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BERLINALE 2021 EFM

Three Spanish projects to seek out international partners at the EFM

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- The ICAA is presenting, online, the forthcoming works by brilliant filmmakers of the likes of Belén Funes, Álvaro Gago and Guillermo García López, selected for the Berlinale

Three Spanish projects to seek out international partners at the EFM
Directors Belén Funes, Álvaro Gago and Guillermo García López

The date has been set for Monday 1 March, between 1 pm and 2 pm: using Vimeo (click here), visitors will be able to meet the teams behind three Spanish features that are sure to set tongues wagging and that are bound to have a great run on the festival circuit in the years to come. Promoted by the ICAA (Spanish Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute), this event moderated by Mercedes Martínez Abarca, a programmer and industry expert from International Film Festival Rotterdam, will unpick three projects selected for the European Film Market at the 2021 Berlinale, helmed by talented directors of the calibre of Belén Funes (who was festooned with awards with her feature debut, A Thief’s Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
), Álvaro Gago (similarly lauded for his short films) and Guillermo García López (the winner of the Goya Award for Best Documentary in 2016).

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Matria is the eagerly awaited feature debut by Galician helmer Álvaro Gago, following his successful short film of the same name, which picked up the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and scored a nomination for a Goya Award in 2019. This participant in this year’s Berlinale Co-Production Market (see the news) will be accompanied by its producers María Zamora (Avalon PC) and Daniel Froiz (Matriuska Producciones). The drama, which will begin principal photography in the autumn, is also being produced by Ringo Media, is sold by New Europe Film Sales, and has secured backing from the ICAA, AGADIC and CRTVG. It paints a portrait of 40-year-old Ramona, whose life is governed by her family and her job as a shellfish catcher. Always willing to sacrifice everything for her 21-year-old daughter, she will have to look within herself if she wants to turn her life around.

After making an excellent debut with Delicate Balance [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which was premiered at IDFA and won a Goya Award, Guillermo García López is back at the Berlinale with the social drama Ciudad sin sueño (one of the two Spanish projects in this year’s Talent Project Market – see the news), together with his producer, Lina Badenes (of Turanga Films). After kicking off its international journey in the Berlinale Talents Script Station in February 2020, the project also took part in the Spanish Film Academy Residency (see the news), the Cannes Cinéfondation Residency and the TorinoFilmLab, where it scooped a Special Mention from the CNC jury. The feature will home in on a 13-year-old boy from La Cañada Real, one of the biggest shanty towns in Europe. Ramón, the eldest of six siblings from a family with a strong sense of belonging to the Gypsy community, is a dreamer: his imagination allows him to see his surroundings as a fantasy world, and in this way, he manages to escape from reality.

The second Spanish title selected for the 2021 Talent Project Market is Los Tortuga, the hotly anticipated new film by Belén Funes, written by the director together with her regular co-screenwriter Marçal Cebrián. After winning the Goya Award for Best New Director last year, the Catalan helmer is introducing her new project, flanked by Alba Bosch (of Oberon). The movie will be partly shot in Jaén, in conjunction with Seville-based production outfit La Claqueta (The Endless Trench [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño an…
film profile
]
). It will centre on the titular family: people who attempted to escape poverty in Spain by emigrating to thriving cities. However, the crisis puts their unity in jeopardy, even though their family ties are rock-solid: their 17-year-old daughter will become the glue that holds them together, as well as the prison that keeps them captive.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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