BUÑUEL EN EL LABERINTO DE LAS TORTUGAS

Spain, The Netherlands

Synopsis

Paris, 1930. Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel are already the main figures of the Surrealist movement. Unexpectedly, Buñuel is left moneyless after the scandal surrounding his film THE GOLDEN AGE. In this difficult situation, he cannot even tackle his next project, a documentary about one of the poorest Spanish regions, Las Hurdes. However, his good friend, sculptor Ramón Acín, buys a lottery ticket with the promise that, if he wins, he will pay for the film. Incredibly, luck is on their side.

Directors Statement

When the producer Manuel Cristóbal proposed to me to direct a film based on the graphic novel "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles", it brought back memories about my father. I recall from my childhood years that he was a great admirer of Luis Buñuel. I remember when he’d tell me the story about some people who couldn’t get out of a room because it had no doors. I couldn’t understand but I found it fascinating! The possibility of telling a story about Luís Buñuel was definitely fascinating for me though also terrifying. When I started writing the script with Eligio Montero we focused on Luis, who in 1932, when he shot the documentary in Las Hurdes, was a young director seeking his own filming style and language. That shoot represented a turning point in his career, changing the way in which he gave shape and form to Surrealism and his films, and to a certain extent it brings back to mind LOS OLVIDADOS, that movie he shot years later. Throughout the months I spent doing research work and writing, my efforts were mainly focused on the life of the character himself, interviews, remarks and more interviews. On my bedside table I had a book from the Academy of Cinema with interviews of people who had worked with him, my favourite book for my research. I was so engrossed in the story that one night I even dreamt that I was having a coffee at a terrace bar with none other than Buñuel himself and spoke to him about the film.In the movie BUÑUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES what I am trying to do is to portray that young artist, not like the famous director he is today, but as he was at the beginning of his career when hardly anyone knew him, just a guy called Luis. To that end, in order to get close to the character at the personal level, I was very fortunate in that I was able to count on his son, Juan Luis, with whom I held many conversations at his house in Paris, a series of encounters full of details, laughter and affection. This film also offers to us the opportunity of revealing to viewers another artist who was also a friend of Luis: Ramón Acín. A person with a really big heart, as big as his native land, Huesca. A producer by accident, as well as a painter, a sculptor, a poet and a man extremely devoted to others. I hope you enjoy this voyage to the world of Buñuel as much as us.

Director's Biography

Salvador Simó is a film director and scriptwriter. He started studying Animation at the American Animation Institute of Los Angeles in 1991 while also working at the Bill Melendez Prod Studio on a special Charlie Brown feature. When he returned to Spain he worked in the field of traditional animation for several companies, including Disney in Paris, where he lived for two years.Subsequently, he returned to Barcelona where he continued working for Disney and set up a studio that worked exclusively for that same company (Disney), during three years, while studying Film Directing at the CECC. Thereafter, Salvador moved to London to work in MPC’s department of pre-visualisation & layout, in projects like NARNIA, PRINCE CASPIAN, THE WEREWOLF, THE PRINCE OF PERSIA and the James Bond movie SKYFALL, where his knowledge on cinematography & animation opened many doors for him.In 2008 he began directing an animation series in Asia, eventually shooting over 500 minutes of film. Then, in 2014, MPC again offered him a job. This time as head of film sequences in the animation feature movie THE JUNGLE BOOK, produced by Disney, as well as in “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. In 2016 he moved back to Spain to direct the Buñuel feature film project: BUÑUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES which premiered in October 2018 at the Animation Film Festival of Los Angeles, where he was awarded the Jury Prize.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Salvador Simó

Written by: Eligio Montero, Salvador Simó

Produced by: Bruno Felix, Manuel Cristóbal, José Fernández de Vega

Cinematography: José Manuel Piñero

Editing: José Manuel Jimenez

Original Score: Arturo Cardelús

Sound: Juan Ferro

Animation: Manolo Galiana

Main Cast: Jorge Usón (Luis Buñuel), Fernando Ramos (Ramón Acín)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Animated Feature Film 2019