Magazine article Variety

Women on the Verge of a Breakout

Magazine article Variety

Women on the Verge of a Breakout

Article excerpt

Variety spotlights female filmmakers on the Spanish cinema vanguard

ANA ASENSIO

1 New York-based Spanish actress Asensio ("The Afterlight") recently dazzled with her directorial debut "Most Beautiful Island," a winner at SXSW. She wrote and starred in it, and based it on her own experiences in New York. Currently penning her sophomore feature - a psychological thriller - Asensio likes "exploring human behavior in extreme or challenging situations where responses are more instinctual and primitive than rational," she says.

FERNANDA DEL NIDO

2 Based at Setembro Films in Barcelona, Del Nido leaped into the limelight co-producing Pablo Larrain's "Neruda," Sebastián Lelio's "A Fantastic Woman" and, before that, Julio Hernández Cordon's "Dust." She is developing "After the Storks" with the Netherlands' PRPL and Belgium's Savage Film, with Joost Van Ginkel directing. "I want to make difficult-to-pigeonhole cinema with a clear director's vision that sticks in the memory," she says.

MARIA ELORZA, MAIDER FERNANDEZ IRIARTE

3 Also known as "the Palsaik Girls," Basque-born Elorza and Fernández make documentaries, such as "Our Walls" and "August Without You," that conceal a poetic complexity. "Our biggest desire is to help people recoup their personal memory, without imposing our viewpoint," Fernández says. She is working on a English project, "Jordi's Letters," exploring "love of God and the speech of a free man."

LAURA FERRES

4 A Spanish Critics' Week entry, Ferrés' short, "The Disinherited," depicts the director's father reluctantly facing the end of the family business. Ferrés' first work "The Doghouse" was awarded at Montreal, Athens and Spain's Valladolid fest. She works "with both real characters and elements, shaping them at will using fiction strategies to create a better truth. Visually speaking, the fewer ingredients the better, like a haiku," she says.

ISABEL HERGUERA

5 Lleida animation fest Animac director Herguera is developing "Sultana's Dream," a toon/live-action feature inspired by a classic feminist tale by Bengali social activist Begum Rokeya published in in 1905. Dystopian "Dream" takes place in a women-ruled city where men live in confinement. "I like films with no definitive answers, taking formal and story-telling risks and challenging spectators' fantasies and intelligence," Herguera says. …

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