Spain

Synopsis

A Spanish branch of an American company has been forced to implement the internal no-smoking rule in its office area. From now on, anyone who wants to smoke during office hours has to go outside and smoke in the street.
Ramirez, one of the workers in this small office, which has a predominantly male staff, decides to set up a petition against this rule calling it unfair and out of place; Ramirez wants a room in the office which is not being used to be designated as a "Smoking Room", as the Americans call it.
At first, everyone shows on the outside to be in agreement and willing to back him. But when Ramirez discusses the issue on a one-to-one basis with each of the employees, he finds that they all come up with a series of excuses not to sign his petition. However, none of them has any objection to adding their names to another list which is going round at the same time, to take part in a football match against the staff of another office.
In actual fact, most of his colleagues' excuses for not signing the Smoking Room petition conceal others. Almost everyone has something to hide, but Ramirez is hardly ever aware of the struggles each of the employees is going through with their own problems.
This realm of intrigues finally comes to a head and when it explodes, it causes victims... but well leave that part for those of you who go to see the film.

Director's Biography

After working as a bell boy in different companies and several attempts to get a Degree in Advertising, he got a job as a copywriter in a small advertising agency in Buenos Aires.
In 1991 he moved to Spain, where he joined Slogan, a successful advertising agency in Madrid, winning first awards: 2 Golden Birds at the prestigious Iberoamerican Advertising Festival.
He switched to Contrapunto in 1991 and won 8 IAF awards, the Grand Prix in the Florence Advertising Festival, a Silver Lion in Cannes Advertising Festival and 2 Bronze Awards in the Sebastian Advertising Festival.
In 1994 he moved to Barcelona, where he began working for Bates, eventually becoming its General Creative Director. He consolidated his career getting 3 Lions in Cannes and dozens of awards in both international and Spanish festivals.
Two years later he began to write his own stuff. He developed a couple of radio programmes, inspired on the old time live shows, but with a sarcastic and tropical content. He began to publish some of his "Dialogues", short pieces where usually two losers share their thoughts on life, in a literary magazine called "Poeta de Cabra".
In 1997, while working in Amsterdam for Wieden & Kennedy, he joined the British Design and Art Directors Club.
He continued to develop a "certain style" in his own writing. He created more "Dialogues", wrote the story lines of several short plays and, eventually, started to work on "Smoking Room", finishing a first draft by the end of 1998.
In 1999 he was a co-founder and became General Creative Director of El Sindicato, a company dedicated both to advertising production and to developing music, film and Internet projects.
He wrote and co-directed a short film called "Gutiärrez" that was never released, due to the "insatisfaction" of the directors. The experience was an important exercise on style, since most of the dialogues and the acting approach were used -with improvements- in "Smoking Room", the feature film that he was going to co-direct two years later.
During 1999 he wrote two other scripts: "The Club", a story set in Argentina and "Changes", a tough portrait of the advertising industry.
In 2000 he finished writing the script of "Smoking Room" along with Roger Gual and they began shooting together in May 2001.
At the moment, Julio Wallovits is writing a play called "Such are the Tigers" and the script of a feature film provisionally called "The Sham".
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Julio Wallowits, Roger Gual

Written by: Julio Wallowits, Roger Gual

Produced by: Quique Camin, Jose M. Piera

Cinematography: Cobi Migliora

Main Cast: Juan Diego (Sotomayor), Juan Loriente (Coral), Francesc Orella (Martinez), Pep Molina (Gomez), Francesc Garrido (Fernandez), Miguel Angel Gonzalez (Messenger), Manuel Morón (Rubio), Ulises Dumont (Armero), Antonio Dechent (Enrique), Chete Lera (Puig), Eduard Fernandez (Ramirez), Vicky Pena (Marta)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery of the Year - Fassbinder Award  2002