The shooting of “Secaderos” begins, Granadian filmmaker Rocío Mesa’s fiction debut. Produced by Olmo Figueredo

The film is sponsored by the Provincial Office of Tourism and has the collaboration of “Film in Granada”

The Granada-born filmmaker is today behind the camera to film -for 6 weeks in various locations in the Vega de Granada- “Secaderos”, her first fiction feature film after her documentary debut “Orensanz” in 2013. Produced by Olmo Figueredo (“The infinite trench”), “Secaderos” is a ensemble, multigenerational and universal story about the relationship of human beings with their environment.

“Secaderos” is led by non-professional actors that are native to the Vega de Granada, location where this story takes place. It is about the relationship of human beings with their hometowns, about the kind of people who love the place they were raised and the other kind of people who need to escape from them. The main characters, Vera and Nieves, respectively represent these opposite, but not distant, feelings. Vera is a city girl, fascinated by the freedom and magic of the countryside; Nieves has reached adolescence and yearns for the diversity of the urban. Two parallel stories that take place between secaderos (tobacco drying rooms) during a summer characterised by both magic and realism.

The director Rocío Mesa, who is also the author of the script, has explained where this fictional story comes from, which could be perfectly real and which is a tribute to those who star in it: “I grew up in Las Gabias, a small rural town in the Vega de Granada. The landscape of my childhood, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, was full of secaderos (tobacco drying rooms): huge empty buildings that reigned over the landscape. Before my eyes as a child who knew little about history or agriculture, these giant houses were mysterious monster lairs that took care of the earth. And this is how the Secaderos seed originated. I have been Vera and I have been Nieves. I have played free in the beautiful fields of my village, imagining a thousand adventures during my childhood. And yet as I reached adolescence, I felt the frustration of being trapped in a too small place that had already lost its magic”.

In the image, the Granadian director Rocío Mesa with the adolescent Ada Mar Lupiáñez Huertas and the young Vera Centenera Carnero, protagonists of the film. (Photo: Alana Mejía / Secaderos)

“Secaderos” is a rural drama with elements of comedy and fantasy that speaks of universal feelings with which anyone can identify. In the style of films like “Uncle Boonmee”, “Apichatpong Weerasetthakul” or “My neighbor Totoro” by Hayao Miyazaki it creates a deep story on its character’s past lives.

Moreover, producer Olmo Figueredo has stated that “5 years ago I met Rocío. I knew little about her because she had long since left behind her native Granada in order to study and pursue a career in the United States, but that first impression of her was overwhelming. She passionately described a story halfway between fiction and documentary, which mixed elements of an autobiographical narrative and elements of the fantasy genre. A story that she wanted to shoot in her land, in the Vega de Granada. A scenario that is part of her DNA but which for many, unfortunately, is completely unknown. A dreamlike natural landscape, as marvelously beautiful as it is melancholic, full of poplar groves, cornfields, tobacco crops, secaderos … and now, cinema too”.

The film’s executive producer is Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo (“La Trinchera Infinita”, “Adiós”) and Paola Sainz de Baranda (“Antes de la quema”), both headpeople of La Claqueta PC and La Cruda Realidad, and with the co-production of Belén Sánchez (“Innocence”) from Un Capricho de Producciones. The American Amplitude INC & DDT Special Effects have joined the project as well. It has the participation of Canal Sur Televisión and the support of the ICAA (Provincial (Granada) and Autonomic (Andalucía) Ministries of Culture), and the ICEC (Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies). International sales of the film will be handled by Latido Films.

Likewise, it has the sponsorship of the Granadian Provincial Tourism Patronage and the collaboration of Film in Granada (film office of the Provincial Council). Both institutions (with the collaboration of the Granada-based producer Fourminds Films) have helped in the pre-production phase and in the organization of a casting in which more than 2,000 people from Granada participated. The project has participated in the Sundance Lay Sources 2 international development workshops, which is clear proof of the international potential of the project.

“Secaderos” will be the fourth fiction feature film produced in 2021 by La Claqueta PC, after having faced the filming of Violeta Salama’s debut “Alegría”, Alexis Morante’s “El Universo de Oliver”, both in post-production at the moment; and Rubin Stein’s “Tin & Tina”, whose film shooting started in Seville two weeks ago. The production company was founded 20 years ago by Olmo Figueredo and Manuel H. Martin in Seville. It has more than 40 titles including feature films, short films, documentaries and series. His latest projects include the multi-award-winning “La trinchera infinita” (2019) by the director trio Arregi, Garaño and Goneaga, “El inconveniente” (2020) by Berbabé Rico, “El verano que vivimos” (2020) by Carlos Sedes or “Adiós” (2019) by Paco Cabezas.