Movistar Plus+ Partners on Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s New Film “Los domingos”

Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s latest project has new support…

Movistar Plus+, Spain’s most-viewed pay television operator, is partnering on Los domingos, a new film from the 46-year-old Spanish filmmaker and Lullaby director and the producers of that critically acclaimed film.

Alauda Ruiz de AzúaA Movistar Plus+ Original, Los domingos is set in and will shoot in Ruiz de Azúa’s native Basque country, said Nahikari Ipiña at Sayaka Producciones.

Now in development, Los domingos is produced by Movistar Plus+ and Sayaka and Marisa Fernández ArmenterosBuenapinta Media, Sandra Hermida at Think Studio and Colosé Producciones and Manu Calvo.

Los domingos is a co-production between Movistar Plus+ and four producers and as independent producers for us that’s important,” Fernández Armenteros said at Cannes.

Los domingos, which shoots in the first half of 2025, is a drama, although plot details are under wraps.

“It is such luck to accompany Alauda in Los domingos after Lullaby success with audiences and critics. We are moved again by her talent in picturing the contradictions of her characters, and her unique visions when depicting life,” Los domingos’ producers said Friday in a joint statement.

Sold by Latido, and bowing in Berlin’s 2022 Panorama section, Lullaby swept Spain’s Malaga Festival, taking eight awards including best picture, a rare achievement.

Endorsed by Pedro Almodóvar as “undoubtedly the best debut in Spanish cinema for years,” Lullaby was distributed in Spain by BTeam Pictures. It over-performed notably in Spain, grossing €823, 933 ($880,847) at theaters, before scooping three Goya Awards, including best new director and gongs for both main actresses, Laia Costa and Susi Sánchez.

“Movistar Plus+ wants to bet on auteurs with a key vision but also the potential to reach a broad public, and ‘Los domingos’ is a case in point,” said Guillermo Farré, Movistar Plus+ head of original films & Spanish cinema.

Los domingos will be a Movistar Plus+ Original “but Movistar Plus+’s strategy when it produces films is to co-produce,” he added.

Rodrigo Sorogoyen to Serve as Jury President at This Year’s Cannes Critics’ Week

Rodrigo Sorogoyen is taking the lead at this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week

The 42-year-old Spanish film director and screenwriter, best known for his 2023 feature The Beasts, has been revealed as the jury president for this year’s edition of Cannes Critics’ Week.

Rodrigo SorogoyenThe parallel Cannes section devoted to emerging talents and first and second features will unfold from May 15 to 23 this year.

“It is a big responsibility, which I look forward to,” Sorogoyen said in a video statement on X announcing his presidency.

“La Semaine de la Critique supports and rewards first and second feature films as well as short films, thus providing vital support to cinema, new voices, and new ways to tell stories. Without these new voices, there would be no new cinema. They’re the ones who make it live and make it work.”

Sorogoyen’s last film, The Beasts, debuted at Cannes in 2022 and dominated the main prizes at the 37th edition of Spain’s Goya Awards, taking home nine gongs, including best film and director.

The film’s story follows a middle-aged French couple who move to a small village, seeking closeness with nature. However, their presence inflames two locals to the point of outright hostility and shocking violence.

The Beasts also picked up wins for best screenplay, leading actor and supporting actor.

The year’s Critics Week lineup will be announced in the next few weeks.

The official Cannes Film Festival lineup will be announced on April 11.

David Pérez Sañudo Agrees to Two-Picture Deal with Latido Films

David Pérez Sañudo has landed a two-picture deal…

Latido Films has sealed a two-picture deal with the 36-year-old Spanish filmmaker whose debut feature Ane, repped by Latido, swept three Spanish Academy Goya Awards in 2021.

David Pérez SañudoLatido will take world sales rights on both titles.

The move comes as Spanish sales companies battle to retain top-flight talent, increasingly in the crosshairs of international counterparts.

With Pérez Sañudo, Latido gets one of Spain’s most exciting young directors, particularly for a skill now held at high value in and outside the U.S.: His ability to channel genre and sub-genre, often in individual scenes, injecting them with a larger sense of narrative.

