Ester Expósito, one of the stars of Netflix global hit “Elite,” is attached to star “The Wailing” (“El Llanto”), co-written by Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s regular co-scribe Isabel Peña (“The Beasts”) and directed by talent-to-track Pedro Martín-Calero (“Secrets”). It’s one of the most powerful Spanish-language packages being brought onto Berlin’s European Film Market.
The auteur genre movie has gone into production, shooting in Madrid, Buenos Aires and La Plata.
Film Factory Entertainment has acquired international rights. “The Wailing” is lead produced by on-the-rise Madrid production house Caballo Films, behind Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s films, including “The Beasts,” a best picture Goya on Feb. 11.
The feature debut of Spain’s Pedro Martín-Calero, “The Wailing” turns on a seemingly invisible evil. “No one can see it with the naked eye, but its presence has always been there. 20 years ago he stalked Camila and Marie. Now, 10,000 kilometers away, Andrea has begun to hear the wailing,” the synopsis runs.
France’s Mathilde Ollivier (Netflix’s “1899,” J.J.Abrams’ “Overlord”) and Argentina’s Malena Villa, star of Cannes Un Certain Regard title “El Ángel,” co-star.
Marked out by a bold high-style, often stunning settings and strong narrative, Martín-Calero’s work to date includes Weeknd pop video “Secrets,” commercials – the vertigo-inducing Honda Civic – Up, for instance” – or fiction vignettes: “Julius Cesar.”
“We believe this is a truly unique groundbreaking film that will bring something very new to the horror genre. Martín-Calero has an intelligent sophisticated way to tell an entertaining story fully imbued in contemporary social commentary,” Vicente Canales, Film Factory general director, told Variety.
A Spain-Argentina-France co-production, “The Wailing” is produced by Caballo Films, whose 2023 credits also include “The Route,” winner of three top plaudits at Spain’s recent Feroz Awards, Setembro Cine (“A Fantastic Woman”), Tandem Films (“Close Your Eyes”), Tarea Fina (“Sleepwalkers”) and France’s Noodles (“One Year, One Night”).
The film in Spain is backed by RTVE and Prime Video and will be released by Universal Pictures International Spain.
“From minute one we have been captivated by the forcefulness of the script and the clarity with which Pedro approaches the way of transmitting this story,” the producers said.
They added: “Even though it is his first feature film, Pedro is far from being considered as a new director. We have been following his career for a long time, which is marked by the potential for a unique visual and narrative universe.”
He has won awards at Cannes Lions Intl. Festival of Creativity, British Arrow, Kinsale Shark Advertising Festival and the Art Directors Club of Europe.
Thanks to her break-out role in “Elite,” Expósito” has co-starred in Manolo Caro’s “Someone Has to Die” and starred in Jaume Balagueró’s “Venus” and An Instagram video of Espósito dancing reggaeton track “El Efecto” snagged 93 million views.
Peña’s credits taken in Sorogoyen’s features “Mother,” “May God Save Us” and “The Candidate,” screenplay winners at San Sebastian and the Goyas, as well as his standout Movistar+ series “Riot Police,” which has snagged more than 20 international awards.