Arturo Dueñas, director of ‘Secundarias’: “It all starts with Roberto García Encinas, author of the play”

Arturo Dueñas, director of Secundarias, presented his feature film worldwide this Wednesday, October 25 at the Teatro Zorrilla as part of the Castilla y León en Largo section. In addition, a small fragment of the shorts that will be part of the Gala Quercus, an initiative that chooses the best short films of Castilla y León and which include Anticlímax, by Néstor López and Óscar Romero; Leche agria, by Sergio Muñoz Cano and José Ángel Lorente Pavón; El tren del olvido, by Isabel Merdade; Vermú, by Néstor López; Señorías, by María Guerra; and Malegro verte, by Nüll García.

During the presentation, Dueñas was accompanied by José Luis Cienfuegos, director of the Seminci, and Mar Sancho, vice-counselor of Cultural Action of the Junta de Castilla y León, as well as the entire cast of the film. The presentation included a surprise live performance by Fito Robles, vocalist of Siloé and interpreter of the main song of the film directed by Dueñas.

Sancho has emphasized his desire to increase the number of productions in Castilla y León: “From the Board we are with the Seminci. We want to see films and we want more to be made in Castilla y León. That is why this year we have increased the budget by 50 percent for films and 25 percent for short films. This year we are breaking records in film shooting in our territory, as is the case of Secundarias, because Castilla y León is cinema”. 

In Secundarias, a group of actresses is about to premiere the play ‘Cartas al emperador’ at the Teatro Calderón in Valladolid. But things do not go as planned. Arturo Dueñas explained the creative process of the film: “It all starts with Roberto García Encinas, author of the play. Since I saw the play at the LAVA, I saw that the characters he had created are historical characters but with current conflicts. There I saw the opportunity to do something similar with emphasis on the historical role of women” and has reflected on the influence of the pandemic of COVID-19 in the final result: “The coincidence that Charles V died of malaria gave me a lot of anger. At that time many people were dying from it, regardless of their social class. The COVID pandemic just started and with that coincidence I decided it was the right time to make the film.”

Marta Ruiz de Viñaspre, original actress of the play, laughingly recalled the evolution of the development of the feature film, as well as the fact that it was shot in sequence shots, its main difficulty: “It was crazy to work with Arturo. We had little time to shoot and the sequence shot was a bit overwhelming because you couldn’t cut, but then it was fine. What you have seen is the first and only shot.

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