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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain / USA

Rocío Mesa makes her fiction debut with Secaderos

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- This rural drama, starring youngsters and now in post-production, was shot in her home town of Granada and is being produced by Olmo Figueredo

Rocío Mesa makes her fiction debut with Secaderos
Director Rocío Mesa and producer Olmo Figueredo on the set of Secaderos

Granada-born director Rocío Mesa is currently engrossed in the post-production of her first fiction film, Secaderos, which she shot between August and September on location in the Vega de Granada. Teenager Ada Mar Lupiañez Huertas and youngster Vera Centenera Carnero topline a cast made up of non-professional actors, who hail from the area where this story unfolds. It’s a tale about the relationship that human beings have with their towns and cities; both those who love them and those who are compelled to escape from them.

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A small rural community seems like paradise for a city girl, but like a prison for a local teenager: these two parallel stories unfurl amidst tobacco drying rooms over the course of one summer, dripping with magic and realism. The main characters in the movie, Nieves and Vera, embody these respective feelings, which conflict with one another but are actually not so far removed from each other: the former has reached adolescence and yearns for the diversity of urban life, whereas the latter, a city girl, feels a fascination for the freedom and magic offered by life in the country.

Its director and screenwriter, Rocío Mesa, who made her feature-length debut with the documentary Orensanz in 2013 and who has directed three non-fiction shorts, sees Secaderos as a tribute to those areas and the people who live there. “I grew up in Las Gabias, a small town in the Vega de Granada. The countryside of my childhood, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, was dotted with tobacco drying rooms: enormous, empty buildings that dominated the landscape. For me at that time, as a girl who knew so little about history and agriculture, those gigantic houses were the mysterious lairs of monsters who watched over the land. And that’s how the germ of this film arose – with it, I intend to offer an exercise akin to a reunion between mankind and the landscape, a peaceful clash over the idea of the town, a story set in the summertime, a tale about humans blossoming and changes in the terrain.”

Olmo Figueredo (who took part in Producers on the Move in 2020 – see the interview), the producer of this feature, states: “I met Rocío five years ago. I didn’t know much about her, because she had left her birth place of Granada behind a long time ago to go and study and forge a career in the United States; but that first impression just floored me. She passionately described a story to me, halfway between fiction and documentary, which blended elements of an autobiographical nature with others you would find in the fantastical genre, and which, furthermore, she wanted to shoot in her homeland, the Vega de Granada. This setting, which not many people know about, is a naturally dreamlike landscape, pretty and melancholic in equal measure, brimming with poplar groves, corn fields, tobacco plantations… and now also steeped in cinema.”

Secaderos is being produced by La Claqueta PC, La Cruda Realidad, Un Capricho de Producciones and Secaderos La Película AIE, in association with DDT Efectos Especiales and in co-production with Amplitud Inc (USA). The film sees the involvement of Canal Sur Televisión, and boasts support from the ICAA, the Regional Cultural Ministry of the Andalusian Government and the ICEC (Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies). At the project stage, it took part in the Sundance and Sources 2 international development workshops. Its international sales are being handled by Latido Films.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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