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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Chiqui Carabante is back with La fortaleza

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- The Spanish filmmaker is presently shooting this black comedy-thriller starring Fernando Cayo, Goya Toledo and Fernando Tejero

Chiqui Carabante is back with La fortaleza
(l-r) Actors Fernando Tejero and Fernando Cayo, director Chiqui Carabante and actress Goya Toledo during the presentation of La fortaleza at the recent Málaga Film Festival

The Extremaduran locations of Mérida, Almendralejo and Palomas are, at least for the months of June and July, serving as the settings for the filming of La fortaleza (lit. “The Fortress”), the third feature by Chiqui Carabante, following Carlos Against the World and 12+1, una comedia metafísica (from 2012), plus a raft of highly acclaimed short films such as Bailongas and Los Díaz felices. On 14 June, the first clapperboard slammed for this suspenseful black comedy starring Fernando Cayo (seen not long ago in Sky High [+see also:
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), Goya Toledo (appearing in the recent title Acantilado [+see also:
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), José Manuel Poga (The Endless Trench [+see also:
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), Fernando Tejero (glimpsed in last year’s My Heart Goes Boom! [+see also:
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), Vito Sanz (who graced screens a short while ago in The August Virgin [+see also:
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), Carla Nieto and Lola Casamayor. They are flanked by Manolo Solo, Nacho Fresneda and seasoned thesp Manuel Zarzo. Some of the cast and crew presented the project at the recent 24th Málaga Film Festival, in the Neocine section.

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With a screenplay penned by Carabante, Salvador S Molina and David Orea, it tells of how, following the death of Arturo Viaplana, his children attend the reading of his last will and testament in the hope of inheriting his immense fortune. What they don’t know is that their father has not chosen an heir, but rather, he’s thought up a posthumous joke to play on them. According to the director, it is “the story of five characters brought together for 24 hours, who have to fight for an inheritance that each one seems to have a right to, in a game orchestrated by the deceased: the last one he ever plays with his children. It’s a way to have fun while also telling them what he wasn’t able to do while he was alive. A posthumous joke in order to be together with them one last time and be frank with them. That’s the main storyline, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface.

For actor Fernando Cayo, this feature “is going to be a highly entertaining and unsettling comedy, with elements of the films of Buñuel and Berlanga. Chiqui is an extraordinary filmmaker who combines arthouse film with an original, humorous vision of life, which is so essential in cinema.” Goya Toledo, for her part, admits, “When I read the script, I thought: ‘So much trauma, and there’s such a big mark that’s left by your upbringing and what you live through in your childhood years!’” Meanwhile, Tejero states: “It has all the ingredients to be an auteur film and a mainstream one at the same time.”

“It’s the story of several characters who believe they are competing for their inheritance, but in reality, they are fighting to know who they are in this universe we call family,” continues the director. “And the titular fortress they are striving for will become a threatening and mysterious character, as inside, it harbours the dark secret of the origins of the family fortune, which will force the siblings to decide whether to perpetuate a lie or begin a new life, free of the burden of the past.”

La fortaleza is a production by Lolita Films, Mediaevs, Featurent, Un Fin De Semana Juntos AIE and Glow, with the involvement of Canal Sur, and with backing from the ICAA (Ministry of Culture), Crea SGR, Badajoz Council and Almendralejo City Council.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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