Miguel Ángel Blanca, selected by Variety earlier this year as one of Spain’s 10 rising talents, has two new projects in development. His latest documentary, “Magaluf Ghost Town,” premieres in the International Spectrum competition at Hot Docs.
Both films will be produced by Barcelona’s Boogaloo Films (“Tolyatti Adrift,” “Nobody’s Home”), the company behind “Magaluf.” “Molón as F*ck” is “a documentary trip about the fashion and ideology of urban subcultures and how they dialogue with the current generation of young people,” said the director. Pic is co-produced by Los Hermanos Polo and Japonica Films.
A second feature, “Ejercicios para ver a Dios,” co-produced by France’s Lilith Films, Blanca described as “a mystical comedy about the potential of faith and desire, about the constructed truth, and the total surrender of body and soul based on the experiences of Hildegard von Bingen, the visionary mystic of the late Middle Ages.”
Like his latest feature, the two projects “continue exploring some of my favorite obsessions: the representation of oneself, and the creation of fictional universes to survive in this strange world,” said Blanca.
“Magaluf Ghost Town” is the director’s fifth feature. It follows the impact of mass tourism on the titular Spanish town, a low-cost resort destination on the island of Mallorca whose picturesque beaches are overrun every summer. Britain’s Taskovski Films is handling international sales.
“When we started filming the documentary, we understood that the protagonists of our film were all those anonymous people who live surrounded by tourists, the people who are not talked about in the tabloid news,” said Blanca. Like the mostly British sun-seekers who flock to its beaches every summer, these locals are drawn to Magaluf for its air of possibility, even if that romantic ambience is often drowned out by rowdy hordes engaging in beer-fueled frolics and fisticuffs.
“But the film is not a criticism of tourism,” said Blanca. “Spain sold its soul to the tourist devil a long time ago, but that will not prevent us from falling in love on any dirty beaches, with vomit, blood and cheap alcohol.”
The director embraced those contradictions in making a film he called “a love letter to Magaluf,” though he recognized that the profound changes of the past few years are likely to transform a resort town he described as “a magical place.”
“I think the film will become an epitaph of a form of tourism in Magaluf,” said Blanca. “I’m happy that it works as a strange tribute to a form of leisure. COVID and Brexit will transform this kind of tourism. Tourism changes but it will never end because it is the darling of capitalism.”
He continued: “COVID has confirmed to us that tourist travel is an exceptional economic engine. There will be other kinds of tourism and other forms of leisure, but traveling will always be the best way to feel free. And the hologram of capitalism is that it seems that we are free.”