The 46-year-old Spanish actor will star opposite Leonor Watling in psychological thriller From the Shadows (Desde la Sombra), a film adaptation by Spanish writer Juan José Millas, winner of most of Spain’s foremost literary awards, including the Planeta, Nadal and National Narrative Awards.
The film will be directed by Felix Viscarret
A star of sitcom Aida, a free-to-air television phenomenon from 2005-14, and most recently Netflix Mexico’s hit House of Flowers, Leon co-wrote and directed Arde Madrid, a Movistar Plus Rose d’Or winning original series.
Star of Pedro Almodovar’s Academy Award-winning Talk to Her, Watling confirmed her comic talents most recently in Movistar Plus’ excruciatingly discomforting Russian mob comedy Nasdrovia.
Produced by Academy Award winning Tornasol Media and co-produced by Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, From the Shadows will be brought onto the international market at Ventana Sur by Latido Films.
Co-written by David Muñoz, From the Shadows turns on Damián who, to escape from his boss, hides in a massive antique wardrobe that is delivered to a middle-class home, inhabited by Lucia and Fede and their teenage daughter. A persistent fantasist – he imagines himself as a TV celebrity delivering candid interviews to prestigious journalists – Damián realizes that staying in the wardrobe gives him a chance to lead the normal life he has always missed.
He becomes the family’s guardian angel, doing the housework in its absence, as his hold on reality crumbles and Lucia, on anti-depressants, believes the wardrobe hides the specter of her dead brother.
“This story is a portrait of the madness, sometimes strange, sometimes comical, we all have: Dialogues we carry on with ourselves, how we fall in love, how we deny realities,” said Viscarret, saying he likes to dance between the comical and melancholic.
Championed by Fernando Trueba off the back of a notable short, Dreamers, Viscarret’s debut, Under the Stars, produced by Cristina Huete, confirmed his passion for bringing a human dimension to lost cause characters, which he aims to repeat in From the Shadows, he said.
“I like to fix my gaze on clumsy, hurt or humiliated characters who, generating compassion, struggle to make things better. Even if that fight is not successful, even if the final redemption – like in this case – is loaded with contradictions, it makes it all worthwhile.”
“Felix is one of Spain’s most talented young directors, he has a unique capacity of inventing worlds. In this case, the novel he adapts is from one of Spanish greatest living writers,” said Latido Films head Antonio Saura.
Saura added: “What is even more interesting, it is a great adaptation, that mixes humor and genre in a very intelligent way and, of course, the cast is brilliant!”
IuIi Gerbase’s first feature film is gaining traction…
Paris-based MPM Premium has picked up the Brazilian filmmaker’s The Pink Cloud, a banner title that’s part of a slate of first features from a new generation of young female Brazilian directors.
Gerbase’s sci-fi thriller was shot in 2019, but was filmed while still anticipating the COVID-19 lockdown.
Produced by Patricia Barbieri, who also backed Gerbase’s latest short, the coming-of-age adventure thriller The Stone,” Gerbase’s first feature begins with a mysterious pink cloud appearing across the globe. It proves deadly, killing anybody who remains outside in 10 seconds, forcing everybody to stay home.
Having met the night before, Giovana (Renata de Lelis) and Yago (Eduardo Mendonça) try to invent themselves as a couple as the days of lockdown become years.
Yago stays positive, adapts, and wants to have children, but Giovana feels trapped by Yago’s traditionalist agenda and by the cloud.
In a director’s statement, Gerbase said she wasn’t interested in a typical post-apocalypse story where the battle for survival is more physical and practical. Rather, she wanted “to explore the different emotional paths of the two characters with very different visions of what freedom and happiness are.” Giovana, in particular, has “a strong internal feminist battle with the cloud.”
“From the first minutes of the film, The Pink Cloud struck me with its colorful cinematography and thrilling tension,” said Quentin Worthington, head of sales at MPM Premium.
He added: “Just like Pedro Almodóvar declared that cinema is the antidote to lockdown, The Pink Cloud could be that antidote that will help us process our emotions and anxieties after a year of a global lockdown.”
