Latido Drops ‘Baby’ Trailer Ahead of Sitges Competition Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)
For three decades Spanish filmmaker Juanma Bajo Ulloa has consistently delivered his own unique brand of cinema, playing with genres while exploring family dynamics like a kid with toys. Now, the award-winning filmmaker is back with fairytale thriller “Baby,” world premiering in competition at this year’s Sitges Film Festival. Latido Films, the film’s sales agent, has shared its trailer with Variety ahead of the Catalan event.
Billed as a dark fairytale, “Baby” is set in a modern town nestled deep in an eerie forest of gloomy trees and luminous lakes, teeming with wildlife. There, a tragic young woman simply referred to as Chica (girl), addicted to drugs, gives birth while suffering one of her too-common breakdowns, completely alone.
With no support, its everything the girl can do to keep the baby fed when she’s lucid enough to do so. Unable to care for herself, the only comfort she can provide the child is an old family pacifier.
At a particularly low moment, jonesing for a fix and convinced she cannot care for the child, the girl sells her baby to a frightening woman called Mujer (woman), who is involved in baby-trafficking. Almost immediately the girl becomes consumed by guilt and decides she must overcome her own weaknesses and get her child back.
In the wordless trailer, we meet the story’s main characters and see them at their beaten-down worst. We’re also treated to a taste of the worldbuilding that Bajo Ulloa has proven himself imminently capable of over the last thirty years. Spanish horror’s penchant for gripping audiences in worst-case-scenario maternal psychological trauma is also placed front and center, with visuals that remind of Bayona’s “The Orphanage” or del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
“Baby” features an all-female international cast led by Rosie Day as Chica, joined by Harriet Sansom Harris (Netflix’s “Ratched”) as Mujer, Natalia Tena (“Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones”) and Goya-winning actor Charo López.
Shot entirely within the Basque country’s legendary wildlife reserves, Bajo Ulloa “reflects on the contrasts between the beauty and power of nature and the capacity of destruction of the human beings, something that can only be redeemed through love and compassion,” says Latido. “This film is about creation, about life and second chances. And it is told entirely through the eyes of women.”
Bajo Ulloa has produced his own films for years through his label Fragil Zinema, and once again does the job on “Baby.” The filmmakers’ feature credits go back to 1991, when his debut “Butterfly Wings” broke out at the San Sebastian Festival winning its Golden Shell. It went on to score three Spanish Academy Goya Awards for lead actress, original screenplay and new director.
After Sitges, “Baby” will participate in the main competition at the prestigious Tallinn Nights Festival. It’s sold internationally by Spanish indie powerhouse Latido Films, a company with a track record second to none for putting independent, Spanish-language, festival-quality cinema into cinemas around the world. Recent Latido successes take in Belen Funes’ Goya-winning “A Thief’s Daughter,” San Sebastian 2020 competition hit “Ane is Missing,” and last year’s Toronto and Sitges breakout “The Platform,” the number one film on Netflix in the U.S. when it launched earlier this year.
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