Executive producer Nuria Landete and Spanish production-distribution company Elamedia are teaming to co-produce the feature debut of Ainhoa Menéndez, “In the Flesh,” a romantic drama with dashes of terror.

The project is being developed at Spain’s Incubator platform, a six-month producer mentorship initiative, which is part of The Screen industry program at the Madrid Film and Audiovisual School (ECAM).

“Flesh” follows Mara, a woman almost in her thirties, working as a stock girl in a supermarket, who grew up in foster homes. Throughout her life all the people she has loved have abandoned her, so to get them to stay with her, she decides to eat them. Mara will have to face her cannibal instincts when she meets Sandra and falls in love with her.

“I think what makes ‘In The Flesh’ original is the treatment of its characters, the terrifying impulse that Mara suffers which is just a consequence of how lonely and abandoned she feels, and this is something universal that can happen to any of us at some stage of our lives,” Nuria Landete told Variety. 

She added: “Ainhoa wants the audience to be able to understand Mara even if it doesn’t share her animal impulse.” Landete will participate with “Flesh” at the next Luxembourg EAVE Marketing workshop. The title has also been selected  for the EAVE On Demand workshop at the Sevilla European Film Festival as well as Albacete’s Abycine Lanza independent film market.

A Berlinale Talent alum in 2016, Menéndez, who directed the shorts “Dolls Factory” and “Stela” explained that a search of her identity is a common element in all her previous works. This continues in her debut, where “weird characters, societal misfits seek to find themselves and/or someone to love. They are people who suffer a deep solitude,” the director added.

“It’s a story with large narrative and commercial potential which may interest a young audience eager for new roles and social models, due to the psychological interest of the characters,” Roberto Butragueño, CEO at Elamedia told Variety. He added: “An audience fonder of genre or the most bizarre stories, owing to the strangeness of its set-up, should also be interested.” Elamedia will also handle Spanish distribution.

Madrid-based, Elamedia owns studios and post-production facilities. It took Spanish rights to Magnus von Horn’s “Sweat” and Lois Patiño’s “Red Moon Tide.” The company is also linked to international sales company 34t.tv which is based in Massachusetts’ Westwood. 34t.tv has taken international rights to films such as Pablo Maqueda’s “Dear Werner” and Paúl Venegas’ “Emptiness.”

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In the Flesh Courtesy of Nuria Landete