Icíar Bollaín is scouring Europe for an olive tree in El olivo
by Alfonso Rivera
- The filmmaker has kicked off the shoot for this Spanish-German co-production about losing one’s roots, starring award winner Javier Gutiérrez
On Monday 18 May, filming kicked off for El olivo [+see also:
interview: Icíar Bollaín
film profile] (lit. “The Olive Tree”), the new movie by Icíar Bollaín; the shoot will take place in Baix Maestrat (Castellón) and Düsseldorf, and the work is set to star the multi-award-winning Javier Gutiérrez (Marshland [+see also:
interview: Alberto Rodríguez
film profile]) alongside young actress Anna Castillo, who will breathe life into Alma: “She is self-destructive but capable of giving her all for the person she loves the most, a force of nature who can change the course of things,” according to the director. Morena Films is the driving force behind this co-production with Germany (Match Factory Productions), which also sees the participation of TVE and Canal +. It has a budget of over €4 million, and its international sales will be handled by Seville Films, a subsidiary of Eone.
The plot introduces us to this 20-year-old woman who dearly loves her grandfather, though he has not spoken for years. When the old man also starts refusing to eat, the young lady decides to recover the thousand-year-old tree that the family sold against his will. In order to succeed in this endeavour, she gets her uncle – who has been on the receiving end of the crisis – her friend Rafa and the whole town on board. Now they must find out where in Europe the olive tree is planted… and return it to its rightful place.
“Following our excellent partnership on Even the Rain [+see also:
interview: Icíar Bollaín
film profile], Icíar, Paul Laverty (the screenwriter) and I decided that we wanted to continue working together, and when he spoke to us about what was happening in Castellón with the thousand-year-old olive trees, we knew it was a story that was worth telling,” Juan Gordon, of Morena Films, tells Cineuropa. “This time, the shoot will be simpler, as it's an intimate story about a family's separation and about how, just through the arrival of a new generation, it can be reunited again. It's simpler on the production side, but more complex because of the performances and the emotions, which are a big part of the screenplay.”
(Translated from Spanish)
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