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PRODUCTION Spain

Denis Rovira directing Emma Suárez in The Influence

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- The filmmaker’s feature debut is a thriller that boasts backing from Kiko Martínez, of Nadie es perfecto

Denis Rovira directing Emma Suárez in The Influence
Maggie Civantos, Emma Suárez, Claudia Placer, Manuela Vellés and Alain Hernández presenting the shoot for The Influence to the press

Following a string of highly successful adverts and fantastic short films (Angel, Lazarus taxón and The Faucet), Denis Rovira made the leap to the feature-length format on 13 June, when he began filming The Influence, a film that shares the same genre and is toplined by Emma Suárez (Julieta [+see also:
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trailer
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
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]
), Maggie Civantos, Manuela Vellés, Alain Hernández and Claudia Placer, who previously got scared senseless in Verónica [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Paco Plaza
film profile
]
. The screenplay – written by the director himself, Daniel Rissech and Michel Gaztambide (winner of the Goya Award for No Rest for the Wicked [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) – is based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Ramsey Campbell, the grand master of modern horror. Incidentally, a number of his stories have previously been brought to the big screen by the likes of Jaume Balagueró (The Nameless) and his buddy Paco Plaza (Second Name).

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According to the synopsis provided by the production company, Alicia, now a young mother, returns to the creepy mansion that she ran away from as a little girl. Accompanied by her husband and their nine-year-old daughter, Nora, the woman is seeking to rebuild her life, but she is forced to face up to a past she thought was dead and buried, and a body that refuses to give in to death: that of Victoria, the possessive matriarch of the family. She has fallen into a deep coma and only survives by being connected to a life-support machine – but little Nora shows an unhealthy fascination with her. The Influence is a macabre tale about the burden of family ties and the transcendental nature of death.

Now bang at the halfway point of the shoot, Kiko Martínez, who is kicking off a new solo career after producing seven films with Álex de la Iglesia (including the box-office hit The Bar [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alex de la Iglesia
film profile
]
), told Cineuropa: “Ever since we started Nadie es perfecto, we’ve been putting a lot of faith in new directors, such as Zoe Berriatúa, the guys behind Shrew’s Nest [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Esteban Roel and Juanfer An…
film profile
]
and Eduardo Casanova. In Denis Rovira’s case, he also came with an incredible amount of technical know-how, as he has directed several adverts, and he brought along the film adaptation of a novel by a writer who’s always fascinated me.”

The Influence (no relation to Pedro Aguilera’s La influencia [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, despite them sharing the same Spanish title) is a production by Nadie es perfecto. It sees the involvement of RTVE and is being made in conjunction with the Asturias Film Commission. It is being shot over a period of seven weeks in Madrid, San Rafael and Asturias, and its distribution and international sales will be handled by Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia.

(Translated from Spanish)

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