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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Alberto Rodríguez films Modelo 77

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- Filming starts this week on the next project by the director of Marshland, starring the same lead actor, Javier Gutiérrez alongside Miguel Herrán

Alberto Rodríguez films Modelo 77
Actor Javier Gutiérrez, director Alberto Rodríguez and actor Miguel Herrán on the set of Modelo 77 (© Cesc Maymó/Atípica Films/Movistar+)

Alberto Rodríguez is returning to full-length feature films –after his hard work on The Plague [+see also:
interview: Alberto Rodríguez and Rafae…
series profile
]
– with Modelo77. After completing his historical drama series, the Seville film maker, his long-standing partner Rafael Cobos and his ever-faithful production company, Atípica Films, are continuing their creative collaboration with Movistar+ on this new fiction film.

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On Monday 2 August in Barcelona, work began on this ambitious project, with filming expected to last until October, in a range of locations such as Barcelona's Model prison and a range of places in the province of Seville. Miguel Herrán (Winner of the Goya for Best New Actor for Nothing in Return [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daniel Guzmán
film profile
]
) and Javier Gutiérrez (Goya for Best Actor for Marshland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alberto Rodríguez
film profile
]
, by the same director, and for The Motive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Manuel Martín Cuenca
film profile
]
, the lead this year in Below Zero [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lluís Quílez
film profile
]
and The Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) head the case for this film, playing two prisoners.

The film tells the story of a young accountant (Herrán) on remand pending trial for embezzlement and possibly facing 10 to 20 years in prison, a disproportionate sentence for the nature of his crime. However, this is 1977 and inside the Modelo prison it is a case of survival of the fittest. Despite everything working against his acquittal, the young man refuses to dive up and joins a group of prisoners preparing to demand amnesty. If things are changing outside the prison, they must also change inside. This becomes COPEL, the Coordination of Fighting Prisoners.

“In 2006 we heard the story of COPEL: a group of prisoners who found a way to work together, stay united and fight for what they believe in, no matter how utopian. At the height of the Transition in Spain, as a step towards democracy, Spanish prisons found themselves stirred up by a group of inmates calling for amnesty and freedom,” says Alberto Rodríguez. “More than anything else, they were trying to find a way to stick together in hostile, repressive world where social justice or mere basic human rights were conspicuous by their absence. Finally, we have the chance to make this story into a film. I hope we will be able to make as emotional and human a film as the story it narrates.” 

Alberto Rodríguez will be working with his usual team: a list of professionals that includes  Rafael Cobos, his co-writer on the script; Director of Photography Álex Catalán, Art Director Pepe Domínguez del Olmo, costume designer Fernando García, Production Director Manuela OcónDaniel de Zayas (Winner of a Goya for Before the Fall) in charge of direct sound; José M. G. Moyano as editor and Julio de la Rosa, composer of the original soundtrack.

“Prisons are the reflection of a nation. How inmates are treated and what they are in says a lot about what is going on. And what the future holds. In 1977 Spain was going through one of the most important moments of freedom in its history. But the Transition, that idyllic place between darkness and hope, passed by without a thought for what was happening in the prisons. And we had to tell that story,” stresses Cobos.

Modelo 77 is produced by Atípica Films and Movistar+ and will open in Spanish cinemas, distributed by  Buena Vista International. After its cinema release, it will be available to view on Movistar+.

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(Translated from Spanish by Alexandra Stephens)

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