Six Spanish projects make their way to Paris for Small is Biútiful
by Fabien Lemercier
- French professionals will be able to discover projects by Max Lemcke, Asier Altuna, Jo Sol, Pablo Aragüés, Pilar Palomero and David Martín de los Santos
Organised as part of "Dífferent 10! L'autre cinéma espagnol" by Espagnolas en París and the Ile-de-France Film Commission, in partnership with the Cannes Film Festival’s Film Market, Small is Biútiful unspools today at the Patio Opéra, gathering together French producers, distributors and international sales agents around a selection of six Spanish feature-film projects brought along by top-notch auteurs in search of French partners. The rendezvous has already proven to be highly effective, with a slew of films having passed through the platform in previous years, including The Mother [+see also:
interview: Alberto Morais
film profile] by Alberto Morais (currently on general release in France), Mimosas [+see also:
interview: Oliver Laxe
film profile] by Oliver Laxe (Grand Prix in the Cannes Critics’ Week) and Magical Girl [+see also:
interview: Carlos Vermut
film profile] by Carlos Vermut (which was victorious at San Sebastián in 2014).
Standing out among the projects being presented is Cosmética del enemigo by Max Lemcke (who won at Malaga in 2011 with Cinco metros cuadrados [+see also:
interview: Max Lemcke
film profile]), which is being staged by Juan Romero for Madrilenian company LikeDo Media. The story, written by the director together with Pep Garrido, revolves around a businessman who is at the airport, reading as he waits for a heavily delayed flight; he is approached by another passenger, who starts talking to him. The loquacious stranger starts to tell him about events that initially intrigue him, but which then become increasingly horrifying and bloodthirsty. These macabre confessions soon have a disconcerting effect on his listener, taking hold of him and turning the delay into his worst nightmare...
Also accepted for this year’s edition is the project El Cas Maldoror by Jo Sol (popular recently with Living and Other Fictions [+see also:
interview: Jo Sol
film profile], which was unveiled out of competition at San Sebastián and won Cinemed in Montpellier last year), produced by Loris Omedes for Barcelona-based outfit Bausan Films. An adaptation by the filmmaker of the famous novel Les Chants de Maldoror by the Comte de Lautréamont, crossed with a reconstruction of the eventful life of its author (real name Isidore Ducasse), the project is slated to shoot in France in February 2018 with a French cast.
The 2017 Small is Biútiful selection also includes The Cricket Hunter by Asier Altuna (nominated for the Goya Award for Best New Director in 2006 with Aupa Etxebeste! and whose previous opus, Amama (When a Tree Falls) [+see also:
interview: Asier Altuna
film profile], took part in the competition at San Sebastián in 2015), staged by Basque outfit Txintxua Films. Written by the director, the story unfolds at the heart of a family (made up of two parents and their two thirty-something daughters) as the imminent death of the father looms, and questions are asked about one’s freedom to decide where to live and how to die.
Also of note is 1200 Souls by Pablo Aragüés, a fantasy-thriller project. Written by the director, the story follows a young woman as she comes back to the village her family originally came from, in order to carry out the last wishes of her dead mother. But very strange events seem to be unfolding there... Production duties are being handled by Marta Cabrera Producciones, a company based in Zaragoza.
A female director is also among those selected, in the guise of Pilar Palomero and her feature-debut project Las niñas (produced by Valerie Delpierre for Inicia Films), the story of which is set in a Catholic school for girls in 1992. It boasts a provisional cast that includes Carmen Maura, Elvira Mínguez and Lola Dueñas. Partners already attached include international sales agent New Europe Film Sales.
Lastly, the project La vida era eso by David Martín de los Santos (produced by Damián París for Lolita Films) will also be presented; the film also sees Carmen Maura among the provisional cast, flanked by Anna Castillo. Written by the director, the story starts to unfold with an encounter between two Spanish female immigrants of different generations, who are sharing a room at a French hospital. Totally unexpectedly, it’s the younger of the two who dies, and given that nobody comes to claim her body, the older woman decides to head to Spain with her ashes in search of her family.
(Translated from French)
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