REPORT: Spanish Screenings XXL @ San Sebastián 2022
- We take a look at the Spanish projects pitched to international professionals at the new industry event taking place at the Basque festival
This year, the San Sebastián International Film Festival has welcomed a new event to its industry programme, the Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech. The event, organised by Spanish Screenings in collaboration with CAA Media Finance (read news), aims to become a networking hub for international investors and Spanish creators, and thus boost the collaboration between Spain and the rest of the world. The event is also linked to the previously created industry branch Zinemaldia & Technology.
Besides tackling topics such as the new horizons of storytelling, the new ways for films to cross borders, the current status of financing and financiers and the hottest insights about the Spanish market, the event presented a highly-curated selection of 10 interesting Spanish projects to the attendees, which we are profiling below.
Karmele - Asier Altuna (Spain/France)
The Basque filmmaker behind 2015 San Sebastián competition entry Amama [+see also:
interview: Asier Altuna
film profile] is back with a film based on the novel La hora de despertarnos juntos by Kirmen Uribe, which follows Karmele, a young nurse exiled in France due to the Spanish Civil War, travelling around Europe as a singer and falling in love and having a daughter with trumpet player Txomin. When the couple are asked to work as spies against Franco's dictatorship, things change.
Produced by Marian Fernández for Txintxua Films, the film has 41.38% of its funding in place and is already a co-production with France (Katti Pochelu for Gastibeltza Filmak). The film is at the development stage, and is looking for funding, sales agent, public grants and pre-sales for a shooting in 2024.
Monsters - Lluís Danés (Spain)
The director of La vampire de Barcelona [+see also:
film profile] prepares a film in which he wants to talk about the “monsters” of 17th century Spain and show the people that were behind the label. Eugenia Martínez Vallejo, who is of a size that can only be described as immense, is included by King Charles II in his collection of "freaks," a group of people with uncommon physical traits who lived at the court, which ends up endangering the continuity of the kingdom, the power of the Austrians and Eugenia's own life.
Azahar Baby - Swel Noury Cazorla (Spain)
The director, who has already been to the Berlinale with his Panorama-selected first feature Heaven’s Doors, is ready to talk about the Moroccan community in Spain, a topic that “has never been tackled before in Spain” even if it’s the biggest migrant community in the country. The film follows Yusef, a young Spanish boy of Moroccan descent, seeking to define the true nature of his identity, while making a documentary based on how he is perceived by those who know him best, and struggling with family problems and a first love.
Produced by Sonia Ziadi Trives for Two Flavours Productions S.L., the film is in development, at the writing and cast and crew selection stage (actor Nourdin Batán has been confirmed to star) and looking for partners and help with the rest of the financing, of which a 20% is already in place.
Whalemen, At the Ends of the Earth – Baltasar Kormákur (Spain/Iceland/UK)
The well-known Icelandic director (101 Reykjavik, Everest [+see also:
film profile]) is working for the first time in Spain with this story set in 1615, about Lázaro, an experienced harpooner in Newfoundland, who lost his brother in the Icelandic seas and who, while still carrying the guilt of his death, decides to look for his brother's great love, who was pregnant at the time.
Produced by Eduardo Carneros for Euskadi Movie A.I.E., the film already has two co-producers on board, Spain’s A Contracorriente Films (Manuel Monzón) and Iceland’s RVK Studios (Agnes Johansen) and is looking to secure participation from Johnny Depp’s US outfit Infinitum Nihil and UK branch IN.2 Film. The film, whose style is described in the vein of Apocalypto or Quest for Fire, has 31% of its financing in place and is at the stage of closing casting, financing (it has already applied for Biscay and Iceland cash rebates) and sales agents.
A Whale - Pablo Hernando (Spain/Italy)
The director of Berserker [+see also:
interview: Pablo Hernando
film profile] is back with a film following a hitwoman with an extraordinary ability to slip in and out and even kill without a trace. But this power comes from another world, a place inhabited by monstrous creatures from which she emerges a little less human every time.
Produced by Leire Apellaniz López for Señor y Señora S.L. in co-production with Spain’s Sayaka (Nahikari Ipiña Sadaba) and Italy’s Orisa Produzioni (Cristiano Bortone), and sold internationally by Latido Films, the film has already a confirmed cast including Ingrid García Jonsson, Eneko Sagardoy and Ramón Barea. With 62% of the funding in place, the film is expected to shoot in winter 2023, and is looking for possible partners.
Raqqa - Gerardo Herrero (Spain/Belgium)
The veteran Spanish filmmaker (Comanche Territory, Heroine, Frozen Silence [+see also:
interview: Gerardo Herrero
film profile]) plans a trip to the war-torn Syrian city of Raqqa. In it, he will follow the Sahrawi, a mysterious thief and international spy, and Malika, a nurse from Ceuta on the European intelligence payroll, each working to hunt down The Jordanian, one of the most wanted ISIS terrorists.
Produced by Mariela Besuievsky for Tornasol Films and co-produced by Spain’s Storylines Projects (Charly Granados) and Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup (Sébastien Delloye), the film has already Latido Films attached as a sales agent. The film is at the writing stage and looking for more partners, as well as co-producers who would help shoot in the needed countries, and also in Raqqa.
Oh Nora - Aina Clotet (Spain)
In the first directorial effort of the actress (Elisa K [+see also:
film profile]), she will portray Nora, a woman who recovers from breast cancer and returns to the ring so desperate to get ahead that she accepts professional challenges she can't meet and destroys her future prospect of creating a family with Manel, her lifelong partner, giving in to her lust for Max, a man much younger and freer than herself.
Produced by Edmon Roch for Ikiru Films, the film has 20% of its funding in place and is at the writing stage, with a plan to be shot in autumn 2023 or early 2024.
The Secret of the Magi - Javier Dampierre, Nacho Sánchez (Spain)
The animation film pictures the Three Wise Men being arrested for breaking and entering in the centre of Madrid, and the only person to witness it is Jack, an American boy visiting Spain who is mad about action movies.
Produced by Ignasi Estapé for Arcadia Motion Pictures, a sizeable Spanish company which has already worked on animation films such as Ozzy [+see also:
film profile] and the upcoming Robot Dreams [+see also:
film profile] by Pablo Berger, the film already has 20% of its funding in place and is in development while looking for funding, an international co-producer and a sales agent. The film is the first animation film to win SGAE’s Premio Julio Alejandro Award for Best Script.
Evolution - Julio Soto Gúrpide (Spain)
The animation film promises to be a fun and adventurous comedy about humans who turn into animals and animals who show their most “homo sapiens” side, following 12-year-old Zoe, who accidentally eats the berries of a mysterious plant during an expedition to the Arctic and instantly develops incredible animal powers.
Produced by Eneko Gutiérrez Sola for The Thinklab Media, the film is sold internationally by British company Kapers Animation. With 53% of its financing in place, the film is completing its development and funding stage.
Rock Bottom - María Trenor (Spain/Poland)
Taking inspiration from the music and life of Robert Wyatt, the rotoscope animation film Rock Bottom is a self-destructive love story between Bob and Alif, a young couple of artists immersed in the creative and groundbreaking maelstrom of the hippy counter-culture in the early '70s.
Produced by Alba Sotorra Clua for Alba Sotorra, S.L. in co-production with Poland’s GS Animation (Robert Jaszczurowski), the film has already 46% of its financing in place. The film is currently at the development and funding stage and is looking for a third co-production company.
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