The first feature length by catalan director Neus Ballus has been nominated for the European Discovery category of the European Film Awards. Winners in the past have included films like HUNGER by Steve McQueen, HUMAN RESSOURCES by Laurent Cantet, THE CELEBRATION by Thomas Vinterberg and LA VIE DE JESUS by Bruno Dumont.
The film, premiered last february at the Berlinale's Forum, has already received since then several prizes and nominations, including Best Film at Motovoun Festival (Croatia), and a European Parliament nomination for the LUX Prize. The script, co-written between Ballús and Pau Subirós (also producer of the film) has won Best Script at Cinespaña (France).
The film tells the intertwining stories of five characters living in the outskirts of Barcelona: a Moldavian wrestling fighter, a farmer, a prostitute, an old lady living in an old people home, and her nurse. The lives of these people converge in a plot that arises around the plague that affects the farmer's crops. All the characters are non actors, with whom Ballus has worked for more than three years.
The Plague has been produced by El Kinograf, in coproduction with TVC, with the participation of ARTE, the support of ICAA and ICEC, and the collaboration of the UPF's Master of Creative Documentary.
In following weeks, The Plague will participate in London, Bombay, Cali, and Vienna Film Festivals, as well as continue its theatrical distribution in Spain.
Ballús (1980, Mollet del Vallès, Barcelona), earned a degree in filmmaking and editing in 1999. Since then, she has directed several documentaries and TV series episodes. Her work has always overlapped the traditional documentary and fiction borders, resting on a strong talent for filming with non-actors. She currently lives in Barcelona, where she combines the preparation of her new film with her work as an editor for other directors.
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