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Cementing its reputation as a harbinger of emerging talent, Madrid-based Latido Films has acquired the international sales rights to “Tras el Verano,” the debut film from Yolanda Centeno picked out as one of Variety’s 10 Women Directors to Watch from Spain, compiled in 2021.
Alfa Pictures is handling distribution in Spain.
Following on hits such as Colombia’s “Killing Jesus” and “Carmen & Lola” and “Lullaby” from Spain, this acquisition not only underscores Latido’s interest in nurturing and promoting fresh, innovative voices in cinema but also highlights the strength of a new generation of talent emanating from the Spanish-speaking world.
Centeno’s debut feature has attracted strong talent in the form of Goya and Gaudi winners Ruth Gabriel (“Numbered Days”) and Alexandra Jiménez (“The Distances” “100 Metres”).
Joining them is actor Juan Diego Botto whose own directorial debut “On The Fringe” reaped recognition at the Goyas, Venice and other festivals. Translated as “After the Summer,” the film explores an ethical dilemma relating to a family unit of couple and child but where only one partner is the biological parent. The bond between the non-biological parent and child can grow as strong as any, but are not protected socially or legally when under threat.
“This is a not very explored territory in cinema; it seems that a family that deviates from the norm, from the nuclear family, is a “sick” family, better left undiscussed.” the director told Variety, adding “The fact that we have terms to define it, such as “blended,” already indicates that it originates from a loss. It brings to mind the image of a vase glued back together.”
The screenplay was co-written with her partner Jesús Luque who has children from another relationship. “It is a story about families, about people, about relationships, and about how our most instinctive and human feelings flow,” Centeno explained. Making their film debut and playing the child caught in the middle of this dilemma is Alejandro López. “[He has] given me the most difficult thing: “being” in every second, staying true to his character, and filling everything with spontaneous truth,” the director said.
Centeno has trodden a well worn path of cutting her teeth in advertising, having gone to New York 10 years ago to study an MFA in Filmmaking. The move from Europe to New York to build up skills, and a series of well received shorts such as her NYFA graduation short “Zugzwang,” shares parallels with filmmakers such as Charlotte Wells, whose rapturously received debut “Aftersun,” Centeno would no doubt be pleased to emulate.
The film is currently mid-shoot in her home region of Andalusia. “It has been a wonderful experience. Shooting in places that are part of my childhood and my deepest memories is allowing me to reconnect with a part of myself. And also with the people I met, who have been a part of my life and have given me so much.”
For Antonio Saura, Latido Films’ managing director, “It is a pleasure to work ion a movie again with Marta Velasco, one of the most talented of the new generation of Andalusian producers, on this occasion teaming with Tay Sanchez, an experienced commercials producer making her debut in film production.”
He added: “The fact that they support Yolanda Centeno in this very personal, sensitive, intense and most relevant exploration of relationships in what we call the new families was more than sufficient reason for Latido to embark in this adventure. Yolanda’s talent has been already tested in award winning shorts and groundbreaking commercials, making her one of the most promising new directors to watch in Spain.”
A rising number of Spanish filmmakers such as Carlota Pereda (“Piggy”) Carla Simón (“Alcarràs”) and recent San Sebastian and Valladolid winners Jaiona Camborda (“The Rye Horn”) and Laura Ferrés (“The Permanent Picture”) all making their mark and all female.
It is tempting, particularly for the press, to group them together in simplistic ways. Centeno acknowledges inspiration from these filmmakers but perceives each “as different voices, just as I feel that my development as a director is also irremediably a very individual and personal journey. As a director and creator, the process is very introspective, difficult to frame within a movement.”
Áralan Films, Harry and Tras el Verano AIE produce. La Goota Entertainment served as associate producer. Marta Velasco, CEO of Áralan Films, fell in love with the story “All of us have sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and so on … to whom this situation has happened but rarely has it been told on the screen. Furthermore, this feature becomes even greater thanks to the talents Alexandra Jiménez, Juan Diego Botto, Ruth Gabriel and the debut of Alejandro Lopez among them. Antonio Saura and Latido are the best travel partner for this movie.” she said. The production is backed by RTVE, Canal Sur and the Madrid region through its feature film development program.
Additional support comes from the ICAA and the AAIICC of Andalucía’s government, with financing facilities from Triodos Bank and Crea SGR.