«Tobacco Barns», the film shot by Rocío Mesa in the Vega of Granada, will compete in San Sebastian Film Festival

The movie was supported by Film in Granada in preproduction and shooting

“Tobacco Barns”, is the first fiction movie by Rocío Mesa (Granada, 1983), a magical story written by herself that tells the intimate relationship between humanity and nature during two different stages of life, childhood and adolescence, which will take part in the New Directors section – destined to first and second films – at the 70th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival, which is going to be held from 16th to 24th September. The film, which will compete for the Kutxabank – New Directors award, it’s going to be release worldwide at the event.

“Tobacco Barns” joins the 18 Spanish productions (15 feature films, 2 short films and 1 television series) announced on Friday 15th July by José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film Festival.

“Sharing is the most vulnerable but also the most beautiful time, and that is why I feel so grateful with Zinemaldia, which offers us a privileged space for the diffusion of our work. I am so excited by the fact that our cast can be known, made up by a majority of non-professional actors, almost all of them from the Vega Granadina. I consider myself really fortunate to be able of being part in such a significant event, surrounded by a historic moment, mainly starring women filmmakers, which makes me feel accompanied and especially excited”, declared the director and scriptwriter, Rocío Mesa.

Poster of the movie with ilustration by María Medem and design by Ricardo Barquín.

Shot last summer over six weeks in various locations in the Vega of Granada -Vegas del Genil, Las Gabias, Ambroz, Valderrubio, Fuente Vaqueros, El Jau, La Paz, Chauchina, Churriana and Purchil-, “Secaderos” is “a tribute to these rural landscapes and to those who inhabit them”, said the director, who lives in Los Angeles.

“I grew up at Las Gabias, a small rural town in the Vega of Granada. The landscape of my childhood, located at the foot of Sierra Nevada’s mountains, was full of tobacco barns: huge empty constructions which reigned over the landscape. Through my eyes as a child, who knew little about history or agriculture, these huge houses were mysterious lairs of monsters that guarded the land. That is how the seed of Tobacco Barns was sown. With this film I pretend to propose an exercise of reunion between man and landscape, a peaceful confrontation with the idea of the village, a summer story, a story of human flourishing and change in geography”, concludes Rocío Mesa.

The provincial deputy of Culture, Fátima Gómez, and the deputy of Tourism, Enrique Medina, listening the executive producer, Olmo Figueredo, in the set. Photo: S. Barcena/Dipgra

«Tobacco Barns» belongs to those films that had to delay their shooting because of pandemic in 2020. Last summer we were finally able to shoot it, not without difficulties, thanks to institutions and people of Granada support. Seeing that the film will have its premiere in Donosti is already an award for Rocío and for the whole team that has fought so hard to make this film go ahead”, confessed its producer, Olmo Figueredo.

Film in Granada´s cooperation

Film in Granada, film office of the Granada Provincial Council, began to support the project from the pre-production phase, cooperating in the organisation of the casting, which took place from 14th April to 11th May 2021 at the Palacio de los Condes de Gabia of the Granada Provincial Council and which was attended by 150 non-professional actors from the Vega of Granada.

The Film Office also collaborated actively and together with the local councils of the Vega, looking for locations and arranging filming licences with other public and private entities such as the Public Construction Agency of the Junta de Andalucía or Cetursa-Sierra Nevada.

Likewise, is outstanding the local crew in the technical team, like her own director, Rocío Mesa, grown up at Las Gabias, the casting director, Marichu Sanz, besides the head of sound, Joaquín Pachón and the script, Ana Aristegui, among other professionals from Granada, as well as the participation of Fourminds Films as an associated producer the Granada company Fourminds Films as associate producer. These technicians are part of the Film in Granada Professional Guide.

Once the filming was finished, Rocío Mesa participated as a speaker last 23th October at the first Industry Conference “Film in Granada – Granada Film Festival” and received the Val del Omar award for best film as producer of “Alma anciana” (Álvaro Gurrea, 2021).

The film has obtained the sponsorship of the Provincial’s Board of Tourism of Granada, an organisation dependent on the Granada Provincial Council, as well as the participation of Canal Sur Television and the support of the ICAA- Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Culture frome the Junta de Andalucía, and the ICEC-Instituto Catalán de Empresas Culturales. International sales of the film will be handled by Latido Films.