Backed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Spanish Institute of Cinematography and the Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), 10 promising Spanish projects participated in a marathon day of speed meetings through the day on Thursday at Cannes’ Marché du Film.
Below, summaries of the hopeful projects:
“A Thousand Lives,” (Marina Seresesky)
Meridional Producciones and Wandermoon Finance partner on Goya-nominated filmmaker Marina Seresesky’s latest psychological drama “A Thousand Lives.” Four years after her son disappeared, Sofia sees a news report about a four-year-old boy halfway around the world who claims to remember a past life. The distressed mother travels to Latin America to find the child, sure that this child is her own son reincarnated. There, she earns the boy’s trust and his family’s misgivings. Colombian-Spanish actress Juana Acosta is attached.
“The Daughter of the Volcano,” (Jenifer de la Rosa)
A co-production involving Spain’s Mayeutica Producciones, Icónica Producciones and Colombia’s Rara Colectivo Audiovisual, “The Daughter of the Volcano” is the autobiographical story of debut filmmaker Jenifer de la Rosa, who was one week old when the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in Colombia, leaving the young girl orphaned. Adopted by Spanish parents, de la Rosa uses her own story to examine how the rights and privileges of adopted children, especially those adopted from foreign countries, were and remain neglected today.
“Far Away,” (Gerard Oms)
Actor Gerard Oms helms this pan-European co-production to be filmed in Utrecht, where a Spanish soccer fan has traveled to attend a match with a group of supporters he doesn’t know. Mario’s partner was supposed to go with him on the trip, but she wants kids while he is convinced the relationship has no future. She sends him off on his own with an ultimatum, come back and start a family or don’t come back at all. Award-winning actors Mario Casas, David Verdaguer and Déborah François are all confirmed castings. Zabriskie Films produces from Spain with partners Phanta Film/Goldman Film from the Netherlands.
“Human/Animal,” (Alessandro Pugno)
Director Alessandro Pugno, a 2014 Berlinale Talent, presents this fictional feature based on the polemical pastime of bullfighting, popular in many Latin countries. In the film, Mattero, born in Northern Italy, dreams of becoming a bullfighter. His story is paralleled by that of Cascabel, a calf born in Andalusia, culminating in an eventual meeting. Spain’s Pecado Films is joined by First Draft, Italy’s Papavero Films and Mexico’s Una Comunion.
“Matadero,” (Santiago Fillol)
A highly anticipated project from “Fire Will Come” co-scribe Santiago Fillol, “Matadero” is a three-way co-production between Spain’s Nina Films, Argentina’s Magoya Films and France’s 4A4 Films. His debut feature “Ich bin Enric Maro” participated at Rotterdam, Locarno, San Sebastian and more, and last year’s “Fire Will Come” was a critical smash, winning an Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes and two Spanish Academy Goya Awards. “Matadero” follows an American filmmaker in Argentina documenting his own, highly-politicized version of the 1975 labor revolts against wealthy landowners.
“Singing on the Rooftops,” (Eric Ribes)
Barcelona-based Inicia Films, producer of Carla Simón’s breakout debut feature “Summer 1993,” are pitching Eric Ribes ‘80s-set doc-fiction hybrid about Eduardo, stage name Gilda Love, a Barcelona drag queen trying to make ends meet on a minimal pension and what he makes performing. When tasked with caring for an incarcerated friend’s three-year-old daughter, Eduardo rediscovers a lust for life and commits himself to providing the girl the love and stability she needs.
“Sleepless City,” (Guillermo García López)
Produced by Turanga Films and Sintagma Films, “Sleepless City” is the second feature from director Guillermo García, following his Goya-winning 2016 documentary debut “Frágil Equilibrio.” This time around, García will try his hand at fiction and use natural actors to tell the story of Ramon, a young Romani boy living in an illegal settlement in Madrid who may hold the key to preventing his family’s impending eviction. The film producers are looking for potential partners, specifically from France or Germany.
“The Sacred Spirit,” (Chema Garcia Ibarra)
Filmmaker Chema Garcia Ibarra has enjoyed major festival success with his sometimes-off-the-wall short films, playing in competition at Berlin, San Sebastian, Sundance and scoring the director a European Film Award nomination. “The Sacred Spirit” features a young man left alone to change human history after his cohort dies, and a mother who visits morning talk shows dressed as her dissapeared daughter, hoping someone will have seen the missing girl. Arthouse specialists Jaibo Films produce this Spain, France, Turkey co-production.
“Tetuán,” (Iratxe Fresneda)
Pimpi & Nella Films and Marmoka Films co-produce director Iratxe Fresneda’s third feature-length documentary, a collage of four stories focusing on how migrants are molded by the places through which they pass. A swiss photographer, a migrant fleeing his military family, a Romanian pole dancer and a musician with no nation all feature. As a project, the film has participated in Creative Europe’s co-production workshop organized with San Sebastian and France’s Fipadoc.
“Tobacco Barns,” (Rocío Mesa)
Having pitched at Small is Biútiful as well as Faliro House/Sundance Mediterranean Screenwriters Workshop, La Claqueta-produced “Tobacco Barns” came into the Marché buzzing, and came away with a new co-producer in Un Capricho’s Belén Sánchez and sales agent in Latido Films. Directed by California-based Spanish filmmaker Rocío Mesa, “Tobacco Barns” turns on Julian, a young man spending the summer in his grandparents’ village when he finds a friendly monster living in a tobacco barn, and Nieves, a local girl who’s parents are about to lose their property.