You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amplitud Launches ‘Farruca,’ Brings Paola Ochoa’s ‘Hermanas’ to Sanfic (EXCLUSIVE)

As it brings its fourth feature, Paola Ochoa’s “Hermanas,” to Sanfic’s works in progress, Amplitud has unveiled a new production,“Farruca” from Spain’s Ian de la Rosa.

Based in L.A., the upstart production company was born from a desire to foster co-production between Latin American countries and the U.S. with a specific focus on queer and/or female narratives.

The company was founded by Axel Shalson, Pau Brunet and Jana Díaz Juhl, the highly-connected producers of indie festival hits such as SXSW Special Jury winner “10,000 Km,” Tribeca Jury Award winner “We are the Heat” and Catalan Academy Gaudi Award winner “Anchor and Hope.”

According to Brunet, “The stories we want to support don’t portray the mainstream universe, but we want them to be universal.”

“Films made by talented women, telling compelling stories about underrepresented groups are what interest us,” echoed Shalson. “And we have had the luxury so far of never having to compromise on the quality of a film just because we wanted to advance the director, or the story being told.”

It’s with that desire to give screen time to underrepresented communities that Amplitud has backed “Farruca,” with a long-term plan to transition the short into a feature. Directed by trans filmmaker De la Rosa, the project also fits nicely into a catalog which backs filmmakers from outside the white male archetype. Charlotta Schiavon’s Vayolet Films will co-produce in Spain.

Plot details are still under wraps, but Brunet told Variety that “‘Farruca’ is a story set in the Spanish-Moroccan community in the south of Spain. They are outcasts, but they want to be seen.”

Since its inception, the company has participated on four features, three from female directors including Lila Aviles’ breakout indie box office hit boasting a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes “The Chambermaid,” Catalina Arroyave’s SXSW CherryPicks Female First Feature Award winner “Days of the Whale” and Antón Terni’s “Mirador,” set to premiere this November.

The Amplitud team’s next stop, however, is at Chile’s Sanfic festival, where they will be screening Paola Ochoa’s documentary feature debut “Hermanas” (Sisters), in the festival’s Work in Progress section.

Intimate and introspective, “Hermanas” documents the annual summer vacation shared by Ochoa’s aunts and mother, four sisters in their 60s. By recording honest and often lighthearted conversations between the women, Ochoa juxtaposes ideas of womanhood between generations of Colombian women.

“These females are specifically Colombian but incredibly universal,” Juhl explained of Amplitud’s interest in the project. “We loved the idea of being involved in a film that portrayed the lives of four mature women in such an intimate fashion. The fact that we are so immersed in this family gave the story an almost magic-realist quality.”

“The film came from Paola’s personal journey, and from the moment we saw the trailer we felt there was something there,” added Brunet. “We caught a very rough cut and decided to jump into the project producing and financing.”

“For me what makes ‘Hermanas’ so unique is the intimacy with which every scene is portrayed,” said Juan Sebastián Sarmiento, the film’s Colombian producer. “Through her camera, Paola transports us to a place where her aunts talk and live freely. It’s rare in film to see adult women living genuinely and sharing their honest thoughts. Their wisdom shines a light on the roles women and men play in our society, and what the future could look like.”

Ochoa talked with Variety about shooting her first feature, her family’s story and the lines between documentary and fiction she hopes to play with in the future.

How do you approach telling your family’s story as cinema and not just a home movie?

What makes “Hermanas” cinema lies in its point of view. The film shapes real life into a dramatic structure, finds poetry in those daily life images and creates an experience for the audience. It explores each character’s storyline to reflect a specific experience of being a female. We worked on developing each element of the film into an experience that could transcend the privacy of my own family. The greatest challenge was finding how my own story intertwined with those of the women in my family.

What did you learn about yourself and your family in the process of shooting this film?

I think most of what I learned from the process can be seen in the film, as it is a journey that ends up being kind of coming-of-age, an exchange of wisdom between two generations, that are more clearly represented in my mother and myself.

Do you see yourself as a documentary filmmaker, or would you also like to do fiction?

I see myself mainly as a documentary filmmaker, but I feel hybrids are pushing forward cinematic language, and that the most interesting films I have seen recently are those on the frontiers of the genres. My next projects will most likely navigate that line between documentary and fiction.

The stories in “Hermanas” come from, and are representative of, an older generation in Colombia. How do you think younger audiences will relate to them?

Younger generations like my own have been educated by mothers and grandmothers that lived under different beliefs, customs and rules. The process of growing up as a woman has to do with what you learn from older generations, but also with the things we decide to do differently, the changes originated by the new generations that push society forward. I feel anyone that was raised by women can relate to the situations of intimacy between women represented in the film.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Charlie-Chaplin-and-Horse-Roy-Export-Co

    Carmen Chaplin to Direct ‘Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Director-producer-actress Carmen Chaplin is set to direct “Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World,” a theatrical documentary feature which will add a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. Marking the first time that [...]

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]


    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content