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7th Nov 2022 - By Douglas Wilson (Variety)

Sitges Audience Award Winner ’Irati’ Slays Euro Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

Barcelona-based studio Filmax has closed first major territory deals on writer-director Paul Urkijo “Irati,” a new addition to movies which have drawn on the history and legends of the Basque Country in the north of Spain, which have provided rich pickings for Spanish film-makers such as Julio Medem (“Cows”) and Alex De la Iglesia (“Witching & Bitching”).

The film also adds to Europe’s burgeoning canon of action movies as actioners made much of the running at the American Film Market, and dominate streaming platform non-English language most watched lists: Think “Blood Red Sky,” “The Crab,” “The Takedown” and “Below Zero” for Netflix. 

Set in the eighth-century Pyrenees and produced by Madrid’s Bainet and the Basque Country’s Ikusgarri Films and Kilima Media with France’s La Fidèle Production, “Irati” has closed distribution deals for Germany (Splendid) and Italy (Blue Swan) on Urkijo’s sophomore outing “Irati,” with further deals in pipeline for other major European territories still to come.

Following on from his Alex De La Iglesia-produced feature debut “The Devil and The Blacksmith,” Paul Urkijo’s crowd-pleasing medieval adventure and fantasy tale scooped the Audience Award at October’s Sitges Film Festival, and walked off with the same prize on Friday at the San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Fest.

Starring Eneko Sagardoy, a breakout star of “The Giant” and Edurne Azkarati (“Gutuberrak”), the script is based on a graphic novel saga by Jon Muñoz Otaegi and Juan Luis Landa of the same name. 

Pic is executive produced by Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga whose credits include Lee Daniels’ Cannes competition player “The Paperboy” with Nicole Kidman, “Loving Pablo” with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz and “Boundless,” starring Rodrigo Santoro and Alvaro Morte.

“Irati” was shot in Basque and is all set for a theatrical release in Spain at the end of February.

A medieval fantasy epic with spectacular action scenes depicts a young Christian nobleman who has set out to fulfil a blood pact and recover his father’s body from its pagan grave, for which he must call on skill and knowledge of Irati, a mysterious girl who will lead him through a strange and foreboding forest where “everything that has a name exists”.   

Commented Filmax head of international Ivan Diaz: “Paul is a director with enormous talent, a huge personality and very ambitious projects. This is what buyers are highlighting most.”  

And putting their money where their mouths are.

By Variety - See full article here



Sitges Audience Award Winner ’Irati’ Slays Euro Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

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