In a powerful Spanish talent package, “Patria” director Felix Viscarret is set to direct “House of Flowers” Paco Leon and “Nasdrovia” star Leonor Watling in psychological thriller “From the Shadows” (“Desde la Sombra”), adapting a novel by Spanish writer Juan José Millas, winner of most of Spain’s foremost literary awards, including the Planeta, Nadal and National Narrative Awards.
A star of sitcom “Aida,” a free-to-air TV phenomenon over 2005-14, and more latterly Netflix Mexico hit “House of Flowers,” Leon co-wrote and directed “Arde Madrid,” a Movistar Plus Rose d’Or winning original series. Star of Pedro Almodovar’s Academy Award winning “Talk to Her,” Watling confirmed her comic talents most recently in Movistar Plus’ excruciatingly discomforting Russian mob comedy “Nasdrovia.”
Produced by Academy Award winning Tornasol Media (“The Secret in Their Eyes”), and co-produced by Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup (“The Congress,” “Elle”), “From the Shadows” will be brought onto the international market at Ventana Sur by Latido Films.
Co-written by David Muñoz (“The Devil’s Backbone”), “From the Shadows” turns on Damián who, to escape from his boss, hides in a massive antique wardrobe that is delivered to a middle-class home, inhabited by Lucia and Fede and their teenage daughter. A persistent fantasist – he imagines himself as a TV celebrity delivering candid interviews to prestigious journalists – Damián realizes that staying in the wardrobe gives him a chance to lead the normal life he has always missed.
He becomes the family’s guardian angel, doing the housework in its absence, as his hold on reality crumbles and Lucia, on anti-depressants, believes the wardrobe hides the specter of her dead brother.
“This story is a portrait of the madness, sometimes strange, sometimes comical, we all have: Dialogues we carry on with ourselves, how we fall in love, how we deny realities,” said Viscarret, saying he likes to dance between the comical and melancholic.
Championed by Fernando Trueba off the back of a notable short, “Dreamers,” Viscarret’s debut, “Under the Stars,” produced by Cristina Huete, confirmed his passion for bringing a human dimension to lost cause characters, which he aims to repeat in “From the Shadows,” he said.
“I like to fix my gaze on clumsy, hurt or humiliated characters who, generating compassion, struggle to make things better. Even if that fight is not successful, even if the final redemption – like in this case – is loaded with contradictions, it makes it all worthwhile.”
“Felix is one of Spain’s most talented young directors, he has a unique capacity of inventing worlds. In this case, the novel he adapts is from one of Spanish greatest living writers,” said Latido Films head Antonio Saura.
Saura added: “What is even more interesting, it is a great adaptation, that mixes humor and genre in a very intelligent way and, of course, the cast is brilliant!”
Supporting young and established talent across a wide range of arthouse and crossover films from largely Spain and Latin America, at Ventana Sur Latido will showcase Chilean Germán Acuña’s fantasy father-son drama “Nahuel and the Magic Book,” Latido’s first incursion into animated family entertainment; “Baby,” Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s stylish maternity-themed fairy tale, a standout at October’s Sitges; and the Rome and Busan Festival-selected “The Best Families,” “a critique of the deep-rooted prejudices, extreme social fragmentation and class inequality in modern-day Peru,” said its director, Javier Fuentes-Leon (“Undertow”).