By Pablo Sandoval
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“Los pequeños amores,” the latest film from Celia Rico who made a splash at the 2018 San Sebastian Festival with “Journey to a Mother’s Room,” has been acquired for international sales by Spain-based Latido Films.
Produced by Barcelona-based Arcadia Motion Pictures, which co-produced Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s 2023 Goya winner and box office breakout “The Beasts, and France’s Noodles Production (“One Year, One Night”), Rico’s second feature is set in a bucolic countryside. It weighs in as a mother-daughter two-hander sparked after strongly independent mother Ani falls over walking the dog and is forced to use a wheelchair to get around.
Daughter Teresa cuts short a vacation to come to her side, their co-habitation grating and revealing multiple – sometime generational – differences as the film peels back the layers of their relation, exposing both women’s ambitions and fears.
Adriana Azores (“Grand Hotel,” “Velvet”) plays Ani, María Vázquez (“Eye for an Eye,” “Offworld”) is Teresa.
“There are several reasons Latido had to be involved very early on this beautiful movie: We had already appreciated Celia’s first film and saw the great talent she has and of course we love working with Arcadia, the producers of the film, and even more after the experience of working together with “The Beasts,” explained Latido Films head Antonio Saura.
Though born in Seville, Rico studied at Barcelona U. and has settled in the Catalan capital. Her debut feature, “Journey to a Mother’s Room,”
which won a special mention at San Sebastian’s New Directors competition, has caused her to be cited as a leading light of a new generation of young women cineastes based in Barcelona which takes in Clara Simon and Pilar Palomero, among film directors.
Spain-based platform Filmin, RTVE and Catalonia regional pubcaster TVC boarded the project early on in production. Rico’s feature is also backed by Spain’s ICAA and Catalonia’s ICEC, the territories’ film-TV agencies, as well as France’s CNC and European Union’s Media Program.
“Los pequeños amores” is scheduled for release in 2023.
How was “Los pequeños amores” born and what is the main reason that pushed you to write this story?
I started writing it when I was kicking 40, the typical age when you realise that if you haven’t had kids, you might never be a mother. Sometimes, daughters without mothers develop fears, of having never experienced something, of ending up alone, when our parents aren’t around. So, the real fear, of losing one’s parents, takes on a pretty complex dimension.
How did you decide the tone for the film?
I wanted to create a film which was like sitting down with close friends talking about things that matter to us, but without any hysteria, without trying to find any answers, just trying to share something, to connect perhaps.
How would you describe the relationship between Ani and her daughter Teresa?
It’s a movie about the usual daily things that happen to us when we go back to living with our mothers under the same roof, about some complex things too like our reaction to seeing ourselves reflected in them, seeing ourselves in their ageing. The film explores the contradictory bond of admiration and reproach between two women from very different generations who have chosen opposite paths apparently but who in reality are at similar points in their lives when it comes to the bittersweet experience of love and loneliness.