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Jaione Camborda’s “The Rye Horn,” Enrique Buleo’s “Still Life with Ghosts” and Eva Saiz’s “Casa de fieras” feature among a bevy of new Spanish film projects to be offered at the 4th Madrid-based Incubator.

A mentorship program hosted by Madrid’s ECAM Film School, the Incubator has fast consolidated as one of the foremost development labs in Spain targeting producers of first and second features.

The 4th Incubator runs from April through October.

Projects were chosen from a preselection made from over 200 submitted projects led by The Screen program manager Gemma Vidal. All Incubator’s projects receive €10,000 ($11,820) for development. As valuable, however, will be the tutorship led, among directors, by Arantxa Echevarría (“Carmen & Lola”), Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“May God Save Us”), Juan Cavestany (“Spanish Shame”) and director-producer Alberto Marini (“Summer Camp”).

Producer mentors, packing a large experience and multiple hits, take in Simón de Santiago (“While at War”), Sandra Hermida (“The Impossible”), Marisa Fernández Armenteros (Oscar-nominated “The Mole Agent”) and Xavier Granada (“The Europeans”).

Past Incubator projects have been picked up for production by Netflix (David Casademunt’s “The Beast”), won three Spanish Academy Goya Awards (David Pérez Sañudo’s “Ane is Missing”), made the cut for San Sebastian’s New Directors’ competition (Lucía Alemany’s “The Innocence”), or segued from the Incubator to Berlin’s Co-production Market (Álvaro Gago’s “Matria”).

The five projects looking to follow suit this year:

“The Rye Horn” (Jaione Camborda)

The second feature from Camborda, a rising star on the burgeoning Galician arthouse cinema scene, who’s debut, “Arima,” took the New Waves Award at the 2019 Seville European Film Festival. Produced by Andrea Vázquez at Miramemira – the company behind Oliver Laxe’s Cannes winner “Fire Will Come”)- as well as Galicia’s Esnatu Zinema and Rodrigo Areias’ Bando à parte  in Portugal), the project was selected for San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak residency last year. Contextualizing maternity, femininity and identity in an early ‘70s rural Galicia, it centers on María, a stocky woman in her 40s who helps women during labor with dedication and tenderness. But María is forced to go on the run after a fatal event. “The film departs from traditionalism and delight in depicting period custom by incorporating aesthetics that at times might be mistaken with the present,” Camborda told Variety.

“Still Life with Ghosts” (Enrique Buleo)

Produced by Alejandra Mora at Valencia-based Quatre Films, “Ghosts” is multi-part black comedy in which ghosts and live humans in a Spanish village come to one another’s aid to try to end problems haunting them.

Mora underscores Buleo’s “absolutely original sense of humor and mise-en-scène,” adding that he loves to mix comedy and drama in almost macabre ways in equally absurd and hostile universes. Selected for the Sources 2 development and training program, “Ghosts” won the Albacete local prize at Spanish projects market Abycine Lanza.

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Ainhoa Menendez and Jaione Camborda Credit: ECAM

“Casa de fieras” (House of Beasts, Eva Saiz)

“A homage to childhood, understood as a different way of seeing the world,” Saiz’s project follows eight-year-old Pablo during what may prove to be the last summer of his childhood. Pablo takes refuge from a reality he doesn’t understand by inventing an imaginary friend who lives in an old Madrid’s menagerie. When his friend disappears one night,  the kid runs away from home to find him. A “vivid portrait of childhood and children’s reality coping mechanisms,” said producers Raquel Pedreira and David Moreno, at Almaina Producciones, Casa de fires marks the first feature from Saiz who took bet short and an Audience Awards at 2019’s Malaga Film Festival.

“In the Flesh” (Ainhoa Menéndez)

Produced by Nuria Landete and selected for development at Coofilm, a Spanish female residence program and Greece’s MFI Script 2 Film, Menéndez’s feature debut depicts a love story filtered through a fantastic genre prism. Exploring the search for identity, a recurring theme in my shorts,” said Menéndez, it turns on Mara, “a lonely girl used to abandonment all her life and who, in order to get people to stay with her, has no choice but to eat them,” she added. When Mara, a supermarket stocker, meets Sandra, a girl who radiates life and joy,the question is whether her life could take on a new turn.

“The Dashed Lines” (Anxos Fazáns)

Produced by Silvia Fuentes at Sétima Media, “The Dashed Lines” marks Fazáns second feature. It turns on a seemingly unlikely complicity between 50-year-old Bea, mother of a little girl, a kindergarten teacher and former rock band member, and Denís, a 25-year-old transgender boy desperately seeking employment. With Anxos, we tried to developing the type of cinema that excites us: European cinema with a markedly arthouse feel, but capable of reaching audiences,” Fuentes said. Project was also selected for 2020’s Sources 2.