A Basque Country producer-director, Apellániz set up production company Sr. & Sra alongside Aritz Moreno. They produced the documentary “El último verano” and Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernández’s “The Spy Within” –ready for release. Now, Apellániz is pre-producing Moreno’s feature debut “Advantages of Traveling by Train,” starring Luis Tosar. What matters to Apellániz is: “smart, stimulating and humanist content. But, humor cannot be absent.” She has also recently founded an arthouse-driven label firm, Gipuzkoana de rodajes.
Courtesy of Leire Apellániz
Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi
Raised on the films of Almodóvar, the Javis are crowd-pleasing champions of new Spanish queer cinema. Well-known actors in successful Spanish TV-shows such as Atresmedia’s “Physical or Chemical,” they also created the webseries “Paquita Salas,” whose second season has just been acquired by Netflix. The two broke into cinema with their debut “Holy Camp,” which accumulated $3.3 million in Spain. According to the pair, “We love to make and see an inspirational cinema.”
Courtesy of Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi
“Carmen y Lola”
An entry at this year Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Echevarría’s first solo feature “Carmen y Lola” portrays a love relationship between two Roma women. She declares admiration for Claire Denis, Jacques Audiard and “those showing guts when it’s time to direct.” Her new project, “Chinese,” follows an adopted Chinese girl, and focuses on the uprooting of second-generation immigrants.
Courtesy of Arantxa Echevarria
Having studied in Galicia and Chicago, Gago graduated from the London Film School with “Curricán,” nominated at Clermont-Ferrand fest. His latest short, “Matria,” took the grand jury prize at Sundance this year. He’s now planning a feature based on that short, which he says will be a “local story submerged in the murky waters that bathe the west coast of Galicia,” and a new short, “Vigo, December 16th.”
Courtesy of Álvaro Gago
“The Fifth Gospel of Kaspar Hauser”
An illustrator, sculptor, writer and filmmaker, Gracia is a promising figure of new Galician cinema. He began with the short “Microfugas,” and won Rotterdam’s Fipresci award in 2013 with his feature debut “The Fifth Gospel of Kaspar Hauser.” “I’m interested in a self-reflexive cinema that explores its own boundaries/limits and tries to alter the viewer,” he explains.
“Life and Nothing More”
Hernández received plaudits for this year’s “Life and Nothing More,” Antonio Méndez Esparza’s sophomore feature, a winner at the 2018 Film Independent Awards. His career began with 2012 Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner “Here and There.” He is now in post on first-timer Jorge M. Fontana’s “Boi,” a co-production with Singapore and Romania, pre-sold to Netflix by Filmax Intl. “My decisions are always very instinctive, emotional,” says Hernández. “ I am always conditioned more by the characters than the stories.”
Courtesy of Pedro Hernández
Lafuente has worked as distributor (BTeam Pictures) and produced Paula Ortiz’s “The Bride.” He has four ongoing co-productions, among them Ortiz’s “Bluebeard,” and “Between Two Waters,” a follow-up to Isaki Lacuesta’s feature debut “The Legend of Time.” Lafuente says: “I am committed to quality arthouse cinema led by unique voices looking to amaze and challenge European audiences. Latin America co-productions bring our local talent beyond our borders.”
Courtesy of Álex Lafuente
An exponent of dazzling, ground-breaking new Galician cinema, Lage founded Zeitun films with director Oliver Laxe (2016 Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner “Mimosas”) and is behind films such as “Arraianos,” “The Fifth Gospel of Kaspar Hauser,” and “Costa Da Morte.” “My passion for cinema is rooted on making films exposed to the unexpected, always looking for some magic that can move the spectator,” he says. Lage is post-producing “Vertical Time” alongside Amanita Films.
Courtesy of Felipe Lage
Palomero studied at Béla Tarr’s Film Factory in Sarajevo. Her short films include “Balcony Boy” and “The Night of All Things.” “I like risky and honest cinema, subtle and suggestive features that are appealing, but lack artifice,” she says. She’s now developing feature debut “Las Niñas,” produced by Inicia Films and BTeam Pictures.
Courtesy of Pilar Palomero
“Tin & Tina”
Stein made the black and white short trilogy “Light & Darkness,” which snagged nominations and awards at Monterrey, Seville and Athens fests, among others. His works involve suspense, mystery and shocking visual impact. “I feel attracted to that kind of cinema capable of generating an emotional trip,” he says. He’s also developing a follow-up to his first short “Tin & Tina.”