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Agustí Villaronga’s Dramedy ‘Loli Tormenta’ Boarded by Film Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

Agusti Villaronga
Courtesy of Agusti Villaronga/Getty Images

Film Factory Entertainment has taken international rights to “Loli Tormenta,” the next film by one of Spain’s foremost auteurs, Agustí Villaronga (“The Belly of the Sea,” “Uncertain Glory”). Shooting is scheduled for the first week of July in Barcelona.

Enrique González Kuhn’s Caramel Films distributes “Loli Tormenta” in Spain. It is co-produced by the Basque Country’s Irusoin, which is behind Spanish Oscar entry “The Endless Trench,” and Barcelona’s Vilaüt Films, which backed Carla Simón’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs.”

A bittersweet dramedy, “Loli Tormenta” focuses on the close relationship between Lola, a modern, sporty grandma, with her grandsons. They’ve been living together since the kids’ mother died, while their respective fathers show no interest in them. The humble life of this unexpected family on the outskirts of Barcelona goes on without major surprises until she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are delighted to work again with Agustí after the success of ‘Uncertain Glory.’ We rely on his expertise to deliver a new, original and fresh film. The script is a gem and we know that the international market will love it,” said Film Factory’s Vicente Canales.

Although the project has a dramedic premise, “it’s a tough story at its heart. The tone will depend on Agustí, whether he takes it to one territory or another,” said Xabier Berzosa, at Irusoin. “But I think he definitely wants the movie to have light, and optimism within its tough nature. With a director like Agustí, we’re delighted to blindly trust him. That’s part of the game,” he added.

Villaronga’s long career runs a very broad gamut: From a scathing take on migration in “The Belly of the Sea,” which swept the board at 2021’s Málaga Festival, to emotionally brutal Spanish Civil War drama “Black Bread” and introspective horror movie “Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer,” just to name three titles.

Scriptwriter Mario Torrecillas and Villaronga “decided not to make a film with any ‘transcendental’ aim. We’d like to try to appeal to the audiences through narrative simplicity. And tenderness and humor were crucial,” said Villaronga.

“It’s a challenge for me to take on a comedy for the first time. I wanted to rescue the comic heritage of Spanish cinema masters, a humor which isn’t always black but is consistently irreverent and surrealistic, tipping my hat, distances apart, to Berlanga, Buñuel and Almodóvar,” Villaronga confessed.