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Selected Projects – Edition II

Sacred Spirit

Details & Credits
  • Director/Screenwriter: Chema García Ibarra
  • Producers: Leire Apellaniz and Ion De Sosa
  • Genre: Fantastic
  • Country: Spain
  • Produced by: Apellaniz & De Sosa

As half of Spain searches for a missing girl, the association of Ufology enthusiasts “UFO-Levante” prepares for its night of sightings. José Manuel, morbidly obese and a member, has a secret: humanity’s fate depends on him.

Chema García Ibarra

Chema García Ibarra directed and wrote El ataque de los robots de Nebulosa-5 (2009), Protopartículas (2010), Misterio (2013), Uranes (2014) and La disco resplandece (2016), all homespun science fiction movies made with no professional actors. His works have been selected at festivals like the Cannes Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight, Sundance (on three occasions), Berlinale, San Sebastian, Rotterdam, Valdivia or BAFICI. Among the 200 plus awards he has received, there are two honorable mentions from Sundance, a jury mention at San Sebastian, first prize in the BAFICI’s Vanguard and Genre competition, the Golden Méliès for best fantastic short film, a nomination for the European Film Awards or the award for best short film at Alcine.

Leire Apellaniz

Leire Apellaniz has worked as the head of the technical department for the San Sebastian International Film Festival for over ten years. In 2015 she produced and directed her first feature film, El último verano, a documentary that was selected at several international film competitions like Bafici or Karlovy Vary. In 2016 she produced the short film Ihesa, directed by Alejandro Díaz Castaño. In 2017, along with Labyrint Films, she coproduced Ana Schulz and Cristobal Fernández’s first feature length documentary entitled Mudar la piel, that premiered in Locarno in 2018.

Ion De Sosa

Ion De Sosa holds a Degree in Cinematography from the ECAM. His first movie, True Love (2011), picked up the award for best feature film at Márgenes online festival and Lima Independent Festival in Peru. His second feature length film, Sueñan los androides (2014) had its internacional premiere at the 65th Berlinale. He was the producer and cinematographer for El Futuro (2013), directed by Luis López Carrasco, which premiered at Locarno Film Festival.

In June 2015, the French issue of Cahiers du Cinema dedicated an extensive article to his work along with Luis López Carrasco’s. Since then, he produced the short film Nuestra amiga la luna by Velasco Broca, (premiering in Locarno 2016 and winner of Málaga film festival) and was the cinematographer for the short film La disco resplandece by Chema García Ibarra. Both short films tied to win the Vanguard and Genre section at Bafici 2017. His latest work as a cinematographer was the short film Aliens directed by Luis López Carrasco, and premiering in Locarno.


Julio is dead. And that’s terrible news for “UFO-Levante”, the association of ufology enthusiasts he used to chair. José Manuel, one of its members, is particularly affected by this death: He and Julio had a secret project to change humanity’s fate. Now he’s on his own to make it happen.

Director’s note

Sacred Spirit is going to take place in Elche, a standardized Spanish city: it’s neither big nor little, not especially ugly or pretty. The north of the city is a large district built in a hurry in the seventies to accommodate the influx of national immigration that went there to work for the shoe factories. That’s the district where I was born, raised and lived, where all of my films are set and where the people who perform in them are from: a working-class area where the superstitious, the supernatural and the most magical part of religion is naturally accepted; a district where the doctor lives side by side with the medicine man, people visit psychics and contact healing rituals are done to combat the evil eye.

Producer’s note

Sacred Spirit fascinates us because it brings a hyper-realistic glimpse of the supernatural and thanks to its non- paternalistic portrayal of the working class. This film very subtly approaches the legend of the deepest rural Spain: crime, pederasty and occultism are shown behind the veil of naturalism. Chema adds layers of mystery to the everyday life that surrounds him and that he knows perfectly. It is, at the same time, both amusing and sinister.

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