SAN SEBASTIAN — Paris-based MK2 has boarded “Alcarràs,” the second feature film of Catalan auteur Carla Simón (“Summer 1993”), a leading member of a bright new generation of lauded and laurelled Catalan women directors including Neus Ballús, Belén Funes, Meritxell Colell, among others.
Currently in development, “Alcarràs” will be produced by Madrid-based production-distribution outfit Avalon– the Spanish distributors of Ruben Östlund’s “The Square,” Robin Campillo’s “120 Beats Per Minute,” and producers of “Summer 1993″ and Carlos Marques-Marcet’s “The Days to Come,” at this year’s San Sebastian Festival in its Made in Spain showcase. Sergi Moreno at Vilaut Films will co-produce “Alcarràs.”
Simón’s autobiographical debut “Summer 1993” snagged the Best First Film Award and the Generation Kplus Grand Prix at Berlin in 2017. The feature was Spain’s 2018 Oscars race entry, nominated for the EFA Discovery Award and won three Goyas including best new director. Carla Simón also received the Women in Motion Emerging Talent Award in Cannes in 2018.
Inspired by her own adoptive family, and co-written with Arnau Vilaró (“Summer 1993”), “Alcarràs” chronicles the life of a family of peach farmers in a small village located in Lleida, inner Catalonia, 84 miles west from Barcelona. When the owner of their large estate dies, his lifetime heir decides to sell the land, suddenly threatening their livelihood. The whole family gathers for one last harvest, with children and adults struggling to maintain their past harmony.
“We are so proud to be working for the first time with such a promising director and to see her deeply personal voice translated into a universal and very touching story exploring the complexity of family bonds”, said Juliette Schrameck, MK2 Films managing director.
“It’s a story about belonging to a land, to a place, but it is also a drama about everlasting generational tension, overcoming old traditions and the importance of family unity in times of crisis,” says director Carla Simón. The notion of property, African immigration, family and changes in rural territories will be the main themes in this choral drama.
“We wanted to work with Carla again after ‘Summer 1993.’ After a long period looking for the right new movie for Carla, we fell in love with this project that implies a substantial step forward in her career, especially due to its choral nature, after the intimate atmosphere of her first feature. It’s a very personal project that talk with a large human universality,” Avalon producer María Zamora told Variety.
Founded 50 years ago by Marin Karmitz, MK2 is now run by his sons, Nathanael and Elisha. For two years in a row, the company has been behind five movies playing in competition at the Cannes Festival. The French outfit has proven to have a fine eye for emerging female talent working with Danielle Lessovitz, Celine Sciamma, Monia Chokri and Mati Diop among others).
Peaches are harvested from mid to late Summer. “Alcarràs”‘ shoot is therefore scheduled for summer 2020.