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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Pilar Palomero wraps the shoot for her sophomore film, La Maternal

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- The teen drama is being produced by Inicia Films and Bteam Prods, and its international sales will be handled by Elle Driver

Pilar Palomero wraps the shoot for her sophomore film, La Maternal
Carla Quílez (left) and Claudia Dalmau in La Maternal

The second film by Pilar Palomero, after she scooped four Goya Awards (including Best Film) for Schoolgirls [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pilar Palomero
film profile
]
, was shot over eight weeks in November and December, in various locations in Monegros (Aragón), Barcelona and the surrounding area. In the words of the award-winning Aragonese director: “La Maternal is a story about fortitude, bravery and self-improvement, but also about a lack of communication, fear and abandonment.”

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Carla Quílez – in her first film role – breathes life into the main character in this feature, with Ángela Cervantes (Chavalas [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Perfect Life [+see also:
series review
trailer
series profile
]
) stepping into the shoes of Penélope, her mother. The cast is rounded off by Rubén Martínez (Elite), Jordan Dumes as Efraín, Pepe Lorente (Everything Else) as Chispas, Olga Hueso as Asun, the centre’s psychologist, Gal-la Sabaté (who recently appeared in the stage play Viaje a la luna at Barcelona’s Teatre Lliure) and Neus Pàmies (Schoolgirls). They will be flanked by a troupe of non-professional actors.

The storyline of La Maternal, “the first version of which I wrote during the lockdown”, says the filmmaker, was further fleshed out at the second edition of the Film Academy Residencies (see the news), which was “the perfect place to polish the screenplay, thanks to the work I did with my tutor, Manuel Martín Cuenca. As I see it, those months also trained me up as a filmmaker”. The film tells the story of 14-year-old Carla and her process of learning to be a mother. She lives with the constant risk of social exclusion and, while pregnant, turns up at a shelter for teenage mothers. There, she learns how to be a mum and how to live with her fellow residents. This challenge of a lifetime will force her to get to know herself better so that she can understand the world around her, including the unstable and complex relationship that she has with her mother.

We got in touch with Palomero, who admitted to us, “This time around, there won’t be such a close link with my home town of Zaragoza – as happened in my previous film – although there will be with Aragon because it’s been shot in various locations within the region where I was born. And although it’s not an autobiographical story, I do broach a topic that recurs in my work, which is motherhood: I wanted to delve deeper, reflect and do some research because the mother-daughter relationship was already very present in Schoolgirls, and I have the feeling that La Maternal is a kind of continuation of that exploration of the bonds between mother and daughter.”

La Maternal is a production by Inicia Films and Bteam Prods. It sees the involvement of Radio Televisión Española, Televisión de Catalunya, Televisión de Aragón and Movistar +, and boasts support from the ICAA and ICEC. The Creative Europe – MEDIA programme is also on board. Its Spanish distribution will be entrusted to Bteam Pictures, and Elle Driver will be in charge of its international sales.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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