Latido handled world sales rights on films on another director with that sensitivity to sub-genre, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, from May God Save Us (2016) to The Realm (2018) and The Beasts (2022), which trounced multiple Cannes winners to win best foreign film at France’s Cesars last year.

First up for Latido is Pérez Sañudo’s Los últimos románticos, (“Azken Erromantikoak”) which has gone into production, shooting principally in Gernika, Bizkaia, near the Basque city of Bilbao.

A second chance drama adapting Txani Rodríguez’s Euskadi Prize for Literature, it turns on Irune, 40, a paper mill employee in a blue-collar town who is insecure, a bit manic, and a hypochondriac, leading a lonely life, in which the only person she could describe as a friend is one neighbor. She is also a kind person.

When an ominous lump appears on her chest, a labor dispute breaks out at her mill. Drawn in with the strikers, and contacting far more with her context, her life takes a surprising turn for the better.

Los últimos románticos proposes a personal, individual journey, the unique story of Irune at a very specific moment in her life,” Pérez Sañudo explained to Variety.

“It’s a story of mourning and overcoming which is perceived in a luminous way,” he added, noting that the film “strikes a fragile balance between the dramatic and the comic, but also between the individual and the collective” and “an interesting debate between the old and the new, between experience and the imminent, memory and future.”

Written by Pérez Sañudo and Marina Parés, reuniting after Ane is Missing, “Los últimos románticos stars Miren Gaztañaga.

In their fourth collaboration, the film is produced by two of Spain’s most ambitious regional players, Seville’s La Claqueta and San Sebastián’s Irusoin, which partnered notably on San Sebastián winner The Endless Trench.

The second title in the two-picture deal, currently in development, will be announced at Cannes.

“We are thrilled to be working again with David Perez Sañudo, after his debut film Ane’ scored three Goya Awards. With ‘Los Últimos Románticos,’ he is ready to tell a story that will not only connect but will also stay long with the audience after leaving the cinema,” said Oscar Alonso, Latido Films head of acquisitions.

“We look forward to see him grow in a way that we did when we worked on three films with Rodrigo Sorogoyen, now an international recognized director,” Alonso added. “Last but not least, having La Claqueta and Irusoin as production partners on board of his sophomore film, let us know we are in the safest of hands to have a film with an outstanding production value.”

Morena, Mediacrest, Estrategia Audiovisual & Fandango Join Forces on Álvaro Longoria’s Documentary”The Sleeper”

Álvaro Longoria’s latest project is gaining momentum…

Spain’s Morena, Mediacrest and Estrategia Audiovisual are joining forces with Italy’s Fandango on The Sleeper, a thriller documentary following an alleged Caravaggio painting, directed by the 56-year-old Spanish film director, executive producer, and actor.

Álvaro LongoriaRome-based Fandango will handle international sales rights.

Based on an original story created by Morena co-founder Longoria, Mediacrest’s Gerardo Olivares and Estrategia Audiovisual’s Ricardo Fernández-Deu, the project started production at the end of 2023, and is being shot in Madrid, London and several cities in Italy.

Guided by art dealer Jorge Coll, The Sleeper tells the journey of a piece of art that goes from a house’s living room in Madrid to making headlines worldwide in light of the possibility that it could be a lost painting by Italian Baroque master Caravaggio.

“You can’t ask for a better thriller plot,” Longoria told Variety. “The world of art is fascinating and somewhat obscure. The variables that affect the artistic versus economic value of a painting are plenty and this has always fascinated me.”

The documentary marks Longoria’s return to directing. His 2012 debut, Sons of the Clouds, produced by Javier Bardem, scored a Spanish Academy Goya, while 2015’s The Propaganda Game nabbed a nomination.

J.A. Bayona’s “The Society of the Snow” Wins 12 Goya Awards, Including Best Director & Best Film

J.A. Bayona is this year’s Goya Awards darling.

The 48-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s The Society of the Snow took home 12 trophies at the 38th Annual Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars, in Valladolid.

J.A. BayonaBayona’s film for Netflix claimed the most awards of the night, including Best Director and Best Film awards for the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker.

J.A. Bayona, La Sociedad De La Nieve, Society of the SnowBut Bayona wasn’t the only multiple-award winner.

