LaCima Producciones, the company behind Luis López Carrasco multi-prize winner doc “The Year of the Discovery,” is joining forces with Colombia’s Sandelion on archive film project “Elena Gave Birth to a Beautiful Child.”
Madrid-based Begin Again Films handles international sales and has also taken Spanish distribution rights.
Co-directed by Chiara Marañón, head of content at streaming service Mubi, and Colombia’s Juan Soto Taborda, “Elena Gave Birth” taps the domestic archive of Miquelina Fiter, made up of cans of film and video tapes spanning six decades of the 20th century.
The doc will explore the traces of time in the history of a family from the Catalan city of Vic and Spain under Franco’s dictatorship.
The film will use almost wholly archive images, particularly those of the Miquelina Fiter Fund, found by Soto, and deposited at the Catalonia Cinematheque.
A first task for the project is to order and contextualize all the background material with the help of a historian. Then a specialist will restore the films.
The production team aims to record interviews with Miquelina’s children, living in Vic and Barcelona, as well with other family members and friends, who will help audiences understand the family story that the doc wants to relate to Spain’s recent history.
LaCima co-founder Pedro Palacios enumerated several aspects of the new project that would spark market interest. “The film is to be built from a unique family film archive. Because of the filmmaker’s gaze that Miquelina Fiter possessed, without being aware of it, together with the vast period of time that the archive spans, in which different formats are also used, that tell us about the passage of time through the film material.”
But above all “Elena Gave Birth” should enthuse spectators “because of the way in which its directors want to relate to the material: organically and narratively, bringing to light the power of images not in an illustrative way but by articulating a discourse.”
Hailed as one of the most important Spanish films made this century, Luis López Carrasco’s “The Year of the Discovery,” a searing account of industrial reconversion in 1992, which anticipated Spain’s double-backed recessions begun by the 2008 financial crisis, snagged two Goya 2021 Awards, for best documentary and best editing, as well as plaudits from outside Spain.
“‘The Year of the Discovery'” confirmed us that it is possible to produce auteur cinema that connects with a wide audience. In addition, it has helped LaCima to gain greater credibility with institutions, companies and organizations, and also made TV platforms and networks interested in the new productions that we are developing,” Palacios argued.
Both “The Year of the Discovery” and “Elena Gave Birth” “talk about our close environment and have the ambition to expand the public debate on our recent history outside of the most widespread and accepted ideas,” he explained.
“Above all, they are films with a strong auteurist gaze, directed by highly talented and sensitive professionals who want to connect with an adult audience, inside and outside the most common auteur cinema environment. Both titles want to plumb how great events resonate in people’s lives,” he added.
On “Elena Gave Birth to a Beautiful Child,” Barcelona and Madrid-based LaCima Producciones is teaming with Colombian producer Sandra Tabares-Duque at Sandelion Productions.
“There is a ramification in the story that speaks about Colombia, migration, dictatorships and the impact of religion, matters that are in Miquelina’s archives,” Palacios said.
Sandelion is bringing to the table the Colombian director and scriptwriter, as well as those responsible for sound and color, and Tabares-Duque production work.
“Elena Gave Birth” has won support from the Catalonia Cinematheque, Vic Town Hall and Spain’s ICAA film institute.