Toronto’s Platform is set to be enriched by Jaione Camborda’s poignant second feature “The Rye Horn.” The film, set against the backdrop of 1970s Galicia, unravels the tale of María, a midwife thrust into a life on the run following a devastating incident. Her path to freedom takes her from Galicia to Portugal, retracing ancient smugglers’ trails.
The film, supported by the Galician broadcaster TVG and the region’s Agency of Cultural Industries (Agadic), was brought to life under the banner of Andrea Vázquez’s Miramemira (“Fire Will Come,” “Sica”) and Camborda’s own label, Esnatu Zinema, and Elástica Films, behind “Alcarràs” and “Creature.” Portugal’s Bando à Parte and Belgium’s Bulletproof Cupid co-produce. Elastica also distributes in Spain.
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With the film also bound for San Sebastian main competition, for its European premiere, Camborda’s return to her hometown is particularly poignant. “For me, it’s like a gift… I grew up in the Basque Country, and I am from San Sebastian.
Camborda’s vision shines through her representation of the bond between nature and humanity. “I wanted to make a film where nature was the protagonist,” Camborda explained, emphasising her desire to showcase humans as a part of the natural cycle, almost “as an animal.”
The casting of the lead role was a crucial element, with Janet Navas, a contemporary dancer, embodying the raw physicality Camborda sought. “For me, what was really important [was] Janet… she moves and carries herself very physically,” Camborda elaborated, highlighting the dancer’s “powerful presence.”
Galicia during the 70s was a time fraught with political tension, marking the twilight of Franco’s reign. The region’s border with Portugal made it a focal point for escape. Camborda sought to infuse this ambiance into the film subtly, stating, “I think it was important… to work with this atmosphere… not to show, explicitly, the dictatorship.”
Reflecting on her journey from “Arima” to “The Rye Horn,” Camborda shed light on the evolution of her filmmaking process. Having felt at times “very alone in the production” of “Arima”, due to its much smaller scale and budget, she sought a more collaborative experience for her sophomore effort. “For the next, I wanted to be more… to make [a] family around the film,” she said.
Beyond the film’s narrative, Camborda’s creation is a symphony of sisterhood. As she put it, “sorority was necessary to guide the film.” As a female filmmaker in Spain, where discussions on women’s rights are paramount, Camborda navigates this intersection with grace. “We need to continue fighting for our rights,” she affirmed.
Camborda is looking forward to seeing what reactions come before committing to the intensity of developing her next project. “I think it’s important to be sure and I am giving myself a little time to be sure…then I will start to write.”
Camborda, an alumna of Prague’s FAMU film school and Munich’s University of Film and Television (HFF Munich), began her career with experimental shorts, such as “Wild Mane Crop” and “Nimbos,” These paved the way for her debut feature, “Arima”, which received the New Waves Award at the Seville European Fest in 2019.
Having been nurtured in renowned Spanish labs like San Sebastian’s Ikusmira Berriak and Madrid’s ECAM Incubator, “The Rye Horn” also benefited from the guidance of the TIFF Filmmaker Lab. Camborda was selected by Variety as a Spanish talent to track.
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