×

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

  • Ride Like A Girl

    Australia Box Office Drops 2% in 2019

    Cinema box office in Australia dipped by 2% in 2019 to an annual total of A$1.23 billion, or $841 million, according to data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia. That was the country’s third highest figure in local currency terms, but it also shows the theatrical industry to be rangebound since 2015. Australian-made [...]

  • Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court hearing, New

    Hairdresser Will Be Star Witness at Weinstein Trial

    She was raised on a dairy farm in Washington state. She left home as a teenager, fleeing a troubled childhood. At 25, she came to Los Angeles to become an actress. She went on auditions, got cast in a few commercials — but nothing much beyond that. In recent years, her primary job was cutting [...]

  • Jack Kehoe dead

    Jack Kehoe, 'Serpico' and 'Midnight Run' Actor, Dies at 85

    Jack Kehoe, best known for his roles in the Al Pacino-led crime drama “Serpico” and “Midnight Run,” died on Jan. 10 at a nursing home in Los Angeles. He was 85. The actor suffered a debilitating stroke in 2015, which left him inactive in recent years. Kehoe also appeared in several Academy Award-winning films during [...]

  • The Last Full Measure

    'The Last Full Measure': Film Review

    The story of William Pitsenbarger, a U.S. Air Force Pararescue medic who risked his life in Vietnam to aid his comrades, as well as the decades-later efforts of fellow vets to see him posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, is undeniably moving — which goes a long way toward explaining how Todd Robinson enlisted an [...]

  • The Grand Grandmaster

    Hong Kong and China Box Office to Take Separate Directions at Chinese New Year

    In the more than six months that protest movements have rocked Hong Kong, a whole range of business sectors have become color-coded, as both Beijing-loyal blue elements and yellow pro-democracy forces have weaponized the economy. Companies on the front line include leading bank HSBC, airline Cathay Pacific and even the subway operator MTRC. Effects range [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' Puts Modern Spin on Film's Long History of Haves vs Have-Nots

    Every filmmaker hopes to make a good movie, but sometimes the impact is bigger than expected. Neon’s “Parasite” is one example of a 2019 film hitting a nerve. Writer-director Bong Joon Ho’s film has been praised for its originality and daring shifts in tone. It also has resonance due to its subject matter: the gap [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    How the '1917' Special Effects Makeup Team Created Realistic Dead Bodies

    Prior to working on “1917,” special effects artist Tristan Versluis had designed no more than five or six corpses. But Sam Mendes, director of the WWI drama, which has garnered 10 Oscar nominations, needed Versluis, who picked up one of those noms in the hair and makeup category, to create 30 corpses and dead horses, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content