Berlinale Talents is in itself one of the biggest, if temporary hubs, for burgeoning creatives in film and TV. Here, Variety spreads the net slightly wider to spotlight 10 on the rise writers-directors.
Miguel Ángel Blanca
Director of two features to date, including sci-fi thriller “I Want the Eternal,” Blanca’s films skew towards tragicomedy, talks about double lives and everyday darkness. To world premiere shortly, his latest movie, “Magaluf Ghost Town,” addresses the downsides of intrusive tourism. “I’m happy genre-bending, twisting film language, working between documentary and fiction, mixing comedy and horror to create a dark image of everyday life,” he says.
Luis López Carrasco
His first feature, “El Futuro,” world premiered at Locarno, receiving excellent reviews. Lightning’s struck twice with his an epic 300-minute doc feature “The Year of Discovery,” an analysis of Spain’s apparently boom decade of the ‘90s which has become the first documentary ever to be nominated for a best feature Goya Award. Carrasco will continue “exploring the past to shed new light and create angles to understand the present” in his next project, about the first Spaniard who refused to perform military service.
Her first and only short, the 3D, no dialog, family targeting “Roberto,” garnered 45 prizes off selection for over 100 festivals. “I love stories told with little means, auteur cinema that’s recognizable in just a few frames, and especially stories that thrill and accompany me for days,” Córdoba says. Next: a new 2D short, “Amarradas,” about mother-daughter bonds, and early preparation of her first animated feature.
“Veneno” creators Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi signed Costafreda to the writers’ room of TV phenomenon “Veneno” after watching her shorts, also praised by “Pose” and “Euphoria” writers. The Javis, as they are called, will now join Atresmedia TV and Buendía Estudios to produce Atresplayer Premium original drama series “Cardo,” co-created by Costafreda. Trained at Barcelona prestige Escac film school, Costafreda says that “there are still many unknown stories to tell, exploring emotions of misunderstood characters who have been deprived of any voice.”
A London Film School alum, Faus’ “The Death of Don Quixote” earned him a best short Mélies d’Argent at Spain’s Sitges Film Festival. Backed by producer Saint Denis, he’s currently developing a feature prequel to his second short “Calladita,” which was selected for Los Angeles’ Short to Feature Lab. It depicts the bourgeoisie in Catalonia from the POV of a Latin American domestic worker. “I feel attracted to a personal cinema and need characters and stories that really thrill me,” he says.
Nuria Giménez Lorang
Following her short “Kaffeneio,” journalist and translator-turned-director Giménez found 29 hours of family footage and decided to create a poetic but fictitious movie from it. The result, mockumentary “My Mexican Bretzel,” has won festival acclaim and now a 2021 Goya nomination. “I want to make films that fascinate and obsess me, and allow me to create with total freedom, and find the unexpected,” Giménez says. She is currently working on a similar format involving archive footage.
Produced by Rocío Mesa at My Deer Films, Gurrea’s first project, “Mbah Jhiwo” (“Ancient Soul” ), has been put through ParisDoc, Cinema du Reel, Cannes Doc, and San Sebastian’s WIP Europa. Now playing Berlinale’s Forum, it examines traces of colonialism still playing out in a mining community in East Java. Gurrea hopes “Mbah Jhiwo” is “amateur in its classic meaning of “lover”; and marginal in its willingness to explore certain limits.”
Macipe is making his first feature “Blue Star,” backed by Alejandro Amenábar’s regular producers at Mod. Inspired by real events, set in the ‘90s and to be shot in Argentina and Spain, “Star” will focus on a quixotic musical duo formed by a famous drug-addled Spanish rocker touring Latin America and a veteran down-on-his-luck musician. “My aim is to make a cinema which is unclassifiable in genre, fictitious and honest in equal parts,” Macipe says.
David Pérez Sañudo
Chosen for Madrid’s prestige ECAM Incubator, Pérez Sañudo’s feature debut, an mother-daughter relationship drama examining barriers between people and communities has snagged five 2021 Goya nominations. Currently, Sañudo is developing two projects, one based around the E.U. Erasmus program and the other inspired by Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador. “I like cinema which is understood as a political act, even when it tackles everyday issues, but with a bold world vision,” he says.
Rodríguez’s first feature, “Destello bravío,” a social, rural and surreal fantasy with documentary touches, world premiered at February’s Rotterdam Festival becoming one of its most-viewed titles. Her next project is a kind of Western revolving around her childhood memories, she says. “I like cinema which is made from the gut and with the greatest of freedom. I’m interested in courageous works that transgress repetitive hegemonic stories.”
(Pictured: (L-R) Javier Macipe, Claudia Costafreda, David Pérez Sañudo, Nuria Giménez and Miguel Ángel Blanca)