“The Pink Cloud” forms part of MPM Premium’s push into emerging talent via its New Visions auteur label.
Also part of Brazil’s regional movie build, now often challenged by the decimation of federal film funds by Jair Bolsonaro’s government, The Pink Cloud is produced by Gerbase’s Porto Alegre-based label Prana Filmes, and supported by the Fundo Sectorial Audiovisual (FSA) film fund, managed by state agency Ancine, drivers of a once vibrant Brazilian film scene.
Pedro Almodóvar is offering his support to the LGBT+ community in Poland.
A wide group of global entertainment figures, including the 70-year-old Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker, have signed a letter supporting the Polish LGBT+ community in the face of growing controversy in the country.
On Tuesday, the government stepped in to support the Polish town of Tuchow, which recently lost financial support from the European Union after it set up a ‘LGBT-free’ zone. The authorities said they were “supporting a municipality that has a pro-family agenda”; the decision has provoked angry responses around the world. On August 8, authorities detained 48 people at a reportedly peaceful pro-LGBT+ protest.
The responses now include an open letter signed by a cross-section of notable figures from film, literature and further afield, including the Almodóvar and Luca Guadagnino, the Nobel Prize-winning author Olga Tokarczuk, The Handmaid’s Talewriter Margaret Atwood, and Polish filmmakers Agnieszka Hollandand Jan Komasa.
The letter, published on the website wyborcza.pl, states that homophobia in Poland is growing because of the incumbent socially conservative government, which it claims is using LGBT+ groups as a “scapegoat”. The letter is addressed to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and calls on the organization to step in and “defend core European values” of “equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities” which it says are being “blatantly violated in Poland”.
Here’s the full letter:
Dear Dr. von der Leyen:
We, the undersigned, express our outrage at repressions directed against the LGBT+ community in Poland. We speak out in solidarity with activists and their allies, who are being detained, brutalized, and intimidated. We voice our grave concern about the future of democracy in Poland, a country with an admirable history of resistance to totalitarianism and struggle for freedom.
On Friday, 7 August 2020, 48 persons were arrested in Warsaw – in some cases quite brutally – and detained on the grounds that they had participated in a violent illegal gathering. In fact, they were engaged in a peaceful protest in solidarity with an LGBT+ activist named Margot, who had been arrested for damaging a homophobic campaigner’s van. Her group had also placed rainbow flags over statues, including a statue of Christ. These actions were neither “hooliganism” nor “provocations,” as Poland’s government-run media insist, but rather desperate acts of resistance against degrading homophobic hate speech. The van is one of many similar vehicles parading outrageous claims around the cities of Poland: equating homosexuality with pedophilia, and asserting that gays are the source of diseases and a threat to children. Efforts to stop this well-funded hate campaign by legal means had led to nothing.
The broader context is the persistent use of anti-LGBT+ rhetoric by Polish politicians and media, attacks against “LGBT ideology” in the recent presidential campaign, preceded by the emergence in many municipalities and districts of “zones free of LGBT ideology,” allegedly defending the safety of families and children, and last year’s violent attacks against Equality March in Białystok. Homophobic aggression in Poland is growing because it is condoned by the ruling party, which has chosen sexual minorities as a scapegoat with no regard for the safety and well-being of citizens. Margot is, in fact, a political prisoner, held captive for her refusal to accept indignity.
We call on the Polish government to stop targeting sexual minorities, to stop supporting organizations that spread homophobia and to hold accountable those who are responsible for unlawful and violent arrests of August 7, 2020.
We call on the European Commission to take immediate steps to defend core European values – equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities – which are being blatantly violated in Poland. LGBT+ rights are human rights and must be defended as such.
