The name of Celia Rico (Seville, 1982) began to sound strong in the film industry in 2018, when she premiered her first feature film as director and screenwriter, Viaje al cuarto de una madre . The film, starring Lola Dueñas and Anna Castillo, recounted the relationship between a twenty-year-old who wants to become independent from her but does not dare to tell her mother, a seamstress who is facing the loss of her husband. That intimate portrait shot practically between four walls was nominated for four Goya awards and won the Youth Award at the San Sebastián festival and three Gaudí awards, including the best screenplay for Rico.
Settled for 15 years in Barcelona, the director felt the need to continue this mother-child journey and began to write Little Loves, which has been filming since July 4 in a town house in Begues. “It has been a very natural process. After exploring a theme of relationships, the film never ends there. One always keeps thinking and I felt that it would be nice to continue investigating family ties and the relationships between mother and daughter, although more focused on my age. If in my previous film there was a look back, now I wanted more to think about it from the present. Find out what happens when you reach 40 and how we see parents. What kind of questions do we ask ourselves and what are the feelings that accompany us, ”says Rico in conversation with La Vanguardia yesterday during a break in filming.
This week they say goodbye to Begues - the team has also moved to L'Ametlla de Merola, Sant Cugat de Sesgarrigues, Olesa de Bonesvalls, La Granada del Penedès, Navarcles and Barcelona - and this weekend they will return to Madrid to finish the last scenes
Practically the entire film takes place in a town house surrounded by forest where Ani lives, played by Adriana Ozores. Her daughter Teresa de Ella (María Vázquez) arrives there, who has had to change her vacation plans. Living together after so many years is not going to be easy for either of them. “The beginning of writing almost started as some poems, to get feelings, think about what love means from many senses, love for parents, for the couple... and hence the title, and also in relation to the family models. We are at a time when not everyone has children or a partner and I also wanted to explore the idea of loneliness. For me, films are born from concerns, from things that one returns to because they worry him”.
And he adds: “It is true that mother-daughter relationships have always been portrayed since the conflict, but there are such beautiful things that only occur in that relationship, that I also like to focus on it. More than what that relationship takes away from us, everything it gives us. It doesn't have so much to do with conflict but with understanding, and it's an understanding that doesn't have to do with words, but with love."
The fact that it is filmed in the summer period and in a white house with large windows is not trivial. “In Viaje al cuarto... it was winter and here we wanted to find a bit of a contradiction to summer. The idea of enjoyment that one has been waiting for a long time and that in the end is twisted. Life cannot be planned and it is a summer that was not planned for Teresa. But what can be seen as a sacrifice has another face, since it turns into learning”, she reflects.
Both Ozores and Vázquez are delighted with the story. “I was shooting Matria when she called me Celia. She has a very particular way of shooting and she is wonderful, she accompanies you a lot with that sweetness that she has and she picks you up after a difficult scene”. Her character does not have a partner or children and she finds herself taking stock of her choice. "It's a very nice trip because everything in life has its pros and cons."
Adriana Ozores talks about the “aura” that surrounds the shoot and about her Ani she comments that it has many layers. She “she is a seemingly strong and independent mother. She is a very earthy woman and her daughter is in another place. Each one is with the problems of her age ”.
Producer Sandra Tapia, who was already behind Rico's debut feature, highlights that there are many women in the electrical department team. The house has been adapted to the demands of a “very quiet” shoot. The only downside has been the heat wave. The film is scheduled to be released on the big screen in 2023 and will be distributed by Bteam pictures.
In a corner outside, Titán rests, Ozores' dog in the film, waiting his turn. The viewer will also soon see this cross between a German and a Basque shepherd accompanying the French actor Denis Menochet, in the drama As bestas, by Sorogoyen. He is so calm that they have had to teach him to bark. "He still has a career," jokes his owner.