The province of Granada will stand out at the San Sebastian Festival with films by Erice and Bayona

The Provincial Institution, through its film office Film in Granada, has collaborated in these two major Spanish productions shot in Granada municipalities.

Oficial posters of the Erice’s film “Close your Eyes” and Bayona’s film “Society of the Snow”.

Close Your Eyes“, the film that the famous director Víctor Erice shot last fall in the Granada towns of Gualchos-Castell de Ferro, Rubite, Dúrcal and Nigüelas, which premiered at the last Cannes Film Festival, will be one of the main attractions of the 71st San Sebastian Film Festival, which kicks off on September 22.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Golden Shell for “The Spirit of the Beehive”, the prestigious event will host the screening of “Close your Eyes” on the same day of its national theatrical release, September 29. Before the screening, Erice (Vizcaya, 1940) will receive at the Victoria Eugenia Theater one of the Donostia Awards granted this year by the Festival (the other one goes to Javier Bardem). The statuette will be presented to him by actress Ana Torrent, who starred in “The Spirit of the Beehive” when she was 6 years old and has returned to work on the Basque director’s latest film.

Víctor Erice and Ana Torrent during the shooting. Photo: © Manolo Pavón/ Tandem Films-Pecado Films

The shooting of “Close your Eyes” took place between October and November 2022 in various locations in the province of Granada, in the municipalities of Gualchos-Castell de Ferro, Rubite, Nigüelas and Dúrcal, as well as in Almería, Madrid, Alcalá de Henares, Segovia and Asturias. The Granada locations include the Caserones beach in Rubite, the viewpoint and promenade in Castell de Ferro, the Plaza de la Constitución in Gualchos, the Hotel El Secreto del Olivo in Nigüelas and the old Cinema Lecrín in Dúrcal.

Erice’s fourth feature film is a co-production of La mirada del adiós AIE, led by Cristina Zumárraga through Tandem Films, together with Jose Alba and Odile Antonio-Baez’s Andalusian production company Pecado Films, Argentina’s Pampa Films and Nautilus Films. The film is sponsored by the Granada Provincial Council, through its Film in Granada film and shooting office.

Erice gives instructions to his crew. Photo: © Manolo Pavón/ Tandem Films-Pecado Films

The script, which was conceived by Erice himself in the town of Castell de Ferro and written in collaboration with Michel Gaztambide (Goya winner for “No peace for the wicked”), tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of a famous Spanish actor, Julio Arenas (José Coronado) during the shooting of the film of his friend, director Miguel Garay (Manolo Solo). The cast is completed by a selection of big names such as Ana Torrent, María León, Petra Martinez, Soledad Villamil, Mario Pardo, Elena Miquel and José María Pou.

José Coronado in a scene shot on the coast of Granada. Photo: © Manolo Pavón/ Tandem Films-Pecado Films

The film participated in the last Cannes Film Festival, premiered last August 16 in seventy theaters in France with a great reception by critics and audiences, and will arrive on September 29 to theaters throughout Spain by the hand of the distributor Avalon and Film Factory in charge of international sales.

A three-month shoot in Sierra Nevada

Filming on the set of Laguna de las Yeguas (Sierra Nevada), at an altitude of 3,000 meters. Photo: Netlix

On the other hand, the San Sebastian Festival -within its Perlak section- has selected “Society of the Snow”, the latest blockbuster by filmmaker J.A. Bayona (Barcelona, 1975). The film was shot in the Sierra Nevada for three months and is based on the novel of the same name by Pablo Vierci, which documents the well-known plane crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in the Andes in 1972, which inspired the feature film “¡Viven!” (Frank Marshall, 1993). 

Bayona’s film, produced by Sandra Hermida and Belén Atienza (El Arriero Films), is one of the most expensive productions in the history of Netflix and one of the biggest projects ever shot in the province of Granada. The recording involved the displacement of a team of 350 people to the ski resort of Sierra Nevada (in the municipality of Monachil) for just over three months – from January to April 2022 – and a complex work plan with two units and three sets (one of them located in Laguna de las Yeguas, at an altitude of 3,000 meters, another in a large ephemeral set erected in the Los Peñones parking lot and a third in the neighboring town of Güéjar Sierra).

Bayona during filming in Sierra Nevada. Photo: Netflix

“La sociedad de la nieve” has had the collaboration of the Andalusian Government, Cetursa, the Sierra Nevada National Park and theProvincial Council’s film office, Film in Granada, which has helped in the search for locations and the selection of professionals and equipment.

The film will have its world premiere on Saturday, September 9 at the closing gala of the 80th Venice Film Festival.