Women Producers Follow Catalan Female Directors’ Success
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About three years ago, a new generation of directors, many women, began to break out in Catalonia. It wasn't a flash in the pan.
After Nely Reguera's "María (and everyone else)" and Carla Simón's Berlinale Generation Kplus picture "Summer 1993", first contributions by Diana Toucedo ("Thirty Souls"), Meritxell Colell ("Against the Wind"), Neus Ballús (" The Plague ”) and Celia Rico (“ Journey to a Mother's Room ”) set fire to the film festival circuit and received bullish reviews and a number of prizes. Many of these women now have their second or third feature film: Simón with "Alcarrás", Ballús ("The Odd-Job Men"), Colell ("Duo", "Transoceánicas"), Rico ("The Little Loves"). ), Pilar Palomero ("La maternal") and Reguera ("The grandson") among others.
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Now the focus is on female producers: Belén Sánchez from Un Capricho Producciones (Lucía Alemenys "The Innocence"), Patricia Franquesa from Gadea Films (Laura Herrero's "La Mami") are successful. Many producers, including Anna María Bofarull from KaBoGa ("Barcelona 1714"), Érika Sánchez from Antivaho Cinematográfico ("Panthers") and Alba Sotorra ("Isis Widows") act as directors.
Catalonia's latest generation is now "in production," says Mar Medir of Catalan Films.
The region has a tradition in independent and documentary cinema. The new generation, male and female, goes much further in their work.
Of films by producers, "The Innocence" is a rural story about the growing up of art houses. "Barcelona 1714" has the production ambitions of the historical drama; "La Mami" and "Isis Widows" are documents.
As for the directors, "some diversify, in particular, promote their auteur streak, but also open up to more general work with platforms and broadcasters," notes Medir.
Carlos Marques Marcet, director of the SXSW special jury award winner "10,000 km", and Leticia Dolera, CannesSeries double award winner for "A Perfect Life", together with Elena shot episodes of the HBO series "En casa" Martín, an author of Atresmedias "Veneno".
Many of this new generation come from the documentary field, which has a strong tradition in Catalonia and was shaped by schools such as Ramon Llull or Pompeu Fabra. Anna Giralt leads "Robin Bank", a personal crusade against the banking system. Among the documents in progress, Ballús has the comedic document "Men"; Sotorra is working on Isis Widows, a psychological study of women in the West who have joined the organization. Miguel Ángel Blanca and Raúl Cuevas analyze low-cost tourism in the "Magaluf Ghost Town". and Patricia Franquesa develops "Olé mi coño" about a woman's reaction to cyber stalking.
In economic terms, documentaries lower the entry level for first features while promoting collaboration.
Other directors prepare films with greater public interest, such as Rodrigo Cortés '"Love gets a space" (for Nostromo), Lluís Quílez' "Below Zero" (for Amorós Producciones), Cesc Gay's "The People Upstairs" (Imposible Films)), David Victori's "Cross the Line" (Filmax), Mar Targarona's "The Cuckoo" (Rodar y Rodar), Kike Maíllos "A Perfect Enemy" (Sábado Películas) and Icíar Bollain's "Rosa's Wedding" (Setembro Cine).
Talent is flourishing in Catalonia, and most players in the industry agree on this. What they miss is the strong support from the Spanish regional channels. However, some producers underline the need for a proactive pubcaster. Public sector subsidies should be a complement, not the motor, of film funding. We need a strong TV component, they say.
A second challenge is the danger that talent will go to Madrid. Some producers, directors and DPs have moved there. Spain's main stations have always been there. Another platform is now being added, says another manufacturer.
What Madrid cannot achieve at least at the moment is the active state support from the Catalan film agency ICEC. The budget of $ 19.2 million this year increased 50% compared to 2019 when it lost revenue from a regional tax on local telecommunications.
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