Los Angeles, CA – September 21, 2018 –
Fantastic Fest turns new leaf with board addition of Curran Nault and focus on global female genre filmmakers, including Sonia Escolano’s World Premiere of ‘HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS’ (aka Casa de sudor y Lágrimas).
For the festival’s fourteenth year and in wake of last year’s #MeToo scandals, Fantastic Fest has selected a sixth advisory board member with Curran Nault, the Founder and Artistic Director of the queer transmedia arts festival, OUTsider. Alongside the festival’s emphasis and “focus on global female genre filmmakers who are blasting through the silver screen with distinctive and brilliant features,” as stated the festival’s first-wave, is a step forward in worldwide cinema and a pivotal moment in festival evolution. Specifically, the horror genre has progressed from women as victims to women as survivors.
“Spain’s Sonia Escolano (The Vampire in the Hole, Myna Has Gone, Cinq minutes) turns up the tension” with HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS – “a mesmerizing treatise on religion, faith, and belief marries the aesthetic style of European cinema with the language of horror films to deliver a story both unique and shocking in its take on extremism,” wrote Fantastic Fest’s Creative Director, Evrim Ersoy.
Written and directed by Sonia Escolano’s rare female voice in the vastly male-dominated horror sphere, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS is a trembling, elevated and atmospheric horror based on the tale of Amparo Cuevas and “She” – a Spanish woman from El Escorial. Based upon a real cult operating in Spain during the 1990s, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS follows “She”, who assembles the world’s four corners into a violent cult-like, religious sect, including human nature’s randomly selected members, Ella (Alzira Gómez), Sophie (Coline Charvin), Emma (Padi Padilla), Jérôme (Pablo Macho) and Ruth (Paula Mateu). Operating under strict coexistence rules of “She” as the flock leader, when a dark, mysterious man plagues a member’s dream, causing her suicide, will “She” be able to maintain control of the cult? Or, will the mysterious outsider’s arrival set “She” and her followers onto a path of ultimate destruction?
“Highly stylized and deliberately plotted, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS marks the arrival of an original voice within genre cinema. Exploring the murky waters of blind faith and rebellion, and cleverly divided into chapters to better accentuate the journey of its characters, the film slowly dissects what happens to a community ruled by fear when doubt is introduced into its fabric,” continued Evrim Ersoy.
As an in-depth exploration of faith and belief, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS divulges the cults’ struggle to cope with the control, power and ultimate truth of their existence. Shot entirely with candlelight and zero artificial light, Sonia Escolano’s ominous and mystifying atmospheric horror creates an aura of extreme uneasiness and fear of someone sneaking in the shadows. “Escolano’s ability to place the viewer in the middle of a world at once familiar and foreign, a world full of mysterious details, which do not require mundane explanations but suggest something just outside the sphere of our understanding. A film that asks its audience to think, to question, and to discuss, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS is intelligent and uncomfortable filmmaking that challenges perceptions at every level,” concluded Evrim Ersoy.
Despite past of underrepresentation and exclusion of all peoples in the cinematic world, the horror genre’s progression has allowed for a “horror renaissance” – one in which female directors have begun to elevate the genre with their diverse perspectives, aesthetic vision and innovative storytelling, terrifying movie-goers in a new and unsettling way. Alongside the advisory’s board newest addition, Curran Nault, Fantastic Fest will gather for its fourteenth year of worldwide explosion of genre films at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX from September 20 – 27, 2018.
Featured on Rue-Morgue’s recent list of “Ten ‘Fantastic Films’ That You Need To Get In Our Eyeballs Now” and will compete in the festival’s main competition. HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS will have its World Premiere(s) on Friday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 P.M. and Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 11:00 A.M. with Sonia Escolano in attendance.
Produced in Spain by Sonia Escolano and Francisco Javier González from Sudo y lágrimas Films, ROCK SALT RELEASING represented HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS as one of sixteen projects selected for the 2018 Cannes’ Frontières Platform and to screen at the Buyers Showcase, with top recognition from the Spanish government in support of promoting excellent Spanish cinema worldwide. HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS is accompanied by stellar cinematography by Pepe De La Rose (Hubo un lugar) and stars Eudald Font (The Hunter’s Prayer, I Love Her), Pablo Suárez (De Agua y Fuego, Cold Skin, Realive), actress and producer, Haydée Lysander (Black Hollow Cage, Cinq minutes) and Alzira Gómez (Adeu, Barcelona, Salvacion). The film’s fantastic cast includes Paula Mateu, Padi Padilla, Pablo Macho and Coline Charvin.
Watch the trailer for HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS here: https://vimeo.com/263248228.
HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS (2018, 104 min.) Written and Directed by Sonia Escolano. Edited by: Rubén Domínguez. Produced by: Sonia Escolano, Paco González. Cinematographer: Pepe De La Rosa. Original sounds by: Roberto H.G., Javier Ángel Morillo, Aarón J. Pozo and Carlos Ruiz. Spain; Spanish, French. Sudo y lágrimas Films SL, ROCK SALT RELEASING, TriCoast Worldwide.
Producers: Sonia Escolano, Francisco Javier González – Sudo y lágrimas Films SL.
ROCK SALT RELEASING: Daisy Hamilton and Dean Fernando.
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