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Locarno: Tourmalet Films Preps ‘Siete Picos,’ Presents ‘Killing Crabs’

MADRID — A co-producer on Dutch drama “El azul bajo sus pies” (“Beyond the Blue Bridge”), Spain’s Tourmalet Films is preparing its biggest feature yet, “Siete Picos,” as it introduces “Killing Crabs” at Locarno’s Match Me! co-production forum.

Launched in 2011, the Madrid and Tenerife-based independent film house Tourmalet broke through two years later co-producing of Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s noteworthy feature debut “Stockholm.”

Managed by Mayi Gutiérrez Cobo, Omar Razzak, Manuel Arango and Daniel Remón, Tourmalet has produced eight feature films and nine shorts, which have played in festivals such as Montreal, Málaga, Cartagena de Indias and Visions du Reel.

The company’s production model is evolving towards increasingly larger budget titles. It started producing short-films, then documentaries -the first, Razzak’s 2013 debut “Paradiso,” about the last porn cinema in Madrid, was an hybrid docu-fiction; followed by Samuel Alarcón’s “Oscuro y lucientes,” a docu feature about research into Francisco de Goya’s skull.

An early Tourmalet co-production, “Stockholm” was partially financed through crowdfunding. Over the years, the company has built production partnerships with international companies from Colombia, France and Argentina.

“Gradually the projects were growing, both in technical terms and creatively,” Gutiérrez Cobo said.

A natural next step for Tourmalet is to produce omnibus project “Siete Picos,” handling a higher budget for an indie Spanish company -north of €1 million ($1.12 million) – and teaming with multi-awarded Spanish film directors.

The list of filmmakers attached to “Siete Picos” takes in Mar Coll (“Three Days With The Family”), Inés Paris (“The Night My Mother Killed My Father”), Elena Trapé (“The Distances”) Sorogoyen (“The Realm”), Borja Cobeaga (“Bomb Scared”), Lino Escalera (“Can’t Say Goodbye”) and Gracia Querejeta (“Crime Wave.”)

Written by Roberto Martín Maiztegui, “Siete Picos” won last year a competition for ideas organized by Madrid regional government, which has boarded the project as co-producer.

The film links seven Madrid-set stories related to turning points in life. Each one of the short-stories will focus on issues such as being born, going to school, looking for a job, finding a life partner a couple, having children, taking care of grandchildren and, finally, death.

“The film will combine comedy and drama to show the decisions we all make in life and their consequences. In each episode, emotions and characters prevail, with large importance being placed on dialogue. It will be a mix of ‘Paris, je t’aime’ and ‘Wild Tales,’” Gutiérrez Cobo said.

“Siete Picos” is scheduled to shoot by next Spring.

Meanwhile, the Tourmalet team is pitching “Killing Crabs” as part of Locarno’s Match Me! co-production forum.

The coming-of-age story represents an autobiographical fiction created and directed by Canarian Razzak, sometimes channelling Carla Simón’s “Verano 1993” and Alice Rohrwache’s “The Wonders.”

The film combine fantasy and realism as, set in the early ’90s on the Canary Islands, it follows a 10 year-old boy Rayco and his 13-year old sister Ithaisa, who living with an unstable mother and a deaf-mute hermit. Several events, such as a Michael Jackson’s visit, shake the island’s calm.

“Killing Crabs” is at a development stage; the producers aim to complete financing by first quarter 2020, and start to film across the year.

The project has already won support from regional pubcaster TV Canarias. It was was developed at the film script lab of Spain’s Fundación SGAE, and selected by Madrid’s ECAM Incubator.

At Locarno, Tourmalet delegation will introduce “Killing Crabs” to distributors and sales agents.

“International distribution has always been complicated for some of our productions. [But] there are more and more initiatives that help to develop your projects and, among other things, put you in contact with international sales agents,” Gutiérrez Cobo said.

An early international feature in Tourmalet new movie slate, fruit of a co-production deal with Amsterdam-based IJswater Films (“The Polish Bride,” “The New World”), “Beyond the Blue Bridge” is in post-production, planned for a 2020 theatrical release in Spain after a prior festival tour.

The feature debut by Dutch-Spanish Isabel Lamberti, the film follows the daily life of members of gipsy family Gabarre Mendoza, living in Madrid’s district of La Cañada Real.

Lamberti, also a director of the Dutch remake of Norwegian teen drama web series “Skam,” is attending Locarno with short-film “Father,” a contender in the Pardi Di Domani: International Competition.

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