Pablo Berger earned two Goya Awards for his acclaimed animated film Robot Dreams, which is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

The 61-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s film claimed the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Animated Film awards.

The top acting awards went to Malena Alterio for Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Que Nadie Duerma and David Verdaguer for David Trueba’s Saben aquell.

Here’s the complete winners list:

Honorary Goya
Juan Mariné

Best Supporting Actor
José Coronado
Cerrar los ojos (Close Your Eyes)

Best Original Song
“Yo solo quiero amor”
Rigoberta Bandini
Te estoy amando locamente

Best Costume Design
Julio Suárez
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Special Effects
Pau Costa, Félix Bergés and Laura Pedro
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver and Montse Ribé
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best New Actor
Matías Recalt
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Film Editing
Andrés Gil y Jaume Martí
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Cinematography
Pedro Luque
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Sound Editing
Jorge Adrados, Oriol Tarra y Marc Orts
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Art Direction
Alain Bainée
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Production Design
Margarita Huguet
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Original Music
Michael Giacchino
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Animated Film
Robot Dreams
Pablo Berger

Best Documentary Film
Mientras seas tú, el aquí y ahora
Carme Elías, de Claudia Pinto

Best Short (Fiction)
Aunque es de noche
Guillermo García López

Best Documentary Short
Ava
Mabel Lozano

Best Animated Short
To bird or not to bird
Martín Romero

Best Novel Direction
Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren
20.000 especies de abejas (20,000 Species of Bees)

International Goya
Sigourney Weaver

Best New Actress
Janet Novás
O corno (The Rye Horn)

Best Iberoamerican Film
La memoria infinita (Chile) (The Eternal Memory)
Maite Alberdi

Best European Film
Anatomía de una caída (Francia) (Anatomy of a Fall)
Justine Triet

Best Supporting Actress
Ane Gabarain
20.000 especies de abejas (20,000 Species of Bees)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Pablo Berger
Robot Dreams

Best Original Screenplay
Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
20.000 especies de abejas (20,000 Species of Bees)

Best Actor
David Verdaguer
Saben aquell (Jokes & Cigarettes)

Best Actress
Malena Alterio
Que nadie duerma (Something is About to Happen)

Best Director
J. A. Bayona
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Best Picture
La sociedad de la nieve (The Society of the Snow)

Tubi Acquires North American Rights to Alberto Ammann’s Tense Drama-Thriller “Upon Entry”

Alberto Ammann’s latest Entry is headed to North America…

Tubi has acquired North American rights to Spanish and English-language thriller Upon Entry, starring the 45-year-old Argentine and Spanish actor, from French sales firm Charades and Anonymous Content Independent.

Alberto Ammann, Upon EntryThe SXSW film from writer-directors Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez, which recently received three Spirit Award nominations and three Goya Awards nominations, will launch on the ad-supported platform on December 12.

The tense drama-thriller Upon Entry finds a couple held and interrogated by border agents determined to see if they have something to hide.

In addition to Ammann, the cast comprises Bruna Cusí, Ben Temple and Laura Gómez.

Internationally, the film has played at festivals including San Sebastian, Tallinn and Thessaloniki.

The films Spirit Award nominations include Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay, while the Goya Awards nominations came for Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best New Director.

Neon Acquires North American Rights to Pablo Berger’s First Animated Feature “Robot Dreams”

Pablo Berger’s dreams will bring him stateside…

Neon has acquired the North American rights to Robot Dreams, the first animated feature from the 60-year-old Spanish Goya Award-winning filmmaker.

Pablo BergerThe film premiered in the Special Screenings section of the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 20th.

Robot DreamsBased on the award-winning graphic novel of the same name by Sara VaronRobot Dreams follows DOG, who lives in Manhattan and one day, tired of being alone, decides to build himself a robot, a companion. Their friendship blossoms, until they become inseparable, to the rhythm of ’80s NYC. One summer night, DOG, with great sadness, is forced to abandon ROBOT at the beach. Will they ever meet again?

Berger produced the film alongside Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé, Sandra Tapia Diaz and Ángel Durández, with Jérôme Vidal, Sylvie Pialat and Benoit Quainon co-producing.

