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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain / Greece

Nely Reguera shooting her second film, El nieto

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- Carmen Machi stars in this political drama with hints of comedy, which is being filmed in Barcelona and Athens, co-produced by Fasten Films’ Adrià Monés

Nely Reguera shooting her second film, El nieto
Producer Adrià Monés and director Nely Reguera during location scouting for El nieto in Greece

Ever since María (and Everybody Else) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nely Reguera
film profile
]
was presented in the New Directors section of the San Sebastián Film Festival in September 2016, there has been a big buzz around the follow-up by its director, Nely Reguera. At last, the beginning of the shoot for El nieto (lit. “The Grandson”) in Barcelona a few days ago confirms that her sophomore effort is under way. From mid-April, it will continue for six weeks in the Malakasa refugee camp (Athens), and its lead actress is popular thesp Carmen Machi, who appeared recently in It Snows in Benidorm [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
]
and An Optical Illusion [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juan Cavestany
film profile
]
.

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Its cast is rounded off by Itsaso Arana (The August Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
), Arnau Comas (Yesterday’s Two Nights), Dèlia BrufauYohan Levy and Henrietta Rauth. According to the screenplay, written by Reguera in league with Valentina Viso (One for All [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Ilundain
film profile
]
) and Eduard Sola (Barcelona, nit d’hivern [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Marisa (Machi), bored with her life as a retiree and tired of constantly comparing herself to her friends, who are already grandmothers, decides to travel to a refugee camp where, the way she sees it, they are in need of people exactly like her. Upon her arrival, she discovers a reality that she could never have imagined and which leads her to explore the boundaries between love and the need to feel useful.

According to the director, who, after her feature debut, directed several episodes of series such as Welcome to the Family and Valeria (see the review), “El nieto tackles the complexity inherent in the act of loving and caring for others, and the desire to do so. We should all be able to look after others as well as ourselves. Taking care of each other is a task that unites us, helps us grow, makes us more human… The problem arises when we are not aware that, sometimes, that act is more a response to the need to fill a void or make up for some kind of shortfall than it is a pure act of sheer generosity.”

We called up producer Adrià Monés, of Fasten Films, who explained, “Getting this project off the ground has been a whole saga, as everything imaginable happened to us during production: we were going to shoot in a Greek camp, where we were location-scouting and working for a year, but they told us that the Chinese were buying it and they were closing it. Then COVID-19 hit along with its quarantines, and that affected us until we found the new camp. All of that delayed the shoot a great deal,” he stated.

“I loved María (and Everybody Else), which already talked about the fact that sometimes taking care of someone isn’t such an altruistic act after all, and occasionally, you end up doing more harm than good by doing so. This is also the case in the journey that Carmen Machi embarks on – her children are not giving her any grandchildren, and she gets obsessed with a boy and ends up causing a ruckus,” continued the producer. “It has Nely’s trademark humorous and, at the same time, dramatic tone, but it’s set against a political backdrop, a metaphor for what Europe is doing today with the refugees. The protagonist is resilient but at the same time relatable, human, emotional and genuine,” summed up Monés.

El nieto is a production by Spanish outfits Fasten Films and Bteam Prods (which won big at the most recent Goya Awards with Schoolgirls [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pilar Palomero
film profile
]
) and Greece’s Homemade Films. It boasts the involvement of RTVE, TV3 and Movistar +; funding from the ICAA, ICEC and Eurimages; and backing from Creative Europe - MEDIA. Bteam Pictures will release it in Spanish movie theatres in 2022.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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