Ian de la Rosa • Director of Iván & Hadoum
“My wish is to explore the concept of 'trans' beyond that of transgender”
- BERLINALE 2023: The Spanish first-time director breaks down his Avalon PC-produced film, which won the Eurimages Co-production Development Award at the German gathering
Spanish first-time director Ian de la Rosa spoke to Cineuropa after winning the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, which includes a cash prize of €20,000, at the recent Berlin Film Festival (see the news). The story follows Iván, a trans man, and Hadoum, a Spanish-Moroccan woman, who fall in love at the industrial greenhouse they work in. While facing opposition from their families and co-workers, Iván realises he doesn’t need to be the man he is expected to be. The project is being produced by Emilia Fort for Avalon PC.
Cineuropa: Could you give us some more information about your project?
Ian de la Rosa: Iván & Hadoum is my debut feature film, a classic love story with two very particular characters that are rarely represented on screen. The story takes place in Almería, my homeland, and my wish is to explore the concept of “trans” beyond that of transgender. If Iván represents my reflections and emotions about trans identity, the character of Hadoum represents my previous research on transculturalism, specifically in the Spanish-Moroccan context. That is why I have opted to tell a love story, seeking out their points of connection and exploring the love that can arise from the empathy between the different ideas of “trans”, and between two realities that seem to have little in common but are actually reflected in each other.
What is the current state of development, and what are your aims for the near future?
Although the development of Iván & Hadoum officially started with Avalon and Vayolet at the beginning of 2022, my previous [short] works Victor XX  and Farrucas  were already audiovisual explorations of the transgender and transcultural world of the main characters in Iván & Hadoum. I am currently working on the script to create a solid version that we are all confident in, so as to secure financing for production. For me, the main difficulty in terms of development has to do with the conflicts related to our characters' families and the universe of the industrial greenhouse where Iván and Hadoum are trying to find their place. This is why I plan to return to Almería to continue working on the script in order to get closer to the truth of this reality and, therefore, that of each character: their fears, desires and needs.
How was your experience at this year’s Berlinale Co-Production Market?
It was a unique experience to have the opportunity to participate in the Berlinale Co-Production Market with my producer, Emilia Fort. We are constantly in creative discussions about our project, and it was great to share our vision with other international industry professionals and collect their feedback. The exchange was super enriching, and I also learned a lot about co-producing. Of course, winning the Eurimages Co-production Development Award has focused a lot of attention on the project. We are very happy and honoured to have received such recognition. In short, we couldn't have imagined a better outcome from our attendance. It has been key for putting the project on the international map, and many companies from different countries have expressed great interest in our film. Emilia is already in touch with them to discuss potential collaborations, so let's see!
How are you planning to use the Eurimages Co-production Development Award?
This award is very important to us, not only for the huge recognition it brings, but also because it will enable us to keep working on Iván & Hadoum's development in the best possible way. With this and the support we have received from the ICEC development fund, we will be able to continue working from Almería at this crucial stage. Of course, we'll be working on the script, as I mentioned earlier, but we'll also be exploring locations and casting. Since our main characters are very specific – an Andalusian trans man and an Andalusian-Moroccan woman – it is essential to start working on this, as well as to keep investigating the particularities of the film’s universe on the ground.
When do you expect to have your project ready for release?
Hopefully in 2025, but we are working on solving the puzzle, so you’ll have to stayed tuned!
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