The 10 projects being pitched at San Sebastian’s Creative Investors Conference | Features


Swel Noury ​​and Sonia Ziadi1

As part of San Sebastian’s inaugural Creative Investors Conference, 10 projects with a Spanish partner are being pitched to an international audience of buyers, financiers and potential co-producers, including execs from CAA, Wild Bunch, A24, Netflix and Focus Features.

The CIC is taking place September 19-20.

The 10 projects are:

A Whale
Dir: Pablo Hernando
Ingrid García-Johnson and Álex Brendemühl will star in the second solo feature of Hernando following Berseker which promises to blend thriller and fantasy. “It’s a very personal project, a noir genre update. It’s an author film capable of reaching the general public,” says producer Leire Apellániz of Señor y Señora. The film follows a hitman whose skills seem to be out of this world (literally). Basque outfit Sayaka is on board as co-producer; Latido Films has international rights.

Azahar Baby
Dir: Swel Noury
“There has never been a story about Moroccan immigrants in Spain when in fact it’s our biggest immigrant community,” says producer Sonia Ziadi of Madrid-based new outfit Two Flavors Productions. Directed by Casablanca-born Noury, whose Heaven’s Doors premiered at Berlinale’s Panorama, the movie depicts a young Spanish Moroccan boy seeking to explore his identity by making a documentary based on how he is perceived by those who know him best. “It’s a coming-of-age movie about Yusef, torn between his love for a Spanish girl and the respect he has for his Moroccan immigrant parents,” Noury ​​says. The project is looking for sales agents, co-producers, investors.

Evolution
Dir: Julio Soto
The third animated feature from The Thinklab following Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow, is at an advanced stage with 80% of financing secured and international sales handled by UK’s Kaspers Animation. It is a comedy about humans who become animals, and pets who become more human. Evolution has secured backing from INCA, Spanish broadcaster TVE and Creative Europe’s Media programme. Eneko Gutierrez is a producer. “We want to continue with the formula of ambitious but controlled budgets, making the participation in the film attractive to international investors as in our previous feature films,” he says.

carmele
Dir: Asier Altuna
Directed by Basque filmmaker Asier Altuna, best known for Aupa Etxebeste, carmele is about a young Basque nurse exiled in France during the Spanish Civil War who travels around Europe as a singer. It is being produced by Txintxua Films, also behind María Elorza’s To Women and Books I Sing, in New Directors. “We want to portray a time of our recent history, sadly very up to date due to the [rise of ] totalitarianism,” says the producer. France’s Gastibeltza Filmak is co-producing.

samples
Dir: Lluis Danes
samples is set in the 17th-century court of King Carlos II, at a time when dwarves, so-called bearded ladies, giants and Black people were doomed to amuse others. “The film follows Eugenia Martínez Vallejo, victim of a physical deformity who always had the appearance of a 10-year-old girl,” explains producer Laura Fernández of distribution-production outfit Filmax, which is also handling international sales. It is based on a true story. Danes’ credits include The Barcelona Vampires. The project is looking for investors.

Oh Nora
Dir: Aina Clotet
Barcelona’s Ikiru Films, whose credits include Enrique Gato’s Tad: The Lost Exploreris producing this directorial debut from writer and actor Clotet. Oh Nora portrays a woman in her thirties who while suffering from breast cancer begins to question the idea of ​​motherhood and her relationship patterns. The film “humorously focuses on a woman who could have it all but constantly demands for something else,” says producer Edmon Roch. Ikriu is looking for a sales agent and creative investors.

Gerardo Herrero.1

Raqqa
Dir: Gerardo Herrero
The Oscar-winning producer of Juan José Campanella’s The Secret In Your Eyes, moves behind the camera to direct this spy thriller with social drama touches. “It’s an original project within our Spanish tradition,” says Herrero. The action takes place as two spies, both undercover in the terrorist organization ISIS, one working for Russia, the other for the Western alliance, realize they are both on the same mission. Marion Besuievsky at producer Tornasol says she is “in search of a second international co-producer, sales agent and investors”.

Rock Bottom
Dir: Maria Trenoro
This feature animation is a story of “love, drugs and dependency that delves in the stormy relationship between two artists from the hippy era that starts as a fairy-tale summer and ends as a nightmare winter”, according to Catalan producer-director Alba Sotorra . “We are looking for partners that can help us to close our financial gap and contribute to the project’s internationalization, as well as a sales agent.” The feature will use the original songs of Robert Wyatt’s album ‘Rock Bottom’.

The Secrets of the Magic
Dirs: Javier Dampierre and Nacho Sanchez Quevedo
The script for this feature animation won the Julio Alejandro Script prize presented by the Spanish Authors Association in 2020. Produced by Ignasi Estapé at Barcelona’s Arcadia,the story kicks off in the early hours of January 6. While children are still asleep waiting for their gifts , the Three Wise Men are arrested for breaking and entering. The only person to witness the incident is an American boy visiting Spain who is a fan of action movies. “It narrates a fast-paced adventure with universal values: friendship, family, and the great importance of our distinctive cultures and traditions,” says Estapé. Arcadia is looking for international co-producers, and an international sales agent.

Whalemen (At the Ends of the Earth)
dir: Baltasar Kormakur
Directed by the acclaimed Icelandic Kormákur, Whalemen is a co-production between Eduardo Carneros at Bilbao-based Euskadi Movie, Kormakur’s KVK and Barcelona’s A Contracorriente. It tells the real events of 1615 in which the whaling ship, the San Juan, set sail from the port of San Sebastian. When the galleon was shipwrecked in the Westfjords in Iceland. the whale hunting became a manhunt as a massacre takes place. “When we got approached by Eduardo Carneros to make a film about the event, I instantly knew it was something I’d be interested in exploring as producer/director,” says Kormákur.” For a few years now, we’ve been developing and polishing the project and we’re now ready to move to the next stage of packaging and financing, with a strong script.”

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