfillment.
Spangled by literary reference, laced with Trueba’s hallmark whimsy, ken for philosophical rumination and observational detail – often offsetting action, of character, people and places – ”The August Virgin” turns on Eva, one of the few Madrid locals who stays in Madrid over the dog days of August, renting an apartment for a month, as most depart in their droves for the coast.
Her excuse is that she wants to experience first-hand the Assumption of the Virgin, the national holiday that takes place in the first two weeks of August. Really, however, she senses a broader opportunity to connect with other people. Eva is a good person: she tries to help others. But, as Trueba told Variety in an interview around Karlovy Vary, the first person she needs to help is herself.
Outsider’s Hudson, who closed the North America deal with Renart, remarked that “The August Virgin” “creeps up on you, as a series of conversations and encounters come together to give you a real sense of who Eva is, and make you wish you had the time to sit back and re-discover yourself as she does.”
“We are very happy to work with Outsider Pictures -a company whose talented, passionate work with independent films we have always admired- on the U.S. distribution of our movie,” said Renart. “We can’t think of a better partner to introduce Jonas Trueba’s unique vision to the North American audience.”
Trueba found “a very important ally” in Arana with whom he had already worked on “The Reconquest”— in daring to make this movie, which encapsulates the universe of a thirty-something woman.
“What I like most about this film is how it pertains to womanhood; questions and dialogues that I wouldn’t have been able to arrive at without her and conversations I filmed to which normally I wouldn’t have been invited,” he acknowledged.
“The August Virgin” is currently tracking with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score.