Boston-based sales agent 34T has picked up international sales rights to Spanish writer-director Ana Ortiz’s feature debut, psychological thriller “El claro de las luciérnagas” (“Firefly Glades”).

Produced by Sergy Moreno at Madrid’s White Leaf Producciones, the film is structured as a Spanish regional co-production, teaming with Magnética Cine’s María Barroso in Andalusia and Joaquín Calderón at Navarra-based Melitón Films.

“Firefly Glades” figures among the 22 projects selected at Málaga’s 2023 Festival Fund & Co-Production Event (MAFF), which runs March 13-16 as part of Málaga Festival’s growing Mafiz industry area.

“Firefly Glades” follows Diana, a school teacher who finds herself lost with her students and a fellow teacher in the middle of a dense forest, after suffering an accident in the bus they were travelling in on their way to a camp.

Looking for a way out, they come across a hunter who offers to help lead them to safety. As the hours pass, Diana begins to suspect that the man may not be telling the whole truth. She will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to save the children and get out of the forest alive.

“There’s a lot of me, a lot of the fears I’ve grown up with, in the character of Diana. And I can say that I’ve suffered when I put myself into her skin, describing that tightness you feel in the pit of your stomach when you see that something is not right, that you’re heading into a dangerous situation,” writer-director Ana Ortiz told Variety

Producer Sergy Moreno described “Firefly Glades” as “a psychological and survival thriller, which plays with the atmosphere of the forest to build certain moments of fear and terror.” 

“The film will drag us into the limits of a teacher’s desperation to protect her lost students in a forest full of dangers. A staging worthy of the best horror stories and a tension that will keep us hooked until the end,” added Moreno, who also produced at White Leaf Javier Marco’s 2020 standout film debut “Josefina.”

Sideral Cinema, the new production-distribution label launched by Madrid’s Elamedia Estudios, will release the film in Spain.

Adding the producers’ contribution, private investment, the national distributor and international sales agent moneys, “the project has 30% of its financing confirmed,” Moreno noted.

Playing at Málaga as part of MAFF Women Screen Industry – CIMA sidebar, “Firefly Glades” previously participated in the CIMA Impulsa programme, aimed to promote the development of projects written by women scriptwriters, in order to facilitate their access to the audiovisual industry.