Naja Marie Aidt, writer, Danish language Pedro Almodóvar, film director, Spain Jakuta Alikavazovic, writer, France Margaret Atwood, writer, Canada Paul Auster, writer, USA John Banville, writer, Ireland Sebastian Barry, writer, Ireland Judith Butler, philosopher, USA Sophie Calle, writer and artist, France John Maxwell Coetzee, writer, South Africa Isabel Coixet, director, Spain Stephen Daldry, director, UK Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, writer, France Lucas Dhont, director, Belgium Marion Döring, director of European Film Academy Cynthia Enloe, political scientist, USA Anne Enright, writer, Ireland Ildiko Enyedi, director, Hungary Richard Flanagan, writer, Australia Barbara Frey, theatre and opera director, Switzerland/Austria Timothy Garton Ash, historian, UK Agnieszka Graff, americanist, Poland Luca Guadagnino, director, Italy Miron Hackenbeck, dramaturg, Germany Ed Harris, actor, director USA Aleksander Hemon, writer, Bosnia/USA Agnieszka Holland, director, Poland Siri Hustvedt, writer, USA Isabelle Huppert, actress, France Aki Kaurismäki, director, Finland Padraic Kenney, historian, USA Jan Komasa, director, Poland Ivan Krastev, political scientist, Bulgaria Jan Kubik, political scientist, UK Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreographer, Belgium Yorgos Lanthimos, director, Greece Andrzej Leder, philosopher, Poland Jacek Leociak, historian, Poland Jonathan Littell, writer, France Mike Leigh, director, UK Deborah Levi, writer, UK Edouard Louis, writer, France Sergei Loznitsa, director, Germany/Ukraine Valeria Luiselli, writer, USA Dorota Masłowska, writer, Poland Hisham Matar, writer, USA Ulrich Matthes, actor, Germany Ian McEwan, writer, UK Lina Meruane, writer, Chile Teona Mitevska, director, North Macedonia Chantal Mouffe, philosopher, Belgium James Norton, actor, UK Claus Offe, sociologist, Germany Paweł Pawlikowski, director, Poland Richard Powers, writer, USA Axel Ranisch, filmmaker and opera director, Germany Keith Ridgway, writer, Ireland Philippe Sands, lawyer and writer, UK Volker Schlöndorff, director, Germany Marci Shore, historian, USA Stellan Skarsgaard, actor, Sweden Leila Slimani, writer, France Timothy Snyder, historian, USA Johanna ter Steege, actress, the Netherlands Dariusz Stola, historian, Poland Małgorzata Szczęśniak, stage designer, Poland Małgorzata Szumowska, director, Poland Colm Toibin, writer, Ireland Olga Tokarczuk, writer, Poland Alia Trabucco Zerán, writer, Chile Fien Troch, director, Belgium Jan Vandenhouwe, artistic director and opera dramaturg, Belgium Krzysztof Warlikowski, theater director, Poland/France Beau Willimon, playwright, screenwriter, USA Adam Zagajewski, poet, Poland Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Slovenia
The 45-year-old Spanish actress is set to star opposite Antonio Banderas in the Spanish-language feature Competencia Oficial, which is due to get underway in Spain at the end of February.
Veteran Argentine actor Oscar Martínez will also star.
Banderas and Martínez will play actors with very different track records whose methods clash during the preparation for a movie financed by a notorious and over-eager millionaire. Cruz will play the film’s prestigious but eccentric director.
The film is co-written and co-directed by Argentine filmmaking duo Mariano Cohnand Gastón Duprat. Andrés Dupratalso scripted.
Additional cast includes José Luis Gómez, Carlos Hipólito, Koldo Olabarri, Irene Escolar, Nagore Aramburu, Pilar Castro and Juan Grandinetti.
This is the latest project to feature Cruz and Banderas…
They most recently starred in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory. They’ve also starred in Almodovar’s I’m So Excited.
A release date for Competencia Oficial has yet to be announced.
Viacom International Studios has set a co-development deal with El Deseo, the Spanish production company owned by the 70-year-old legendary Spanish filmmaker and his brother Agustín Almodóvar, for an eight-episode series, Mentiras Pasajeras.
The companies will co-develop the series under the direction of Spanish screenwriters Nerea Castroand Blanca Andres.
