Three Films with Spanish Participation Showing at Sundance 2023

Emiliano de Pablos
20 January 2023
Mamacruz (Kiti Manver)

Mamacruz (Kiti Manver)

“The United States is now paying attention to stories and voices that didn't used to have much of a presence on the big screen” – Ivan Diaz, Filmax.

From January 19 to 29, the U.S. city of Park City will host the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, the mecca of independent film, which this year includes three productions with the participation of Spanish companies in the World Cinema Dramatic category.

Among the 12 international titles screening as part of World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance, which returns as a physical event for the first time since 2020, are the Spanish films Mamacruz, a comedy by Patricia Ortega co-produced with Venezuela's La Mandrágora and Andalusian companies La Claqueta Producciones and Pecado Films; La Pecera, a Spanish-Puerto Rican film by Glorimar Marrero Sánchez with participation from Solita Films and Auna Producciones; and Slow, a European co-production whose partners include Galicia's Frida Films.

Produced by Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo of La Claqueta PC and José Alba of Pecado Films, the film stars Kiti Mánver(Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios) as a grandmother who accidentally stumbles upon some pornographic images on her granddaughter's tablet, leading her to rediscover her long-forgotten sexuality and desire.

Mamacruz being selected for Sundance is extremely relevant. This is further proof that the industry in the United States, as well as in the rest of the world, is now paying attention to stories and voices that didn't used to have much presence on the big screen,” says Iván Díaz, international manager at Barcelona-based Filmax, which is marketing the film abroad as well as distributing it in Spanish theaters.

According to Diaz, “a film like Mamacruz, which is feminine, dynamic, optimistic and gives a voice to the elderly and to strangers, is now much better received in the international market. We are confident that Sundance buyers will see it this way.”  

Solita Films, with La Pecera

An intimate drama with an environmental message, La Pecera tells of Noelia, a 40-year-old Puerto Rican woman who has suffered a recurrence of her cancer and decides to return to her native Vieques in Puerto Rico, while her family and friends continue to deal with the pollution on the island after sixty years of military practices by the U.S. Navy.

The film, recently acquired for international sales by New York-based agency Visit Films, will be distributed in Spain by Elamedia and its free-to-air rights have been purchased by Spanish public TV operator RTVE.  

“Sundance is important to us for several reasons,” says Spanish producer José Esteban Alenda, co-founder of Solita Films with his brother César.

“On a personal level, the cinema we are most attracted to, American independent cinema of the 1990s, was born at Sundance. Moreover, for La Pecera, its presence there amplifies its voice in a huge way. The fact that Glorimar Marrero's first film has been selected for a festival like this one will very clearly mark her future as a filmmaker.”

Also competing at Sundance is Slow, a European co-production written and directed by Lithuanian Marija Kavtaradze. Luisa Romero, from the Galician company Frida Films, produces this romantic drama about the relationship between a dancer and a sign language interpreter, together with Lithuanian Marija Razgutė (M-Films) and Swede Anna-Maria Kantarius (Garagefilm).
“The co-production with Garagefilm and Frida Films has led us to a wonderful collaboration with talent from all three countries,” says Razguté.

Slow' s international sales are handled by the French company Totem Films.


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