Participating in this year’s Marché du Film Speed Meetings for Spanish projects, La Claqueta’s highly-anticipated project “Tobacco Barns” has picked up a new co-producer in Belén Sánchez, one of Variety’s Catalan producers on the rise for 2020 as announced earlier this week, and a top independent sales agency in Spain’s Latido Films.
Sánchez comes to the production from Un Capricho Producciones, a company which has proven itself among the best at backing female filmmakers, including Lucia Alemany’s 2019 breakout San Sebastian hit “La Inocencia.”
Several films from Latido’s Spanish industry-leading catalog are hosting market screenings at this year’s Marché du Film, including Morena Films’ “Tales of the Lockdown,” featured in a Cinema from Spain pitching platform held at the Marché du Film on Wednesday, Agustí Villaronga’s “Born a King,” starring Ed Skrein and Hermione Corfield, “La Noche Mágica,” “The Sea Beyond,” “My Heart Goes Boom,” “Wishlist,” “Hotel Coppelia,” “The Heist of the Century” and “Dogwashers.”
California-based writer-director Rocío Mesa, who has previously worked in documentary, will make her fiction feature debut with “Tobacco Barns,” a fantastic tale set in rural Spain. In the film, Julian, a boy spending the summer in his grandparents’ village, comes across a friendly monster living in his grandparent’s derelict tobacco barn. In the same village, a teenage girl named Nieves is forced to work the tobacco harvest at her own family’s barn. While Julian experiences the freedom and beauty of the countryside, Nieves feels caged in her own reality. A coming of age story with touches of magical realism that will be portrayed by local non-professional actors.
“There is a new generation of women filmmakers coming on strong in Spain, as ‘Summer 1993’ proved,” Latido head of acquisitions and festivals Óscar Alonso explained to Variety. “Rocío Mesa cast a spell on us with this story that is many things at once but creates an unforgettable experience.”
“It’s a summer story, a romantic look at a very special place (la Vega de Granada) which is slowly fading away,” he went on. “It introduces urban and rural worlds through the points of view of two characters who will stay with the audience for a long time. That the film received Sundance Institute support and was selected by ICAA as one of the 10 most promising Spanish projects reaffirms that we are on the right track boarding ‘Tobacco Barns.’”
Seville’s La Claqueta has established itself as one of Spain’s premiere independent production houses. Last year, the company partnered on 15-time Spanish Academy Goya nominee, San Sebastian Spanish Actors Union Award winner and Netflix pickup “The Endless Trench,” and this year will release romantic drama “El Verano Que Vivimos,” co-produced with Atresmedia and Bambú, and comedy “El Inconveniente,” originally set to premiere at the now-postponed Malaga Film Festival.
“‘Tobacco Barns’ is just the first of what we hope will be several collaborations with a produce we admire,” Latido head Antonio Saura said of working with La Claqueta’s Olmo Figueredo.