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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain / Netherlands

Omar Al Abdul Razzak’s Matar cangrejos currently shooting

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- Tenerife serves as the setting for the feature-length fiction debut by the director of the documentaries Paradiso and The Calm Tempest, which is being produced by Tourmalet Films

Omar Al Abdul Razzak’s Matar cangrejos currently shooting
Director Omar Al Abdul Razzak with actresses Paula Campos and Sigrid Ojel, during the shoot for Matar cangrejos (© Sara Gallego)

Omar Al Abdul Razzak, the director of the documentaries Paradiso and The Calm Tempest, is now immersed in the shoot for his feature-length fiction debut: Matar cangrejos (lit. “Killing Crabs”). The action of the movie, based on a screenplay written by the director himself, unfolds on Tenerife (Canary Islands) in the 1990s. Dolphins, parrots, prickly pears and two siblings. Eight-year-old Rayco is fascinated by Michael Jackson’s arrival on the island, and by a hermit who lives in a cave by the sea. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Paula is grappling with the imminent eviction of her grandmother, who drifts from one abandoned hotel on the coast to the next.

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“I grew up on the Canary Islands: I arrived when I was barely two months old, and I lived there until I turned 18 and went to Madrid to study film,” remarks the director. “I never thought about going back… until my son was born. Twenty years later, I feel like I have to go back to Tenerife to tell unknown stories about the place I come from, my homeland and my family. It’s a place that I sometimes remembered as this made-up paradise invented for the tourists and, most of the time, as a remote and resilient enclave. This film is an attempt to lay out a number of memories from my childhood and teenage years in order: the year when Michael Jackson came to Tenerife or the weekend when my sister and I stayed in one of those cave houses where the woman who looked after us lived.”

At the project stage, the movie took part in the SGAE Foundation’s Script Creation Lab, the second edition of La Incubadora/The Screen (see the news) run by ECAM (which has spawned movies such as Ane Is Missing [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Pérez Sañudo
film profile
]
and The Sacred Spirit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Chema García Ibarra
film profile
]
, plus Cinco lobitos, which is currently in the midst of post-production – see the news) and the first edition of the Match! Me programme run by the Locarno Film Festival. The lead actors are Paula Campos and Agustín Díaz, two children who were chosen after a lengthy and meticulous casting process. The rest of the cast comprises Sigrid Ojel and non-professional actors from the island of Tenerife.

Matar cangrejos is a production by Tourmalet Films (Spain) in co-production with IJswater Films (Netherlands). It has secured funding from the ICAA, the Canary Islands government, TEA Island Council of Tenerife and Creative Europe – MEDIA. It also sees the involvement of Televisión Canaria. The Spanish distribution will be handled by Filmax.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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