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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain / Dominican Republic

Vicente Villanueva in post-production with La Ternura

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- The director is adapting Alfredo Sanzol’s stage play into a big-screen version, which will star Emma Suárez, Gonzalo de Castro and Alexandra Jiménez, among others

Vicente Villanueva in post-production with La Ternura
La Ternura by Vicente Villanueva

At the end of November, the shoot wrapped for the new film by Vicente Villanueva (El juego de las llaves [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Sevillanas de Brooklyn [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
). Called La Ternura (lit. “The Tenderness”), it is based on the text – first performed in 2017 and drawing its inspiration from Shakespeare – by Spanish playwright Alfredo Sanzol, who for the last few years has proven to be something of a phenomenon in the theatre world. Standing out among his biggest hits with the public and critics alike are works such as El bar que se tragó a todos los españoles, La calma mágica and Días estupendos.

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Emma Suárez (seen recently in The Rite of Spring [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fernando Franco and Koldo Z…
film profile
]
), Gonzalo de Castro (La familia perfecta [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Alexandra Jiménez (Vasil [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Avelina Prat
film profile
]
), Fernando Guallar (El juego de las llaves), Anna Moliner (the series Hache) and Carlos Cuevas (The Man from Rome) breathe life into the bunch of castaways in this romantic comedy brimming with twists and turns, laughter and, of course, tenderness.

The film tells the story of a monarch with mildly magical powers and her daughters, two princesses, who are sailing on the Spanish treasure fleet to enter into marriage, as arranged by the king. Queen Esmeralda hates men because they have always dictated her life and have deprived her of her freedom, so she is not willing to let her daughters meet the same fate as her. As the fleet sails near an island that she believes to be deserted, she summons up a storm that causes the boat they are travelling on to sink. Her plan is to stay and live on the island so that she will never have to see a man ever again.

The problem is that they choose a settlement where a woodcutter and his two children have been living for the last 20 years, after they fled there so that they would never see a woman ever again. As soon as her highness and the two princesses discover that they are not alone, fearing for their lives, they dress as men to protect themselves. And so begin the adventures, messy situations, infatuations and misunderstandings.

On the work of adapting the text from the stage play to turn it into a feature, a task that Villanueva took on himself, the filmmaker states: “My intention is not to shoot the theatre play in a classical or conventional form, trusting in the qualities of the text and the goodness of the actors, but rather to turn it into a dynamic, visually expressive and interesting film, where the camera will be just another narrative element. It won’t just capture the action, but rather, it will also interact with it.”

The filming of the movie – which is now in post-production and which talks about our inability to shield ourselves from the damage that love sometimes does (and about the fact that if we truly want to love someone, we have to run the risk of suffering) – took place on location in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid and Cosón beach, in Samaná (Dominican Republic).

La ternura is a Spanish-Dominican production being staged by Priss&Batty, La Ternura la película AIE and Bahía Carey, and it boasts the involvement of RTVE and Movistar Plus+. Universal Pictures International Spain will distribute the picture in Spain.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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