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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Fran Torres filming La jefa

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- Madrid is playing host to the shoot for the Spanish director’s feature debut, toplined by Argentina’s Cumelén Sanz and Spaniard Aitana Sánchez Gijón

Fran Torres filming La jefa
Director Fran Torres and actresses Cumelén Sanz and Aitana Sánchez Gijón during the shoot for La jefa

La jefa (lit. “The Boss”) is the title of the first feature film directed by Fran Torres, starring Aitana Sánchez Gijón and Cumelén Sanz, which is being shot in Madrid this July; principal photography is slated to last a total of five weeks. Before making the leap to directing features, Torres forged a prolific and successful career as a director of adverts and helmed the short films Hoy por ti, mañana por mí, which was nominated for a Goya Award in 2003, and Duelo (2017). The cast of this feature is rounded off by Pedro Casablanc (seen recently in It Snows in Benidorm [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
]
), Álex Pastrana and Vanesa Rasero.

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The plot of La jefa introduces us to Sofía, an ambitious employee of a multinational specialising in fashionable wedding attire, who unintentionally ends up getting pregnant. With her family outside Spain and with her unable to have an abortion, given her fervent religious convictions, she seems destined to return to her homeland and give up on the promising professional career that she has fought so hard for. However, her boss, Beatriz, a self-made woman whom Sofía admires more than anyone else, comes to her with an unusual proposition: to let her adopt her child, and in exchange, she will be able to continue moving up through the ranks of the company. Sofía accepts the offer, unaware that not everything is exactly as her superior has told her…

The screenplay, penned by Laura Sarmiento (who cut her teeth by writing series such as Crematorium, Isabel and The Zone, among others), tells the story of the toxic relationship between two strong, independent women who are aware that they are alone in the world: Beatriz, who has apparently achieved everything in life that she set out to do; and Sofía, who thinks she is ready to do whatever it takes to get the life she believes she deserves.

Therefore, it’s all about a duel between two characters, who are brought to life by Sánchez-Gijón, a seasoned, famous Spanish actress (albeit born in Rome) who is currently highly popular and very much in demand, as she appears in Parallel Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, the latest drama film by Pedro Almodóvar, which will open the competition at the upcoming Venice Film Festival; and Argentinian thesp Sanz, who is unknown in Spain but who has a promising career ahead of her, having been nominated for Best New Actress at the Premios Sur, the awards organised by her country’s film academy, for her turn in Fernanda Ramondo’s Don’t Forget About Me (2016).

“The first thing that won me over about the script was the richness and the accuracy of the portrayal of these two lead characters, Beatriz (the Spanish boss) and Sofía (the foreign employee), and how their relationship encapsulates many of the tensions we see in today’s society, such as classism, ultraliberalism, feminism and surrogate mothers... They appear in the film right from the get-go,” remarks the director. “It manages to capture all of these strains and stresses present in the public discourse without descending into clichés. Plus, both protagonists are unpredictable – they don’t fit into any of the predetermined templates that fiction often uses to portray female characters.”

La jefa is being produced by Feelgood Media, Republicana de Cine (Dany Boyero and Fran Torres himself), Kowalski Films and Penúltima Toma AIE. Its international sales will be entrusted to Film Factory, and it will be released in Spain by Filmax.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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