‘All Quiet on the Western Front,‘ ‘Argentina 1985’ and ‘The Quiet Girl’ Producers on the Importance of Focusing a Story on ‘Everyday’ Characters

Top Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso felt it was important to get behind Santiago Mitre’s film “Argentina 1985” because the story is a reminder, “that if we don’t create a memory with our art, chances are this will happen again.”

Alonso was speaking as part of Variety’s FYC Fest: The Producers. She was joined by fellow producers Malte Grunert of “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Cleona Ní Chrualaoí from “The Quiet Girl.”

“Argentina 1985” focuses on the true story of how a public prosecutor, a young lawyer and their legal team set out to prosecute the heads of Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship. “This was an important legacy to do beyond the fact that it is about your everyday superheroes,” Alonso said.

Speaking to the importance of why it was necessary to tell the story of “All Quiet of the Western Front,” the World War I drama based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Grunert said not only was the story relevant in these modern times, but like “Argentina 1985,” the film should serve as a reminder. “It’s to remind ourselves that war is not an adventure and what could happen if we don’t resist these right-wing propaganda and nationalistic lies that have also entered the political discourse in many European countries and around the world over the last 15 years,” Grunert explained.

In casting “A Quiet Girl,” producer Ní Chrualaoí and director/writer Colm Bairéad decided to cast the film themselves. “There aren’t a huge amount of characters in the film and because it’s an Irish language film, there’s only a very small talent pool of Irish actors that can act in the Irish language,” she said.

“A Quiet Girl” depicts a neglected young girl who is sent to live with foster parents for the summer, eventually uncovering a large secret. The biggest challenge was finding the actor to play Cáit, the young girl, the producer revealed. “We were very conscious of this young person [who] not only has to deliver a great performance, but she also has to carry the weight of responsibility of the whole film, and she’s in practically every scene. So, we knew it had to be somebody quite mature and just able to handle the pressure of a feature film.”

“Young people sometimes have a tendency to overact and to do stage acting,” Chrualaoí said. For Catherine Clinch, who booked the part, “it was almost just less is more. She was able to deliver a few scenes in a very natural, organic way,” said Ní Chrualaoí.