Valencia, September 23, 2023 – Award-winning filmmaker Carla Simon, renowned for her Berlin Golden Bear-winning film “Alcarràs,” is embarking on an exciting departure in her filmmaking journey. She is set to direct a neorealist flamenco musical, marking her fourth feature project.
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This innovative venture is not only a significant shift from her previous works but also a heartfelt exploration of her personal connections to the art form. The project, titled “Romería,” is set to be produced by María Zamora at her Valencia-based production and distribution company, Elástica Films, continuing their successful collaboration from “Alcarràs.”
“Romería” is the third installment in Simon’s trilogy, initiated by the critically acclaimed “Summer 1993,” and is scheduled to commence production in the summer of 2024, according to Zamora.
Carla Simon, in a recent interview with Variety, shared her motivation behind this unique project. She revealed, “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.”
Simon further elaborated, stating, “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.”
The film will be set in the neighborhood of La Mina, Barcelona, offering a unique backdrop to the fusion of neorealism and flamenco.
María Zamora, the producer, commented on the unexpected nature of the project, saying, “A classical and avant-garde flamenco musical shot in La Mina, a characteristic neighborhood 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. 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.”
This ambitious project is scheduled to move into production in 2026 and is expected to be structured as a European co-production, possibly involving partners from various regions. Zamora emphasized the international appeal of flamenco, stating, “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.”
Reflecting on their collaboration, Zamora added, “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.”
Carla Simon and María Zamora have been pivotal figures in the recent arthouse film scene in Spain through their production company, Elástica Films. Their involvement in acclaimed projects such as “Alcarràs,” “Matria,” “Creature,” and “The Rye Horn” has garnered international attention and acclaim.
Moreover, Elástica Films has expanded its horizons by venturing into TV production with Amazon’s Prime Video series “Hildegart,” signaling their intention to scale up and diversify while maintaining their commitment to independent auteur cinema.
María Zamora summarized their future aspirations, stating, “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.”
Carla Simon’s neorealist flamenco musical promises to be a captivating addition to her already impressive body of work, further cementing her status as a filmmaker unafraid to explore new artistic territories.
Carla Simon is an acclaimed filmmaker known for her neorealist and emotionally resonant storytelling. Her film “Summer 1993” received critical acclaim and established her as a prominent voice in contemporary cinema. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Berlin Golden Bear for “Alcarràs.”
María Zamora is a renowned producer and founder of Elástica Films, a Valencia-based production and distribution company. She has been a driving force behind several successful arthouse projects in Spain and has expanded into TV production with Amazon’s Prime Video series “Hildegart.”