Laura Citarella: “This film grew” | “Trenque Lauquen” will compete at the Venice festival

The Argentine director Laura Citarella considered “a shock of joy and vertigo” the possibility of competing in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section in 79th edition of the Venice Film Festivalwhich will take place in that Italian city from August 31 to September 10. “We move on the periphery. The fact that the film is selected for a festival with such relevance as the one in Venice was a shock of joy and vertigo,” said the director.

Trenque Lauquen is an independent and self-managed film that is divided into two parts of two hours each, with a break in the middle, and that combines different genres, from romantic comedy to fantasy and detective. The story begins with the disappearance of a woman and two men who love her who go out in search of her. Each of them has their own suspicion of why she left, and hides it from the other who -mysteriously- never becomes her rival.

That sudden flight is revealed as the secret center of a series of fictions that the film, subtly, is responsible for interweaving: the secret of the heart of another woman, also lost many years ago; the secret of the life of a country town, shaken by a supernatural event that nobody seems to perceive; the secret of the plain, which never stops spreading and devouring everything, like the shadows that fill the world after sunset.

Citarella graduated from the Universidad del Cine (FUC) and has been a member since 2005 together with Mariano Llinás, Alejo Moguillansky and Agustín Mendilaharzu. The Pampero Cinemafrom where he independently produced the films Extraordinary Stories, La Flor, Castro Y For the moneyamong others.

In addition, he directed the short three together (Winner of the competition Short Stories 5 organized by the Incaa) and feature films Ostend (premiered in the Baficiwhere he obtained a special mention from the Association of Argentine Chroniclers), The woman with the dogs (which participated in the 2015 Rotterdam Film Festival) and The poets visit Juana Bignozzi (which won the award for best director at the Festival of Mar del Plata).

“In between, from El Pampero we premiered other films, I made The poets…I was a mother, there was a pandemic. Suddenly, seeing a clear ‘deadline’ that this film will be shown on a certain date is not only the joy of being at this festival, but also of seeing a project that I have been living with for a long time come out into the world” , he indicated.

In that sense, Citarella specified that “it is difficult to tell what it is about” because the film “goes through different genres and stages” and stressed that wrote the script together with the protagonist, Laura Paredes. “We shot that script for a while. After that, the film was restructured. New ideas came up that made Trenque Lauquen grow everywhere,” he remarked.

The director said that the feature film “is a kind of saga of Ostend” and explained that “there is the same character, Laura, who in the other film was on a beach in the province of Buenos Aires and here in a town or city in the Pampas” and pointed out that both works maintain “the same logic”.

“The film grew based on the fact that things were happening in one’s life. This is something independent and familiar. In fact, Ezequiel, my husband, is one of the producers of the film and also has a role as an actor. Then we had a daughter, Lucía, who now also appears in the film, always without leaving the axis of what it is about, “he graphed.

Referring to the filming process, the filmmaker acknowledged the complexity of filming “without money”, stated that the production company’s work structure is “very familiar”which admits “something more domestic in terms of production”. “The key to the production of the film is that my husband is an actor and producer, the actress is a friend and wife of my partner, Mariano Llinás,” she stressed.

However, the director stressed that they had to work “constantly to renew the production support to get international funds“. In this framework, Citarella stressed that he is working “in the final stretch of the film” to finish it for the Festival and asserted that “this implies working quickly, with few people and little money, something that we are very natural in El Pampero”.

Later, he referred to the fact that three national productions are going to participate in the Festival –Argentina, 1985of Santiago MiterY Maidof Lucrezia Martelin addition to his own – and assessed that “it was a very good novelty for Argentine cinema to have this presence”. “Obviously, I don’t know if that speaks of a panorama facing the world. After two years of the pandemic, the festivals were closed, the funds that were previously direct to apply now have mediations. The world has shrunk and Argentina has been relegated,” he analyzed. Thus, he argued that “Argentine cinematography is very rich” and stated that “this is good, but we come from difficult years.”

“The youngest of us stay on the margins all the time. We are independent and we reinvent ourselves to continue existing. But this did a lot of damage to the medium-sized productions that have been important for the panorama of Argentine cinema. We have to use this momentum as to see if it is confirmed that it is necessary to continue promoting Argentine cinema in the world”, he concluded.

Trenque Lauquen it stars Laura Paredes Ezequiel Pierri, Rafael Spregelburd, Elisa Carricajo, Juliana Muras, Verónica Llinás and Cecilia Rainero; It has the support of the Hubert Bals Fund, the World Cinema Fund, Cultural Patronage, the National Fund for the Arts, the Metropolitan Fund and the Universidad del Cine and was co-produced by Grandfilms.

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