×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Neto Villalobos’ ‘Love is the Monster’ Heads to San Sebastian Co-Pro Forum (EXCLUSIVE)

Costa Rican director Ernesto “Neto” Villalobos’ third feature, “Love is the Monster,” will participate in September’s San Sebastian Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum.

Having found festival success with his first two features, “All About the Feathers” and “Helmet Heads,” both drama-comedies, Villalobos will head in a different direction with “Love is the Monster,” a psychological thriller co-written with author Diego van der Laat, a Costa Rican storyteller working in cinema the first time.

Villalobos explained that while working on this project, “I was interested in exploring the personal relationships between Grandmother, Mother and Granddaughter in a Latin American environment where violence is daily bread and where we live with a latent paranoia about insecurity and evil.”

To that end, the film explores how far a grandmother is willing to go in order to rescue her granddaughter from imminent danger. Villalobos describes it as “The story of a grandmother who must deal, in a particular way, with being treated as someone irrelevant.”

“The project is not only a personal challenge to make a genre film, but it also implies a change in my character construction and the way I approach them,” he explained. “I am interested in constructing a protagonist who undergoes major personal transformations that the viewer and myself can connect with, despite the ‘wrongness’ of their actions.”

Villalobos’ La Sucia Centroamericana producer is producing out of Costa Rica, and Alejo Crisostomo’s Ceibita is co-producing in Chile. In San Sebastian they will be presenting the project for the first time, looking for feedback and future partners who can help the project grow.

“We think San Sebastian is the ideal place to start development on this new collaboration,” Crisostomo told Variety.

He added: “We are particularly interested in finding a European co-producer who wants to work with us towards the realization of the film, and we are excited about the possibility of sharing our project with industry professionals and receiving feedback that they can provide on the writing process.”

Having known Villalobos for fifteen years, Crisostomo was always likely to be involved, but he explained that in this particular case, “I admire Neto’s ability to create small worlds that reflect, often with humor, universal aspects of humanity. When he shared the treatment of this new project, I was excited to accompany him across new territory.”

He went on: “While the comedy that characterizes his voice will emerge, I am sure it will lead us elegantly through the anguish and suspense of this thriller.”

San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum will take place over Sept. 22-25.

Neto-Villalobos-and-Alejo-Crisostomo

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

  • Josefina-Molina

    Josefina Molina: Still Battling After All These Years

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — She isn’t done yet. The battling character of Josefina Molina, winner of Spain’s 2019 National Cinematography Prize, was glimpsed in her acceptance speech at the San Sebastian Festival on Saturday. She used part to thank those who had given crucial help, such as, among women, editors Nieves Martin (1981’s “Función de Noche,” [...]

  • Suro

    Lastor, ‘The Endless Trench’s’ Irusoin, Malmo Team for Mikel Gurrea’s ‘Suro’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN – Barcelona-based Lastor Media and Malmo Pictures have teamed with San Sebastian’s Irusoin to produce “Suro” (The Cork), the feature debut of Mikel Gurrea and a product of San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak program. The film stars Laia Costa, who broke through with Sebastian Schipper’s “Victoria” and also serves as executive producer, and Pol López [...]

  • Ane

    Madrid’s ECAM Incubator Develops Terrorism Drama 'Ane'

    SAN SEBASTIAN — For the second year in a row, the ECAM Madrid Film School has paired a number of up-and-coming filmmakers with various industry veterans for an Incubator program part of the school broader development arm called The Screen. For its initial edition in 2018, this Incubator selected five feature projects, putting the selected [...]

  • Roma Cinematography

    'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' and 'Roma' Win LMGI Awards for Motion Pictures

    Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content