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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Pedro Almodóvar producing another Isabel Coixet film

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- El Deseo is financing Nieva en Benidorm, the new movie by the Catalan director, filming for which kicked off on Monday in the titular multilingual tourist hotspot

Pedro Almodóvar producing another Isabel Coixet film
Director Isabel Coixet, actor Timothy Spall and actress Sarita Choudhury (© Zoe Coixet Sala)

The fact that, for the last few decades, Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín – ever accompanied by their faithful collaborator Esther García – have not restricted themselves to producing only the films by the Manchegan helmer (who has been Oscar-nominated this year for Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
) has been demonstrated time and again over the years. For instance, they have put their names to various titles by filmmakers such as Lucrecia Martel (Zama [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lucrecia Martel
film profile
]
), Álex de la Iglesia (Acción mutante) and Isabel Coixet, in fact financing two previous features by the latter (My Life Without Me [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and The Secret Life of Words [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
]
, a film that scooped five Goya Awards in 2005). Monday 20 January saw the shoot kick off for Nieva en Benidorm (lit. “It’s Snowing in Benidorm”), the third collaboration between the Manchegan producers and the Catalan director. As its title suggests, the movie unfolds in the eastern Spanish city dotted with skyscrapers, where people flock to from all over Europe in search of its warm waters, pleasant climate and extensive range of leisure activities.

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Standing out in the cast are Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
]
), Sarita Choudhury (who is working with Coixet once again after appearing in Learning to Drive), Carmen Machi (The Tribe [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Ana Torrent (Verónica [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paco Plaza
film profile
]
) and Pedro Casablanc (B, la película [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
). On the crew are high-profile and dependable names such as Jean-Claude Larrieu (The Bookshop [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, among other films by Coixet), who is serving as DoP; Alfonso de Vilallonga, in charge of the music (and also a regular crew member for the director of Yesterday Never Ends [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Isabel Coixet
interview: Isabel Coixet
interview: Javier Camara
film profile
]
); and Sylvie Imbert – the winner of three Goyas, one of which she pocketed for Endless Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
]
– who is taking care of hair and make-up.

Of course, Benidorm boasts some undeniably irresistible aesthetics (remember that it was there that Javier Bardem’s alpha-male character built phallic skyscrapers in Golden Balls by the late Bigas Luna) and a melting pot of cultures (if your ears start to tire of hearing Spanish, how about a late-night stroll through its British neighbourhood, then exploring another part of the city and feeling like you’re in a no-man’s land overrun with foulmouthed English-speaking tourists?). The city is the peculiar setting that serves as a backdrop for “an unclassifiable romantic thriller about love late in life, meteorological phenomena and Sylvia Plath”, according to the director. There, a man discovers that real life can begin at any time, even when we thought it was no longer possible… Because if it snows on the Costa Blanca, anything is possible.

This is the more detailed synopsis provided by the producers: when Peter Riordan – a lonely, obsessive and methodical man – takes early retirement from the Manchester bank where he’s worked his whole life, he decides to visit his brother Daniel, who lives in Benidorm. When he arrives in Spain, he finds out that his sibling has disappeared and that, in addition, he was the owner of a burlesque club. Alex, a mysterious woman who sucks him in completely with her allure, works in this club, and together, Peter and Alex will attempt to find out what became of Daniel, aided by a police woman obsessed with Sylvia Plath and her presence in Benidorm in the 1950s, back when it was just a tiny fishing village.

Nieva en Benidorm, which is written and directed by Isabel Coixet, will be filmed – in English and Spanish – over a period of one-and-a-half months. It is an El Deseo and El Tercer Deseo Films AIE production, which boasts the involvement of Movistar +, RTVE, the ICAA (which gave it a €1 million grant in 2019) and the Benidorm Film Office. Its national distribution will be entrusted to Bteam Pictures, while its world sales will be handled by Barcelona-based sales agent Film Factory Entertainment.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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