‘L’immensita’ Helmer Emanuele Crialese to Produce ‘Rona,’ from San Sebastian Winner Emiliano Torres (EXCLUSIVE)

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Directing Penélope Cruz in Venice competition title “L’immensità,” Italy’s Emanuele Crialese is teaming with Argentina’s Nicolás Gil Lavedra to produce “Rona,” the second feature by Emiliano Torres, writer-director of San Sebastian Special Jury Prize winner “The Winter.”

Produced by Crialese’s Italy-based Now and Buenos Aires Gamán Cine, set up by Lavedra and Torres, “Rona” is being structured as a majority European production and will shoot mainly in English. Lavedra, whose recent production credits include Paz Encina’s Rotterdam Tiger Award winner “Eami,” will oversee production.

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“Rona” is one of the highest-profile of 14 titles at this year’s San Sebastian Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, one of the Spanish festival’s centrepiece industry events.

Written by Torres and Marcelo Chaparro, the director’s habitual co-scribe, “Rona” returns to the Patagonia setting of Torres’’ feature debut “The Winter” (“El Invierno”) which also won cinematography at San Sebastian. This time round, however, it’s for what Torres calls a ”family drama framed in an existential adventure.”

In it, Rona, a married Norwegian women given up for dead after an accident in Patagonia, determines to make a fresh start, leaving her old life and family behind.

Walking without any sense of direction with her rucksack and tent, her new life and anonymity is endangered when she has to rescue a young girl lost in the mountains.

“Like ‘The Winter,’ ‘Rona’ has a certain austere and realist tone but it stands apart for its personal, intimate story and a take on the female universe which plays out throughout the story,” said Torres, who gained fame as an early Daniel Burman co-scribe and for his longtime career as an AD.

“The story centres on the omnipresent Rona and her desperate quest to leave behind the pain of her past. It’s like the other side of Antonioni’s ‘The Adventure,’ the point of view of a woman, who’s mother to a daughter but runs away from her life,” Torres said.

“This is a common story in a masculine world but little explored when it’s a woman who leaves behind her family, home and identity,” he added.

“I am very happy to participate in this selection with ‘Rona,’” Crialese added, referring to San Sebastian’s Co-Production Forum. “It is a project that I’m interested in producing and being part of for many reasons,” he added.

“I have known Emiliano Torres for two decades, and since then we have collaborated on a regular basis. I have closely followed the evolution of his work as a director and screenwriter. With ‘Rona,’ he has reached a point of great maturity and personality as an auteur,” said Crialese.

“His creativity focuses on contents and concepts mirroring our time with an in-depth portrayal of human feelings and questions,” he added. “It is therefore a thrill to be able to be part of Emiliano’s new cinematic effort portraying the strength of a female character, Rona, a powerful and unique woman surrounded by mystery who I feel has some mythological traits.”

“Rona” is scheduled to shoot in 2024 in Patagonia’s El Chaltén and Norway’s Oslo.

Emiliano Torres
Emiliano Torres

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