• Golden Globe Awards

Summer 1993 (Spain)

Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) is the only entry from Spain in this year’s Golden Globes and it comes with the blessings of the last Berlin International Film Festival. At the Berlinale the Carla Simon feature debut won the Best First Feature award.The movie is a biographical piece about an orphaned girl’s life after the death of her parents. As the title implies, it takes place during Summer of 1993, when then 6-year old Frida (Laia Artigas), is sent to live with her uncle Esteve (David Verdaguer) and aunt Marga (Bruna Cusi).Like Simon’s mother, Frida’s mom died of AIDS. She, like Simon, also lost her father. Frida is uprooted from Barcelona to be brought up in the countryside by a new family she barely knows, surrounded by the stigma that AIDS had at the time. To blend both stories even more, Simon shot the movie in the same village where she herself was sent to live when she became an orphan.As difficult as it is to dwell on your personal past, Summer 1993 tries to stay away from sentimentality. Grounded in the reality that surrounds a little girl, the movie – shot in Catalan- also evokes some other magical stories from Spanish cinema, like Victor Erice’s masterpiece El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive). With that in mind, Simon has been described as “a talent to watch”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Like Frida in the movie, Simon was born in Barcelona in 1986. Her love for movies took her to California and London to follow her studies before landing this debut film. She also attended the Berlinale Script Station at Talent House and other writing workshops in Spain and Poland. “I had some very personal material and I needed to share it with other people to get it read and receive feedback. That was two years ago and since then the script has changed radically”, the filmmaker says.Shot with a mainly female crew, Summer 1993 arrives with perfect timing in a year of female empowerment in Hollywood. “It was unintentional; it happened naturally”, said the director at CineEuropa. “Because I lived in London for a long time, I had no team in Spain, so I had to put one together especially for this film and I didn’t think about gender, it just happened that way. We filmed for six weeks straight, eight hours a day, because of the girls. It was really fast”.