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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain / Portugal

Folk-horror flick O corpo aberto now filming

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- Tamar Novas toplines the movie, which is being directed by Ángeles Huerta and unfolds on the Spanish-Portuguese border, during an era steeped in mystery and darkness

Folk-horror flick O corpo aberto now filming
Director Ángeles Huerta and her lead actor, Tamar Novas, during the shoot for O corpo aberto (© Marcos Pereiro)

At the start of November, in the environs of Muíños (Ourense), Spain, the shoot kicked off for O corpo aberto (lit. “The Open Body”), a folk-horror feature being directed by Ángeles Huerta and based on a story by Galician author Xosé Luis Méndez Ferrín. It tells the tale of a school teacher whose first posting, in the early 20th century, is in Lobosandaus, a small town in the raia seca region, on the border between Galicia and Portugal. No sooner has the teacher, played by Tamar Novas (The Mess You Leave Behind), arrived than he senses how mystery and death naturally coexist in the everyday lives of the residents of this stark, rugged place. But the teacher, from his standpoint of rationalism and science, will be confronted by a communal belief held by the local population: that the spirits of the dead can manifest themselves and remain among the residents, as they inhabit other bodies.

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The limits, raias or borderlines that separate the world of the dead from that of the living, gender, identity, and the evocative power of tradition and folklore will be just some of the core ideas that underpin the film, which will boast an original soundtrack by Galician artist Mercedes Peón. The shoot is taking place entirely in the region of Xurés-Gêres, in the Portuguese villages of Tourem and Pitoes, within the parish of Montalegre. It is also being shot in the Galician municipalities of Muíños, Lobeira and Calvos de Randín, in Ourense province.

In total, the shoot will last six weeks, during which time the production team will transform the territory into the enigmatic village of Lobosandaus. The cast is rounded off by well-known names from the world of Galician audiovisual productions, such as María Vázquez (Eye for an Eye [+see also:
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), Federico Pérez (Brothers-in-Law [+see also:
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), Elena Seijo (Elisa & Marcela [+see also:
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) and Miquel Ínsua (Bitter Daisies), as well as Portuguese actress Victoria Guerra (Auga seca).

Ángeles Huerta has a Doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Oviedo and graduated in Practical Filmmaking fromLondon’s Met Film School. In 2017, she released her feature debut, Esquece Monelos, a non-fiction film that tells the story of a hidden, underground river that has been turned into a sewer beneath the streets of A Coruña, which was nominated for the Feroz Award for Best Documentary. In addition, it was deemed worthy of three Mestre Mateo Awards (for Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Editing) as well as a Special Jury Mention at Documenta Madrid 17, among other accolades.

O corpo aberto is a co-production between OlloVivo (Galicia), Fasten Films (Catalonia) and Cinemate (Portugal), and it boasts support from the Galician Regional Government, via the Galician Cultural Industry Agency (AGADIC), and the Spanish government, through the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA). The feature, which also sees the involvement of Televisión Española and Televisión de Galicia, will land in Spanish cinemas in autumn 2022, distributed by Filmax.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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