Du Cardelin Studio Finalizing Production on ‘Manolo Kabezabolo,’ Prepping ’Calle Varsovia’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Spanish company Du Cardelin Studio is finalizing production on doc-feature “Manolo Kabezabolo,” about the life of iconic Spanish punk singer, directed by José Alberto Andrés Lacasta.

“Manolo Kabezabolo” is being introduced to the international market at Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival by Du Cardelin Studio’s Carmen Pérez Mata, one of the 32 producers selected for the new edition of Match Me! the Locarno’s networking forum which takes place Aug. 5-7.

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A Zaragoza-based production house, Du Cardelin has teamed with San Sebastián’s Maluta Films to co-produce the project.

The documentary narrates the life story of Manuel Méndez Lozano, better known as Manolo Kabezabolo (Zaragoza, 1966), a punk artist who rather unpredictably has seemingly outlasted time, space and trends, without abandoning his essence and principles, to become a counter-cultural icon.

Lensing will wrap by the end of September and a Spanish theatrical release is planned for next year, Pérez Mata told Variety.

According to director Andrés Lacasta, “Manolo has not given up any of the principles that led him to compose and play for some friends on the street for the first time; he remains faithful to his punk way of locating himself in the world 24 hours a day, attached to his guitar as the only vital handle to continue maintaining his faded fury.”

He added: “[Manolo] is still attached to psychiatric hospitals and the mental illness that has accompanied him since he was 12-years-old and that’s an inseparable part of his being a person and an artist, and on which a surreal apocryphal narrative has formed around his life and work.”

At Locarno, Pérez Mata will be pitching “Manolo Kabezabolo” looking for a potential international sales deals.

“The documentary will re-discover a time and a figure that transcends the geographical and local area where [Kabezabolo’s] life has passed, meaning that its scope can cross borders,” Pérez Mata said.

“Foreign audiences will find a character that develops in musical range and the trail of an urban tribe  – that of punk- which quickly became universal. What Manolo experienced and starred in has a very clear and evident alignment of compression with audiences outside Spain. Our vocation is to bring out those elements that make the character empathic and understandable even outside our borders. That’s why the documentary is also born with a strong vocation of international distribution,” she argued.

Calle Varsovia - Credit: Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio
Calle Varsovia - Credit: Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio

Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio

“Manolo Kabezabolo” has won support in Spain from Zaragoza’s Town Hall and Provincial Council, the Huesca Filmmakers Association and regional public broadcaster Aragon TV.

The Zaragoza-based company will also be pitching at Match Me! the in-development social drama “Calle Varsovia,” also written and directed by Andrés Lacasta.

The project is set in Toulouse in 1999 and revolves around Estela, a Spanish old woman exiled after the Spanish Civil War. In the twilight of her life, she battles to resolve a tense relationship with her three sons.

A convalescence after an ictus will give her the opportunity to reunite with her loved ones, but economic tensions, open wounds from the past, and family secrets dating back to the times of the War will threaten to end everything with Estela’s family, the synopsis runs.

At Match Me! “Calle Varsovia’s” producer will be seeking international co-production, distributor and a TV agent. Since the story has to be shot in France, the film is designed as a Spain-France co-production.

An emerging independent film, TV and even museum contents producer, Du Cardelin aims to explore new spaces through international co-production, while seeking transversality both in themes and audiences.

“Platforms are a very important part of the film industry today and we believe it is important to be open to working with them, although for emerging companies like ours, sometimes it is a bit complicated to access them, but we are interested in working with them in the near future,” Pérez Mata said.

“In this sense – she added – although our productions are medium and small in size, our vocation in the company’s publishing house is universal, which is why now and in the future our goal is focused on global platforms.”

Carmen Perez - Credit: Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio
Carmen Perez - Credit: Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio

Courtesy of De Cardelin Studio

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