Source: Berlin International Film Festival


Berlinale Panorama title Matria, the feature-debut of Spanish director Álvaro Gago, a Screen Star of Tomorrow, has sold to France.

French distributor Les Alquimistes Films has picked up the film from sales agent New Europe Film Sales. Talks are ongoing for other territories.

Galician-language Matria focuses on the trials and tribulations of a 40-something single mother in a coastal town in northwestern Spain, and was well received by reviewers at Berlin.

Gago previously made a short film of the same name, featuring the same character, which won the short film grand jury prize at the 2018 Sundance film festival. The Galician director was selected as one of Screen International’s Spain Stars of Tomorrow in 2021.

Jan Naszewski, CEO at Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales, told Screen: ”Matria is a moving story and a surprisingly fresh social drama about a woman who, after years of hustling for her family, learns to put herself first. The lead performance of Maria Vázquez is strong and magnetic. We’re glad that European audiences recognize the quality of the film.”

Matria is produced by Matriuska Producciones, in partnership with Avalon P.C, Elastica Films and Ringo Media.

Gago is part of a new generation of Galician filmmakers including Oliver Laxe, whose Fire Will Come won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize in 2019; Lois Patiño, who took the special jury prize this year in Berlin with his Encounters entry Samsara; and Mauro Herce, a cinematographer and director whose Dead Slow Ahead took the special jury prize at Locarno Festival in 2015.

“Cinema is a vital process. I am interested in those directors who really feel the urge to tell stories with guts that move them,” Matriuska founder Daniel Froiz told Screen. He added: “I like working from our land and culture. We are a land with a tireless look at what transcends our borders. For this reason, I will always be interested in international co-productions.”