In what marks a departure in her filmmaking, Carla Simon, director of Berlin Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs,” is preparing a flamenco musical for her fourth feature.
Like “Alcarrás,” the project is set to be produced by María Zamora at her Valencia-based production-distribution house Elástica Films.
“Romería,” the third part of Simón’s trilogy begun by 2017’s “Summer 1993,” is still set to shoot in Summer 2024, Zamora told Variety.
“But we can’t wait to start shaping this fascinating proposal that excites me as a producer,”she added.
Simón describes the new film as a “neorealist flamenco musical in the neighbourhood of La Mina, Barcelona.”
“Since I discovered that my biological mother was passionate about flamenco, a great curiosity began to grow in me for this genre, because of its history and its exceptional capacity to connect directly with emotion,” she explained to Variety.
“This time music and dance will become the challenge I consider necessary to continue growing artistically and cinematographically with each project. I find it very exciting and stimulating to recover this film genre and adapt it to the contemporary world, in the same way that flamenco, as a musical genre, has continued to transform and adapt to the current reality,” she added.
“A classical and avant-garde flamenco musical shot in La Mina, a characteristic neighbourhood on the outskirts of Barcelona, does not seem like a story that we would all attribute to a director like Carla, an enthusiast of naturalism and neo-realism,” Zamora observed.
“But this is where the concerns and curiosities of great artists are demonstrated: in the willingness to embark on new projects, to venture into different worlds, to be challenged, to learn… To grow as filmmakers, after all,” she added.
The new project is scheduled to move into production in 2026. It looks set to be structured as a European co-production, maybe drawing in partners from beyond – “Alcarràs” was a runaway Golden Bear winner, enflaming critical and industry passions beyond Europe. The flamenco musical is responds to Simon and Zamora’s international ambitions and will mark a step up in scale for both.
“Flamenco is an art form that is appreciated all over the world, with both legendary and current stars that allow us to mix different generations, reaching a very wide audience on an international level. For this reason, although the co-production is planned with European countries, we are open to the incorporation of third countries from other latitudes,” said Zamora.
“Since we started working together in 2015, Carla Simón and I always set ourselves challenges when it comes to starting new projects, and this flamenco musical is undoubtedly the biggest one to date,” she added.
Hitting the ground running when it launched in 2021, thanks to industry contacts and renown accumulated over 20 years when working at Avalon, Elástica Films, headed by Zamora and Enrique Costa, has been involved in many of the banner recent arthouse projects coming out of Spain: Not only “Alcarràs” but also Alvaro Gago’s “Matria,” Cannes hit “Creature” and buzzy San Sebastian competition player “The Rye Horn,” which premiered at Toronto’s prestigious Platform section.
Elástica has also driven into TV production with Amazon’s Prime Video series “Hildegart,” positioned by Amazon as a big period piece and one of its flagship upcoming scripted plays in Spain.
“Now is the time to measure and scale the company, driving into bigger titles, in production and distribution, but without forgetting our hallmark which drinks from independent auteur cinema,” Zamora said.
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