‘Upiro’ is a vampire story inspired by an 18th century legend. “It is the first that is recorded, in writing, in Spain and it happened in the Sanctuary and the Caves of the Port of Calasparra”, in the Northwest of the Region of Murcia, says Javier García Caballero, director of the Shadow Foundation, creators of the European Fantastic Film Festival of Murcia. “We are supporting this production, it would be the first of the fantastic genre to be shot in this environment and it would mean an important leap to place the Region in the audiovisual industry,” Javier tells elDiario.es Region of Murcia in a telephone interview.
When do you plan to start shooting the film and with what budget?
The expected date is November 2023, which in this sector is like saying the day after tomorrow. There is not much left. And the budget we are considering is 1.5 million euros; it’s modest for a period film, inspired by the 18th century. It’s not on a crazy budget at all. The protagonist is Javier Botet, an international movie star; the director Óscar Martín and the producer Elena Muñoz, who have shot ‘Amigo’, one of the most awarded films at fantastic film festivalswith which they have received more than fifty awards, and has just been released in North and Central America.
The teaser or advance has garnered very good results so far
Yes, the Foundation has produced the teaser which is used in international markets and is collecting many successes and arousing much interest. It has been the winner of the international markets of Blood Window in Argentina and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as being present at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival BIFAN in Korea and the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival BIFFF in Belgium. We are now preparing its presence at the next Cannes Film Festival.
It was shot entirely outside the Sanctuary and the Cuevas del Puerto, we were a team of 20 people for 3 days, 15 hours each day, for a minute and a half. But he did his job, we were all very happy. And I, personally, am breaking stone so that it can be filmed in the Region, in Calasparra, and place our community on the cinematographic map.
He says that the goal is to shoot entirely in Calasparra
Of course, because the story is based there and we have an excellent relationship with the City Council, with which we have already worked, but the productions go where things are closed legally speaking and we are in negotiations with the Consistory, but nothing has been signed yet.
What does the legend say that inspires the film?
Legend has it that a series of events took place that made the population of that time in Calasparra believe that there was an upiro, which is one of the names in Cyrillic for the word ‘vampire’. And the script has been written around this legend.
Will they work with professionals from the sector in the Region?
Well, that is linked to the involvement and support we have. It is very likely that this will be a co-production with Belgium, so part of the investment will go to one site and others to another. It was thought of as a co-production with a very high percentage from Murcia, but it will depend on the budget that comes from here. The aid for production depends on the Community, 7 TV, the municipality and also on private environments in more specific things such as hotels or catering. The shooting is estimated to last from three weeks to a month.
How is the Autonomous Community behaving?
We are waiting to know the existing aids. Yes, we have recently received good news, which is the creation of the Film Commissionbut to this day we do not know what subsidies there are this year, nor the next.
And, what is the health of the Murcian film industry?
Very few films are shot, the sector has yet to be fully developed, let’s see how the Film Commission influences this. We have everything: beach, desert, mountain, spectacular natural surroundings and 360 days of sunshine. We hope that more movies will start shooting here. Andalusia is working hard to take away productions and also Tenerife and, in general, the Canary Islands, because they also have tax relief measures on the islands.