The acquisition, which is the first North American deal announced for a Cannes festival movie this edition, comes on the heels of Neon’s past triumphs at Cannes with three consecutive Palme d’Or winners: ParasiteTitane and Triangle of Sadness.

Berger’s previous projects include Torremolinos, Blancanieves and Abracadabra.

Latido Films Acquires Arantxa Echevarria’s “Chinas” for International Sales

Arantxa Echevarria’s latest project will be going global…

Latido Films has acquired the Spanish writer-director’s third feature film Chinas for international sales.

Arantxa EchevarriaEchevarria previously won the Goya Award for best new director in 2018 for her debut, Carmen & Lola.

“Arantxa Echevarria is an exceptional filmmaker with a unique sense of capturing the essence of life in minority communities in Spain. As such she has became the voice of a generation, and her movies are eye-openers about realities we seldom know. For us working again with Arantxa is a privilege and a pleasure,” said Latido Films CEO Antonio Saura.

Arantxa Echevarria, ChinasFilmed in Madrid’s Chinatown, the narrative follows two disparate families with ties to China, navigating the weighty segregation of a city that for better or worse, they call home.

“These neighborhoods allow immigrants to weave networks of solidarity and community. They cling to them as part of their own identity away from home, but they also become spaces that distance them from the true reality of where they live” Echevarria told Variety. 

Yun is nine, a buoyant second-generation immigrant whose family lives in the neighborhood. She calls herself Lucía and oscillates between a strict and traditional homelife and her assimilated Spanish life at school, while Claudia, her 17-year-old sister, revolts fully, coming into her own while met with prejudice from peers and increasing self-doubt.

“Adolescence is an extremely fragile time. We want to rebel, to find our own place. And in that moment of fragility, we’re also hyper-exposed to the world, to the gaze of friends, the boy we like. At that moment where we’re in a feverish search, life can be cut short,” Echevarria noted.

“Claudia hates what she is, where she comes from, because it makes her different. She hates and loves being Chinese. Being like the others means betraying her own reality. That journey was so interesting to me that her character began to take more shape and presence in the film. After all, Lucía’s light and smile, with time, will morph into the grim and serious disposition of her sister” she added.

Across town, lives a more reserved Xiang, Lucia’s new schoolmate adopted from China and raised by parents who stop at nothing to include her heritage in her upbringing, even when she abhors it, while showering her with the best of their fortunate social status, a life Lucía covets.

Both girls, the products of fragile surroundings, take on their parents’ struggles while longing for a carefree childhood in a world that seems to have pre-determined their fate, a theme that persists throughout the film.

“I’m afraid that the education and love received from our family dictates who we become. School can shape us, help us to escape from the internalized education of childhood, but the customs, the rigor, the good and bad are determined for us by our parents,” Echevarria noted.“Our inner desires, longings, and dreams are easily buried under the incessant trickle of what’s expected of us.”

Produced by Lazona Producciones, Hojalata Films and TVTEC Servicios Audiovisuales, the film is set for release this year with a cast comprised of non-professional actors who provide richness to the script, a heartfelt rendering of the demoralizing way in which self-imposed and societal prejudice clings to a psyche.

“I usually write about sensations and feelings that I know, even if they take place in a space that’s foreign to me, ” Echevarria said. “The search for identity, the heartbreak of not knowing where you come from and knowing that you’re not the same as the people around you, is a feeling that I’ve experienced and felt in my own skin.”

Chinas lends power to an immigrant community at once steeped in identity and being stripped of it, Echevarria, providing a way out of ignorance and into a greater understanding of the hardships these families endure when pulling up roots to settle into a new culture.

As Saura concludes, “Thanks to this film, no person will enter a Chinese-owned supermarket without understanding the hardworking people that sit behind its counters.

Aquí y Allí Films Partners with Daniel Guzmán to Produce Drama Thriller “La Deuda”

Daniel Guzmán has a new partner…

Madrid-based Aquí y Allí Films, one of Spain’s most successful auteur movie production houses, is joining forces with the 49-year-old popular Spanish actor turned writer-director to produce drama thriller La deuda.

Daniel Guzmán,  Backed by Spain’s pay TV giant Movistar+ and public broadcaster RTVE, La deuda will be produced by Aquí y Allí’s Pedro Hernández and Guzmán at El Niño Producciones.

