“Clara Sola,” the debut feature from Swedish-Costa Rican director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, looks set for a French release.
Luxbox has sold the rights in France to Paris-based art-pic distribution outfit Epicentre Films. News of the deal comes the same day that the magical realist is premiering in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.
Set in a remote Costa Rican village, “Clara Sola” centers around middle-aged Clara, played by debut actor and award-winning dancer Wendy Chinchilla. In the community, Clara is well-respected as a spiritual healer who brings hope to the rural population. Having been dominated for most of her life by an overbearing mother, she experiences a delayed sexual awakening after meeting her niece’s new boyfriend.
Mesen has described the film as being set in a “visceral world,” and hopes that it offers audiences a “window to a place where a subtle magic is inherent to nature if you know where to look.”
The director is a graduate of the prestigious Columbia University film school and has participated in various talent-rearing programs, including Berlinale Talents, TIFF Filmmaker Lab and NYFF Artist Academy. Her two short films “Filip” and “Asunder” won awards at international festivals, and she co-wrote “Entre Tú y Milagros,” winner of the Horizons Award for Best Short in the 2020 Venice Film Festival. She is currently developing her second feature, “The Wolf Will Tear Your Immaculate Hands.”
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“Clara Sola,” which won the CTT and El Taller awards at the Guadalajara Co-production Meeting in 2018, was produced by Swedish label Hobab, with Pacifica Grey, Need Productions, Laïdak Films and Resolve Media co-producing. Luxbox snagged the worldwide rights to the film earlier this year, as Variety exclusively reported. María Camila Arias (“Birds of Passage”) served as a co-writer on the film.
Luxbox outfit also has Joachim Lafosse’s “The Restless” on its Cannes 2021 lineup.
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