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‘Nora,’ From ‘An Autumn Without Berlin’ Helmer Lara Izagirre, Scooped by Filmax (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety — Emilio Mayorga

Spanish producer-distributor and sales agent Filmax will handle international rights on Lara Izagirre’s “Nora,” the film opener at this year’s San Sebastian Zinemira Basque cinema showcase.

Selected for San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum in 2018, “Nora” is Izagirre’s second feature, following on ”An Autumn Without Berlin,” a Basque homecoming drama which scored a best new actress Goya award for Irene Escolar in 2016.

A co-production between Gariza Films and Tandem Films in Spain and France’s La Fidèle Production, “Nora” turns on a 30-year-old woman who lives with her grandfather in a small village in the north of the Basque Country. Although her dream is to become a travel writer, she is stuck writing the horoscope for the local paper and taking care of her friend Meri.

“My grandparents were the inspiration behind ‘Nora.’ They are four very different people but even when life got tough, they shared the philosophy: ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,'” Izagirre explained to Variety.

When Nora’s grandfather dies, she inherits his old van and decides to take a road trip along the Basque coast to deliver the man’s remains in the south of France, where her grandmother is buried. Once on the road, she discovers that she’s not a natural traveler and that her dream is actually completely incompatible with her own sensibilities.

Featuring dialogue in Basque, Spanish, English and French, “’Nora’ splits drama and comedy with a vision that is both feminine and auteurist,” said Gariza Films producer Garazi Elorza. “It is an unpretentious film which tackles small, everyday problems in a direct way. Although the road trip is only about 60 miles, an inner and much deeper journey, Nora’s own journey is much longer.”

Ane Pikaza (“The Double Plus Fifteen”) headlines a cast featuring other indie regulars in Héctor Alterio (“Son of the Bride”), Ramón Barea (“Everybody Knows”) and Klara Badiola (“The Tree of Blood”).

“Female directors are getting more and more attention every day from the industry, festivals and buyers,” said Iván Díaz, head of international at Filmax. “We’re glad to work with Lara, one of the most talented new filmmakers on the Spanish scene.”

The acquisition underscores Filmax’s interest in Basque productions with international appeal, as demonstrated by recent pick-ups of Paul Urkijo Alijo’s “Errementari,” Ángel Alonso’s “Elcano & Magellan” and Igor Legarreta’s upcoming “All the Moons.”

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