El Deseo, which produces both film and television projects, was formed in 1985 by Pedro Almodovar. His latest release, Pain and Glory, earned a Best International Filmnomination and also a Best Actornod for Antonio Banderas.
“We are honored to have entered into this agreement with internationally distinguished production company, El Deseo, which will further expand our portfolio with more world-class productions and properties,” said Federico Cuervo, SVP and Head of Viacom International Studios. ”We look forward to working with Almodovar and his team, and we are certain that this co-development deal will result in even more captivating content for VIS and its partners.”
“We very much appreciate the trust VIS has placed in us, El Deseo, as producers and are convinced the joining of forces of two companies with such high standards in this industry will yield very exciting projects in this era of high demand for quality cinematic content. We hope this first venture is the first of many more to come. We are very excited! ”said Agustin Almodovar, producer of El Deseo.
The series follows a collaboration involving VIS, El Deseo, RTVE and Movistarfor the upcoming Isabel Coixet film, Snow in Benidorm. With a cast featuring Timothy Spall, Sarita Choudhury, Carmen Machi, Ana Torrentand Pedro Casablanc, the project started filming on January 20 in Benidorm, Spain.
The 59-year-old Spanish actor was awarded the Best Actor prize by the National Society of Film Critics over the weekend.
Banderas picked up the prize for his performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory.
The organization rolled out the winners on its official Twitteraccount. “We have 20 critics voting in New York, 9 critics voting remotely from L.A. and other cities, and 14 critics voting by proxy,” the group tweeted.
The National Society of Film Criticswas founded in 1966. Its members include critics from major papers in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Denver.
Here’s this year’s list of winners:
Best Picture: Parasite Director: Greta Gerwig, Little Women Screenplay: Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite Cinematography: Claire Mathon,Portrait of a Lady on Fireand Atlantics Actress: Mary Kay Place, Diane Actor: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory Supporting actress: Laura Dern, Marriage Storyand Little Women Supporting actor: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood Non-fiction film: Honeyland Film heritage award: Museum of Modern Art Film heritage award: Rialto Pictures
Alejandro Landes’ acclaimed film Monos has earned the 39-year-old Colombian-Ecuadorian film director a nod in the Foreign Language Film of the Year category.
Winners will be announced on January 30.
Full list of nominations:
FILM OF THE YEAR The Irishman Joker Knives Out Marriage Story Midsommar 1917 Pain and Glory Parasite Portrait of a Lady on Fire The Souvenir
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR Happy as Lazzaro Monos Pain and Glory Parasite Portrait of a Lady on Fire
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR Amazing Grace Apollo 11 The Cave For Sama Varda by Agnès
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Pedro Almodóvar – Pain and Glory Bong Joon Ho – Parasite Sam Mendes – 1917 Céline Sciamma – Portrait of a Lady on Fire Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR Pedro Almodóvar – Pain and Glory Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story Bong Joon Ho & Han Jin Wan – Parasite Joanna Hogg – The Souvenir Steven Zaillian – The Irishman
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story Lupita Nyong’o – Us Florence Pugh – Midsommar Charlize Theron – Bombshell Renée Zellweger – Judy
ACTOR OF THE YEAR Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory Tom Burke – The Souvenir Robert De Niro – The Irishman Adam Driver – Marriage Story Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR Laura Dern – Marriage Story Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers Florence Pugh – Little Women Margot Robbie – Bombshell Tilda Swinton – The Souvenir
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Shia LaBeouf – Honey Boy Al Pacino – The Irishman Joe Pesci – The Irishman Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
BRITISH/IRISH FILM: THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD Bait 1917 Rocketman The Souvenir Wild Rose
BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS (for body of work) Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose/Judy Cynthia Erivo – Harriet Lesley Manville – Ordinary Love/Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Florence Pugh – Fighting With My Family/Midsommar/Little Women Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR (for body of work) Tom Burke – The Souvenir Taron Egerton – Rocketman George MacKay – 1917/Where Hands Touch/Ophelia Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse/High Life/The King Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes
YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER (for body of work) Raffey Cassidy – Vox Lux Dean-Charles Chapman – 1917/The King/Blinded by the Light Roman Griffin Davis – Jojo Rabbit Noah Jupe – Honey Boy/Le Mans ’66 Honor Swinton Byrne – The Souvenir
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER: THE PHILIP FRENCH AWARD Waad Al-Khateab & Edward Watts – For Sama Richard Billingham – Ray & Liz Mark Jenkin – Bait Owen McCafferty – Ordinary Love Nicole Taylor – Wild Rose
BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR Appreciation Beyond the North Winds: A Post-Nuclear Reverie The Devil’s Harmony Kingdom Come Pompeii
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Ad Astra – Allen Maris, visual effects Apollo 11 – Todd Douglas Miller, film editing Judy – Jeremy Woodhead, makeup and hair Little Women – Jacqueline Durran, costumes Motherless Brooklyn – Daniel Pemberton, music Monos – Jasper Wolf, cinematography 1917 – Oliver Tarney, sound design Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood – Barbara Ling, production design Parasite – Lee Ha Jun, production design A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – Will Becher & Richard Phelan, animation
DILYS POWELL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN FILM Sally Potter
DILYS POWELL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN FILM Sandy Powell
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Artshas unveiled its nominees for the 9th AACTA International Awards, with the 59-year-old Spanish actor picking up a nod.
Banderas is up for Best Lead Actor for his highly acclaimed performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory.
It’s his first-ever AACTA International Award nomination.
The AACTA International Awards will be handed out on January 3 in Los Angeles.
The AACTA International Awards recognize film excellence regardless of geography and are determined by the Oz Academy’s International Chapter, which is made up of 150 Australian screen professionals, many of whom overlap with AMPASand BAFTA.
Here’s the full list of nominees:
AACTA International Award for Best Film The Irishman Joker The King Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Parasite
AACTA International Award for Best Direction 1917– Sam Mendes The Irishman– Martin Scorsese Joker– Todd Phillips Once Upon A Time In Hollywood– Quentin Tarantino Parasite– Bong Joon-ho
AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay The Irishman– Steven Zaillian Jojo Rabbit– Taika Waititi Joker– Todd Phillips, Scott Silver Once Upon A Time In Hollywood– Quentin Tarantino Paraisite– Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han
AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor
Christian Bale – Ford V Ferrari Antonio Banderas – Pain And Glory Robert De Niro – The Irishman Adam Driver – Marriage Story Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress Awkwafina – The Farewell Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story Saoirse Ronan – Little Women Charlize Theron – Bombshell Renée Zellweger – Judy
AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor John Lithgow – Bombshell Al Pacino – The Irishman Joe Pesci – The Irishman Brad Pitt – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Song Kang-Ho – Parasite
AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress Toni Collette – Knives Out Nicole Kidman – Bombshell Florence Pugh – Little Women Margot Robbie – Bombshell Margot Robbie – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
The first eight 2019 European Filn Awards winners have been revealed ahead of next month’s official ceremony, with the 67-year-old Spanish production designer picking up one of the prizes.
The first round of prizes sees eight craft categories named prior to the event.
Gómez won the European Production Design award for his work on Pedro Alomodovar’s Pain and Glory. He’d previously been nominated for an EFA in 2011 for his work on another Almodovar project… The Skin I Live In.
Eduardo Esquidehas picked up his own award…
The Latino sound engineer won theEuropean Sound award alongside Nacho Royo-Villanovaand Laurent Chassaignefor their work on A Twelve-Year Night.
The jury for the initial eight winners were: Nadia Ben Rachid, editor, France: Vanja Černul, cinematographer, Croatia; Annette Focks, composer, Germany; Gerda Koekoek, hair and make-up artist, Netherlands; Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, costume designer, Ireland; Artur Pinheiro, production designer, Portugal; Gisle Tveito, sound designer, Norway; István Vajda, visual effects, Hungary.