Gracia Querejeta’s “The Invisible,” toplining Emma Suárez, star of Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta,” and Toni Bestard’s “Pullman” have been acquired for international sales by Feel Content.
They will be made available for online access to buyers as part of next week’s Malaga Festival’s Spanish Screenings Market Premieres showcase, one of the industry event’s main draws.
A distinguished director of now 10 increasingly varied features – including 2017 dark melodrama “Happy 140” and doc feature “Tanto Monta,” and 2018’s absurdist thriller “Crime Wave” – “The Invisible” sees Querejeta returning to her more observational, character-driven mode of 2004’s Malaga Festival winner “Hector,” and “15 Years and One Day,” a 2013 best picture Goya contender, and Spain’s 2014 Academy Awards submission.
She does so in “The Invisible,” written with regular co-scribe Antonio Mercero, with a directness contrasting with her early often more oblique work.
In what Querejeta herself recognizes as her most personal work to date, “Invisible,” which played at this year’s Miami Festival, has three longstanding women friends, Elsa, Amelia and Julia – meet every early Thursday over Spring for a walk in a Madrid park. But they talk, often on park benches, as much as they walk.
The trio are vastly different – but they share a common horror at aging which allows events to shake the very foundations of their being: Elsa’s sense of her physical attractiveness; Julia’s residual faith in herself as a good high school teacher; and Amelia’s fragile sense of security with her new partner.
Shot like a chamber piece (albeit in the open air) – other characters have cameo roles, are seen once and never again – “Invisible” may rate as Querejeta’s most personal and quietly subversive film yet. People, she suggests, cannot change. It is also a showpiece for three of the greatest Spanish actresses of their generation: Suarez (“April’s Daughter”), Adriana Ozores (“A Time for Defiance”) and Nathalie Poza (“Can’t Say Goodbye”).
“The Invisible” is produced by Nephilim Producciones, founded in 2001 by Luis Collar and Jorge Moreno, and the co-producer of select titles such as Sebastian Lelio’s “Gloria” and Lucia Garibaldi’s “The Sharks.”
A cliché-busting portrait of Majorca, which marks the second fiction feature of three-time Goya nominee Bestart, “Pullman” is produced by Singular Audiovisual. That seems appropriate, since “Pullman” is singular indeed, a sweet-tempered tween social conscience movie as two young neighbors, on the cusp of adolescence, Daren (Keba Diedhou) and Nadia (Alba Bonnin Østrem), set off in Palma to discover the source of a light on a tall tower in the city and encounter a world from which they’ve been sheltered: Prostitution, the homeless, drug abuse, and xenophobia.
Pullman is a plush name for the tenement buildings where they reside. The kids don’t always understand what they see – a drug addict slumped in a chair passing out after a fix – but they are sufficiently knowing to sense their future place in the world. Nadia’s mother dances for the rich, she says. Daren’s is a principled construction worker. This is modest adventure, but endearing precisely for that, an exposé, though never on the nose, of what Bestart calls “the back shop of Paradise.”