The film is scheduled to roll in Madrid by the fall.

Written by Guzmán, La deuda tells the story of Lucas, a 37-year-old man and the 86 year-old woman Antonia, who live together in a city too big to be alone. Lucas is looking for a job but the job seems not to be looking for him.

Despite the economic difficulties they are going through, and their generational difference, they live day to day with a certain enthusiasm. Until Lucas’ decision will change the rest of their lives.

“I share with Pedro a vision and a cinematographic style that is essential to develop and produce a project as personal as this one,” Guzmán said.

“Dani’s managed to bring together in La Deuda many of the elements that make a film work with the audience without losing auteurship,” Hernández added.

“It is a human story, with wonderful, deep characters. It’s tender, sometimes hard, and has a lot of rhythm. And most importantly, it has his stamp,” Hernández observed.

Guzmán’s directorial debut Nothing in Return scored best picture, director and a Critics’ Prize at 2015’s Malaga Film Festival, going on to scoop Spanish Academy Goyas for new director and breakout actor (Miguel Herrán).

Its follow-up, Canallas, a Movistar+ original movie production released by Universal Pictures, world premiered at the 2022 Málaga Festival.

MTV Documentary Films Acquires Worldwide Rights to Maite Alberdi’s “The Eternal Memory”

Maite Alberdi’s latest project is going global…

MTV Documentary Films has acquired the worldwide rights to the love story The Eternal Memory, the 39-year-old Chilean film producer, director, documentarian, screenwriter and film critic’s follow-up to her Oscar nominated documentary The Mole Agent.

Maite Alberdi,The price is said to be approaching $3 million in a competitive situation with a number of bidders.

The film, which screened in the Sundance Film Festival World Documentary Competition section, will have its international premiere at the Berlinale next month in the Panorama Section and the company is planning a theatrical release and robust awards campaign later this year.

The Eternal Memory was produced by Alberdi, Juan De Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín and Rocío Jadue.

In the film, Augusto and Paulina have been together and in love for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife has since become his caretaker. As one of Chile’s most prominent cultural commentators and television presenters, Augusto is no stranger to building an archive of memory, having been responsible for that herculean task following the Pinochet dictatorship and its systematic erasure of collective consciousness. Now he turns that work to his own life, trying to hold on to his identity with the help of his beloved wife. Day by day, the couple face this challenge head-on, adapting to the disruptions brought on by the taxing disease while relying on the tender affection and sense of humor shared between them that remains intact.

“I am so happy that The Eternal Memory has found its home at MTV Documentary Films, which in recent years, has believed in the artistic innovation of documentaries and has released documentaries that I greatly admire,” said Alberdi. “Working with Sheila Nevins is an honor, and I admire what she has built in the documentary industry.”

“The gift of love that lasts is revealed in The Eternal Memory. One cannot be cynical in Maite’s verité film – a remarkable achievement that allows us to observe what remains as memory fades. We reconsider the value of a long life lived and consider in our own lives the eternal reach of comfort and caring to an otherwise merciless end,” said Nevins, Executive Producer, MTV Documentary Films.

Nina Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman, Co-Head, MTV Documentary Films, called the doc “an extraordinary and sublime love story, we simply couldn’t take our eyes off the screen. The Eternal Memory left us so deeply moved and devoted to Augusto and Pauli – we can’t stop thinking, talking and marveling about the beautiful work Maite has done and how elated we are to bring this film out into the world.”

The film is a Micromundo and Fabula production. Submarine and United Talent Agency Independent Film Group brokered the deal with MTV Documentary Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

UTA also represents Alberdi, the first Chilean woman to be nominated at the Academy Awards, and an important voice in Latin American documentary. She premiered her last film The Mole Agent at Sundance in 2020. It was the first Chilean documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.

In 2011, Alberdi released her first feature film, The Lifeguard. Through Micromundo, her production company, she directed her second film Tea Time, which won more than 12 international awards, and was nominated for the 2016 Goya Award for Best Ibero-American Film. In 2016, she released the short film I am not from here nominated for the European Films Award and also premiered her third feature The Grown-Ups that got 10 international awards.