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For as long as they can remember, the Solé family has spent every summer picking the peaches in their orchard in Alcarràs, a small village in Spain’s Catalonia region. But this year’s crop may well be their last, as they face eviction. The new plans for the land, which include cutting down the peach trees and installing solar panels, cause a rift in this large, tight-knit family. For the first time, they face an uncertain future and risk losing more than their orchard.
Alcarràs is a tiny village in deepest Catalonia, where my family grows peaches. When my grandfather died, my uncles inherited the land and its care. Grief for my grandfather brought me to value my family’s legacy and their dedication to farming. I learned to appreciate the trees they cultivate as something that could someday be destroyed. This is how the plot of “Alcarràs” came to me: a family of farmers – the Solés – are about to lose their peach trees as the owner wants to put solar panels in his fields.Human beings have cultivated the land in family groups since the Neolithic. It’s the most ancient profession of all time. But the truth is that the story of the Solé family comes at a time when this way of agriculture is no longer sustainable. There is the real question of what agriculture means to us today. We wanted to pay a nostalgic, but unsentimental tribute to the last resistant families of farmers still hanging on to their traditions.This is also a film about family relationships, generational tensions and the importance of unity in times of crisis. It was conceived as an ensemble piece due to my desire to express what it means to be part of a huge family. Crossed dialogues, opposed energies, chaos, small but meaningful gestures, emotions that cause domino effects… Each member of the Solé family tries to find their own place just as they are about to lose their common identity.We worked with non-professional actors from the area of Alcarràs who have a real attachment to the land. In order to present themselves as a real family, they spent so much time together that now they call each other by their characters' names.
Carla Simón (born 1986) is a film writer and director raised in a small Catalan village. She studied Audio-visual Communication in Barcelona and in California. In 2011, she was awarded a scholarship by La Caixa for a Master’s program at the London Film School, where she directed the short films BORN POSITIVE, LIPSTICK, LAS PEQUEÑAS COSAS and LLACUNES.SUMMER 1993 (2017) is her autobiographical debut. It won the Best First Feature Award and the Generation Kplus Grand Prix at the Berlinale, along with three Goya awards, including Best New Director. The film collected more than 30 prizes all over the world, it was selected to represent Spain at the 2018 Oscar Academy Awards and was nominationed for "European Discovery - Prix FIPRESCI" at the European Film Awards. In 2018, during the 71st edition of the Festival de Cannes, Carla received the Kering|Women In Motion Young Talent Award. The prize, which aims to help female filmmakers gain visibility and recognition, was accompanied by a 50.000€ grant that contributed to support Alcarràs.Her last short films are IF THEN ELSE and CORRESPONDENCE, an epistolary conversation with Dominga Sotomayor shown in Visions du Réel, New York Film Festival and San Sebastian.ALCARRÀS is Carla’s second feature. It took part in the Torino Script Lab, Nipkow Program, MFI and the Cannes Residency.