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David Pérez Sañudo, Manuel Martín Cuenca, Leire Apellániz Unveil New Films at EAVE on Demand Sevilla

Manuel Martin Cuenca , David Perez
Courtesy of Manuel Martin Cuenca , David Perez Sañudo and Leire Apellaniz

New projects by David Pérez Sañudo, the rising young star of Basque cinema, Manuel Martín Cuenca, whose last four films have all been selected for Toronto, and Leire Apellániz, with one of the most ambitious Basque features in the making, all feature in a high-caliber lineup of projects at EAVE on Demand Sevilla, a development workshop.

Madrid ECAM Incubator alum Ainhoa Menéndez and Berlinale Teddy Award winner María Trénor Colomer also have already announced projects at EAVE on Demand, which kicks off industry events at Seville on Nov. 8 with a masterclass, Script Development Strategies, by Clare Downs.

Further masterclasses, given by Oliver Damian, on European Co-Production and the Role of the Producer, and Aranka Matits, on Distribution & the International Market, aim to provide the directors with the necessary skills to navigate a highly competitive market, which Martín Cuenca and Apellániz already have experience with titles such as “Cannibal” and “The Sacred Spirit.”

Here’s a breakdown on the EAVE on Demand projects:

“50 Picograms,” (“50 Picograms,” David Pérez Sañudo)

Playing New Directors at the 2020 San Sebastian Festival, Pérez Sañudo’s first feature, “Ane is Missing,” delivered a critique of he modern challenges facing that most Basque of institutions, matriarchy, as well as local communities, under pressure from new frontiers, geographical and generational. The feature’s best Basque Film Irizar Award, which these days is a highly competitive plaudit, has launched Pérez Sañudo. “50 Picograms,” set up at Olmo Figueredo’s La Claqueta, is just one of multiple projects. A doc feature, it turns on the traces of clenbuterol found in the blood of Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, which caused him to be stripped of his 2010 Tour de France win.

“Andrea’s Love,” (“El Amor de Andrea,” Manuel Martín Cuenca)

Featuring highly disparate anti-heroes – a cannibal, a failed novelist, a teen surrogate mother – Martín Cuenca’s movies take broad genre set-ups and invest them with the psychological complexity of an art film. Given that, the Cadiz-set “Andrea’s Love” may represent something of a departure: A family drama, to be told in a reportedly light comedic tone, in which Andrea, 16, attempts to recuperate her father, who disappears after her parents’ divorce.

“In the Flesh,” (“En carne viva,” Ainhoa Menéndez)

Developed at this year’s Madrid Film School (ECAM) Incubator, a now constant source of some of Spain’s most arresting feature debuts, Menéndez’s first feature marks another cross between a genre setup and auteurist emphasis on characterization: Mara, a supermarket stocker, eats people – until she falls in love with Sara and battles to repress her instincts. Produced by Nuria Landete and production-distribution house Elamedia, the romantic drama continues Menéndez’s signature theme of  a search for identity in a film of “weird characters, societal misfits who suffer deep solitude and seek to find themselves and/or someone to love,” she told Variety.

“Rock Bottom,” (Maria Trenor Colomer)

One of Spain’s most singular animation projects, from the respected Spanish animation director Trenor, winner of a Berlinale Teddy Award for 2004’s short “With What Shall I Wash It?” A mix of 2D and 3D, the love story of Bob and Alif, two artists caught in the captive whirlwind of the early ‘70s, is inspired by the early life and acclaimed 1973 art rock album of ex-Soft Machine vocalist and drummer Robert Wyatt. Set up at Alba Sotorra Cinema Productions and a title crying out for U.K. co-production.

“Zuria,” (Leire Apellániz)  

The latest project as a director of Leire Apellániz, a bold producer at San Sebastian’s Sr. & Sra. whose producer credits include “Advantages of Traveling By Train” and this year’s “Sacred Spirit,” a Locarno Festival standout. After her well received directorial debut, 2016’s “The Last Summer,” and this year’s “Cosmic Chant. Niño de Elche,” “Zuria” marks Apellániz’s first fiction film as a director. It is set in 2077, mixing breakneck action, character-driven sci-fi and nature documentary and is co-produced by Sayaka, the company behind “Timecrimes,” “Extraterrestial” and “Open Window.” A top Basque project to track.