Valérie Delpierre and Pilar Palomero, producer and director of “Las Niñas,” one of the banner titles of a new – and often women-driven – Catalan cinema, are re-teaming with Madrid-based BTeam Pictures to produce Palomero’s second feature, “La Maternal.”
Delpierre, who serves as a member of this year’s San Sebastian Horizontes Latinos, will produce once more out of Inicia Films, her Barcelona-based label which backed Carla Simon’s “Summer 1993,” a 2017 Berlin’s Generation Kplus winner.
BTeam Pictures, the company behind Isaki Lacuesta’s San Sebastian Golden Shell winnier “Between Two Waters,” will distribute “La Maternal” in Spain.
Written by Palomero, “La Maternal” follows 12-year Carla, a wild and rebellious girl who lives in humble circumstances on the outskirts of a village and has a very difficult —near toxic– relationship with her mother. Taken to a foster home by the local social services, Carla gives birth and has to face a world of even greater perplexities and decisions, along with other young mother at the center.
Palomero conducted extensive interviews with teenagers in similar circumstances before writing the movie. “They’ve lived so many extreme experiences that each one had already had a movie to tell and din0t feel their lives had been reflected in cinema,” Palomero told Variety adding that “La Maternal” will be a “kind and luminous drama, with touches even of humor.”
“The movie tackles the universe of social workers, people who engage in ‘small’ battles,’ which might bring some sort of solution, for a moment, a month, or a life. They can solve society at large, but they’re essential,” Delpierre said.
The market potential for movies made by a new wave of Spanish female filmmakers has grown, Delpierre argued: ”When ‘Summer 1993’ opened, I had the feeling that we had to persuade audiences that they could be interested in this kind of cinema.”
She added: “Movies such as ‘Summer,’ Celia Rico’s ‘Journey to a Mother’s Room’ or Arantxa Echevarría’s ‘Carmen & Lola’ have opened up new pathways. Now, we don’t have the need to explain that indie titles like these can reach broader audiences” she concluded.
“Summer 93” earned €1.2 million ($1.4 million) at the Spanish box office.
“La maternal’s” shoot is scheduled for summer 2021. “Las niñas” premiered at this year’s Berlin’s Generation Kplus, then competed at Spain’s Malaga Festival, the country’s biggest film event focused on Spanish and Latin American films and TV, where it won two prizes: Best Spanish film and best cinematography for Daniela Cajías.
“Las niñas” screens at this year’s San Sebastian Made in Spain showcase.