Granadian filmmaker wins the award for Best Andalusian Film at the Seville Festival

Director Ignacio G. Merlo, partner of “Film in Granada”, has obtained with his work “Ojalá mañana” the highest award in the “Andalusian Panorama” section.

After years of effort and dedication to cinema, his biggest passion, Granadian film director Ignacio Guarderas Merlo is now starting to reap the fruits of his work. His last feature film “Ojalá mañana” has obtained the Best Movie Award in the “Andalusian Panorama” section at the Seville European Film Festival. There he was competing along with other eleven movies directed by Andalusian filmmakers. He has been, alongside Jiennense actress Petra Martínez, the only Andalusian that received an award in the 17th edition of this prestigious event.

Ignacio G. Merlo’s (Granada, 1974) career path began more than 20 years ago in an unusual way for a film director. He started working in the industry from the bottom; he was an usher at the “Cine Ideal” in Madrid, and later he became a film projectionist at the “Cines Verdi” in Madrid as well. He gradually started combining these jobs with documentary, filmmaking and editing workshops in various institutions, including the San Antonio de los Baños Film School (Cuba).

Like many others, Guarderas grew up as a professional making short films with great enthusiasm, few production means and  always surrounded by his group of close friends. Later, as he was pursuing a Humanities degree at Carlos III University he gave medium-length film documentaries a chance, to finally take a step up to feature film projects, any young filmmaker’s dream. He has written and directed since 2007 four pseudo-documentary feature films that can be placed halfway between reality and fiction, such as “Fiebre” (2011) and “La Máscara de Cristal” (2019). The director’s entire work has been screened at the Condes de Gabia projection room, headquarters of the Delegation of Culture of the Provincial Council.

His last feature film “Ojalá mañana” (not premiered in Granada yet) has provided him at last the first acknowledgement given by a big festival. The movie is about the daily life and personal problems in a family formed by Olaia, Sebas and Lola, their seven-year-old daughter, that lives in a building’s gatehouse. Olaia works as a cleaner while she is preparing for an audition for the lead role in a play. Sebas is the janitor of the building where they live, and at this time he has to take care of Lola and their house more. Lola’s games follow in the footsteps of her mother, singing and reciting texts in front of the mirror. Very subtly, her fantasies start creeping into reality.

Paralelly to the fictional story, the plot is built on the real life of two Granada-born actors, Olaia Comesaña and Sebastián Fernández, who had to emigrate to Madrid in search of work. They have a seven-year-old daughter, Lola Fernández Comesaña and they are close friends with the director. In addition, there is the sad circumstance that Sebastián, who was also a co-screenwriter, began to suffer a serious illness during the filming and passed away shortly after. With this, the movie has taken on a new significance for his family, the director and the crew, and especially during important moments like its premiere. Apart from the award received in Seville, the film is now something else. It is a documentary about family life, and also a loving father’s testament. Apart from any doubt, it surely is a tribute to the loss of a loved one.

The director has joined Film in Granada

Ignacio G. Merlo, who returned to Granada in 2019 with a pre-doctoral contract at the Department of Social Anthropology of the UGR, is one of the sixty audiovisual professionals already associated with “Film in Granada”. This project was launched during the first Covid isolation, and aims to facilitate film, television and advertising shootings in the province and promote the local media sector, for which it is creating the first Guide for Audiovisual Professionals and Companies of Granada .

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