La Claqueta Goes ‘Hunting’ With Alberto Marini (EXCLUSIVE)

Prolific Andalusian production company La Claqueta has tapped award-winning screenwriter-producer Alberto Marini (“La Unidad,” “Apagón”) to direct rural thriller “Últimos días de caza” (“Last Days of Hunting.”)

Penned by José Cabeza, co-scribe on 2016’s “7 Years,” Netflix first Spanish original movie, “Last Days of Hunting” has a completed screenplay and has initiated financing.

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The aim is to close the financing phase during this year and begin shooting second quarter 2024, probably in northern Spain.

“Last Days of Hunting” leads a growth-period for Seville-based La Claqueta, which is raising the ante in terms of film production ambitions.

“This is a noir that revolves around torpid masculinity; it is the story of volcanoes that don’t know how to release lava when they should and that explode inwards,” said Marini, who debuted as a helmer with 2015 horror feature “Summer Camp.”

“The story takes place in a very localized universe and is grounded in the territory but its universal plot allows the possibility for input from national and international partners,” added La Claqueta’s co-founder Olmo Figueredo.

Beyond writing on recent Movistar Plus’ hit TV dramas “La Unidad” and “Offworld,” a Variety Best International TV Show of 2022, Marini served as an executive producer on cult zombie franchise “REC,” one of the most profitable European genre sagas in history.

Selected by Spain’s Dama Ayuda script tutoring, “Last Days of Hunting” turns on the pain caused by the betrayal of the one he loves the most which convinces a simple and good man that the world is a darker place than he had always believed. He decides to adapt to it.

“What most attracted me about the script is precisely that capacity to describe men who, in the face of pain or failure, never look at themselves but look for other guilty parties and attack out of sheer necessity,” Marini said.

Marini and Figueredo previously worked together on Miguel Ángel Vivas’ Apache Films-produced 2018 suspense drama “Tu Hijo,” as respectively co-writer and co-producer.

“Alberto has shown great talent as a writer and showrunner. I think he also has enormous potential as a director,” the producer said.

The title makes reference “The Hunt,” a banner title from great Spanish auteur Carlos Saura, who died Feb. 10. A portrait of Franco’s ruling class it won a Berlin Silver Bear in 1966. “We hope our film will become our tribute to him,” Figueredo added.

La Claqueta’s Growth 

Founded by Figueredo and partner Manuel H. Martín in 2003, La Claqueta has become one of the most active indie production houses in Spain, having produced to date some 40 titles, the vast majority using regional and/or international co-production models.

“Since we are not a company based in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain’s biggest production hubs, rather than luring the interest of consolidated writers and directors, we focused on producing young talent, first or second titles, in order to build long-term relationships,” Figueredo explained.

However, the deal with Alberto Marini on the “Last Days of Hunting” project suggests a step-up in La Claqueta’s two decade history, tapping into more established Spain-based writers-directors to expand its focus on the international market.

Over the years, La Claqueta has created strong regional connections in Spain, co-producing to date four features with Irusoin, the top Basque Country’s outfit. These include Spain’s Oscar submission, the multi-award winning film “The Endless Trench.”

In Catalonia, La Claqueta has partnered with Un Capricho Producciones on Rocío Mesa’s SXSW 2023 player “Secaderos,” which world premiered in 2022 at San Sebastian Film Festival.

Sundance Player ‘Mamacruz’ and Other Upcoming Claqueta Titles

La Claqueta will release seven titles in Spain this year, made by young on the rise directors. Among them is the recent Sundance Festival contender “Mamacruz,” helmed by Patricia Ortega, picked up by Filmax for Spanish and international distribution.

Rubin Stein’s debut, religious thriller ”Tin & Tina,” a co-production with Filmgate Miami and Andarams Films and toplined by “Money Heist’s” Jaime Lorente and Milena Smit, star of recent Netflix hit series “The Snow Girl,”- will open in March, distributed by Filmax. Latido Films handles international sales rights.

“Secaderos,” another Latido pick-up, will launch this summer, distributed by Begin Again Films. Joaquín Mazón’s comedy “De perdidos al río,” a co-production with Pecado Films, will be handled by Sony Pictures.

This year, La Claqueta plans to shoot “Se acabó la fiesta,” Elena Manrique’s feature debut, a co-production with Perdición Films supported by public broadcaster TVE, as well as Guillermo Rojas’ comedy “Solos en la noche,” co-produced with Summer Films and backed by Canal Sur.

It’s also preparing “The Turtles,” by San Sebastian’s New Directors winner Belén Funes, a co-production with Barcelona-based Oberon Media.

In early 2024 the Seville-based company will go into production on on “Los últimos románticos,” another Basque-language co-production with Irusoin, having acquired film adaptation rights to Txani Rodríguez’s same titled novel. “Los últimos románticos” re-teams writer-director David Pérez Sañudo with scribe Marina Parés, the creative duo behind acclaimed Basque feature “Ane Is Missing.”

“We act with flexibility, adapting to different co-production schemes,” Figueredo noted.

AtresPlayer, HBO, Disney+

La Claqueta has also driven into TV drama production, teaming with Studiocanal Spanish partner Bambú Producciones on “Nacho,” which AtresPlayer Premium launches this March.

Meanwhile, Disney+ will premiere an original docuseries co-written and co-directed by Figueredo alongside José Ortuño, after his 2020 helming debut, documentary “El Estado contra Pablo Ibar,” broadcast by HBO.

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