- Beyonce in Final Talks to Release ‘Renaissance’ Concert Film Through AMC Theatres Following Taylor Swift Deal (EXCLUSIVE)
- International Oscar Race: Israel Picks Ayelet Menahemi’s ‘Seven Blessings,’ Armenia Selects Michael A. Goorjian’s ‘Amerikatsi’
- ‘Eras Tour’ Surprise: Taylor Swift’s Concert Film Opens in Theaters One Day Early
- Disney’s Jennifer Lee, AMPAS CEO Bill Kramer to Headline BFI London Film Festival Industry Forum
- ‘Totally Killer’ Review: Kiernan Shipka Is a Gen-Z Scream Queen in Time-Traveling Slasher
Renowned Barcelona-born director Sara Gutiérrez Galve, celebrated for her 2018 Malaga award-winning debut, “Yo La Busco,” is back with her upcoming dramedy, “Mala Gent” (“Bad People”). This film offers a sly and humorous portrayal of the intertwining stories of three main characters residing in the town of Gironès, who find themselves attending the same wedding.
Selected as one of the five promising projects at Madrid’s 5th ECAM Incubator, “Mala Gent” takes audiences on a journey, following each of its protagonists during the ten days leading up to the wedding. As they navigate their own inner struggles, they are eventually compelled to put on a brave face and partake in the festivities, resulting in moments of fleeting connection.
Gutiérrez Galve, a distinguished UCLA alum, has reunited with co-screenwriter Núria Roura for this project, which is described as “a collage that speaks of themes such as childhood, loneliness, and work.”
The production of “Mala Gent” is in the capable hands of Inés Massa (“Farrucas”) and Nadine Rothschild (“The Permanent Picture”), the founders of the budding production company, Materia Cinema. They are currently leveraging their extensive industry network to foster international co-productions while providing their expertise to foreign projects interested in filming in the region.
In addition to its participation in the ECAM Incubator, “Mala Gent” was selected for the Faberllull residency in 2021 and took part in the 2022-2023 MFI Script 2 Film Workshop, as well as this year’s D’A Lab a Desarrollo. In October, the team will head to Rome’s MIA Market, in conjunction with Spanish Screenings on Tour, to solidify further financing, co-production opportunities, and distribution deals for the film.
In a conversation with Variety, Inés Massa shared insights into Sara Gutiérrez Galve’s emerging talent and the subtle humor embedded in the intricacies of everyday life.
What drew you to produce this project?
I’ve known Sara since she was filming her debut, “Yo la Busca.” In some way, I closely followed the production process, especially her creative process. Sara was very young and embarking on a big challenge. I was surprised by the way she approached the production, the sensitivity of her gaze. I saw that she was a girl who had to be given space to grow as a creator.
Sara represents a promising voice of the new generation of Catalan filmmakers who’re committed to sharp humor that shines a light on the shadows in all of us. The tone she uses to address such everyday human issues is extremely interesting.
The concept brings together different characters at a wedding. Why is a wedding the ultimate setting for a dramedy?
Precisely because it seems like a terrible place to go when you’re having a bad day. A wedding is still a great party, a great social event which is often corseted and produced. In these conventional spaces many things can happen that destabilize that composure and in that clash there’s incongruity and comedy.
Being complicit in the dramas of people, who’re in the midst of many others who are apparently having a great time, generates discomfort and tension, which leads to humor.
Can you talk a little about the unique aspects of the script?
It’s a very constructed script, very character-based, where we explore the light and miseries of the most common people. It’s a complex structure at the script level. Sara seeks the complexity of human behavior through this seemingly simple, everyday behavior.
How important are international co-productions for Materia?
All our films have international potential, that’s partly why we like to add international partners for each of them. We think about the films we back for international audiences and adding co-producers helps us reach them. Our first film, “The Permanent Picture,” in co-production with France, is an example of the type of structures we want to continue working on. We currently have a documentary in co-production with France and it’s working very well for us. In the same way that we’re co-producing a short film with Serbia.
We like to work with other countries for the sake of reaching larger audiences, being able to add energy and resources and to make projects grow creatively with professionals that we trust from other countries who provide unique perspectives.
“Mala Gent” promises to be a captivating exploration of the human condition, infused with humor and depth. Under the skilled direction of Sara Gutiérrez Galve and with the dedicated production efforts of Inés Massa and Nadine Rothschild, this film is poised to resonate with audiences worldwide and further establish Materia Cinema as a player in international co-productions.