SAN SEBASTIAN – Barcelona-based Lastor Media and Malmo Pictures have teamed with San Sebastian’s Irusoin to produce “Suro” (The Cork), the feature debut of Mikel Gurrea and a product of San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak program.
The film stars Laia Costa, who broke through with Sebastian Schipper’s “Victoria” and also serves as executive producer, and Pol López (Josep M. Fontana’s “Boi”). “Suro” is scheduled to start shooting next year.
Set in the Empordà region of Catalonia, close to the French border, “Suro” is a Catalan-language dramatic thriller with an auteurist voice but aimed at wider audiences, according to its producers.
The news comes as Irusoin, producers of “Loreak,” Spain’s international Oscar entry in 2015, world premieres in main competition section “The Endless Trench,” directed by Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga. Another Irusoin production, Asier Altuna and Telmo Esnal’s “Agur Etxebeste,” a sequel of “Aupa Etxebeste!,” a New Directors Audience Award in 2005. bows at the Basque Film Gala competing for the Irizar Basque Film Award.
“We’ve established a production bridge in Andalusia with La Claqueta Films [“The Endless Trench,” Manuel Martín Cuenca’s TV-series “The Miramar Murders”] and we want now to establish another one with Catalonia. It’s a necessary financing model in Spain and we’re delighted to work with Lastor and Malmo,” Irusoin’s Xabier Berzosa told Variety. He added: “And Mikel Gurrea is a very mature first-time director with a highly robust project.”
Lastor is behind the latest installment— “The Days to Come”— of Carlos Marques-Marcet’s trilogy which began with SXSW Special Jury prize winner “10,000 Km.” “Days” participates at this current San Sebastian festival edition on its Made in Spain showcase.
“Suro” follows Elena and Iván. About to have their first child, they decide to leave the city and move to the countryside to reset the cork plantation she has inherited. Welcoming illegal worker into their home, the couple tests their sense of solidarity and tolerance, discovering how far they are willing to go to achieve their dream— even if it endangers a person’s life.
“The script is a compact and forceful work, very knowing in playing with the tension between what is shown and what isn’t, between the image we show towards others and what we really are. This creates a suffocating atmosphere that creates a modern film with a classic air,”said Sergi Moreno at Lastor Media. Script is written by Gurrea.
Gurrea won kudos at Montreal’s Festival des Filmes du Monde and the StockFish film festivals with his 2015 short “Foxes.” In 2016 he participated with “Suro” in San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak, a project-based training-residence program, where he received a post-production award, and the San Sebastian Festival’s commitment to include the finished feature in one of its sections.
Among other international development programs, “Suro” also participated at The Jerusalem International Film Lab, where the filmmakers were invited to shoot a whole sequence of the film. A still of this sequence is pictured above.